Millennials in the U.S.: Trends and Opportunities Surrounding Gen-Y Adults

Packaged Facts
October 1, 2010
178 Pages - SKU: LA2661911
Countries covered: United States

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The 51 million adult members of the Millennial Generation (also known as Gen-Y) have been hit harder than any other age group by the recession. Millennials have the highest unemployment rate of all age groups, while those with jobs are most likely to have been asked at some point during the recession to work fewer hours, switch to part-time employment or agree to have their pay cut.

Yet, paradoxically, survey data show that Millennials are less likely than any other age segment to have cut spending during the recession, and they are more optimistic than other American consumers about the future of the American economy. Millennials in the 18- to 24-year-old age group have significant discretionary income, while many 25- to 29-year-olds are beginning high-income careers and are entering the heavy-spending life stage of forming households and creating families. With an aggregate income of nearly $1 trillion, adult Millennials can be expected to play a key role in the recovery of the American economy and consequently offer significant opportunities to marketers of a wide range of consumer goods and services.

The report begins with an assessment of trends shaping the adult Millennial market and identifies opportunities available to marketers interested in connecting with Gen-Y consumers. It continues with a forecast of the growth of the buying power of Gen-Y consumers through 2015 and a detailed demographic profile of the Gen-Y population. The next chapters analyze how Gen-Y consumers manage and spend money. Individual chapters provide an in-depth view of the role of technology in the lives of Millennials, an assessment of ongoing changes in the media consumption habits of Gen-Y consumers and an overview of the leisure-time and entertainment patterns of Millennials. The report concludes with an analysis of the attitudes and behavior of Millennial consumers in the areas of fashion, food and automotive.



Additional Information

Market Insights: A Selection From The Report


Diversity a Hallmark of Millennials

Nearly 40% of Gen-Y adults are members of multicultural population groups. Hispanics comprise 18% of the Gen-Y population, while Blacks account for 15% and Asians approximately 4%. The 25- to 29-year-old segment is somewhat more diverse than the 18- to 24-year-old segment. [Table 4-2]

As seen in Table 4-3, the adult Gen-Y population reflects the remarkable difference in the degree of diversity in the age groups above and below 45. Approximately 40% of the population below the age of 45 is made up of Hispanics, blacks, Asians and other multicultural groups, and around 60% is non-Hispanic white. In sharp contrast to this population profile, non-Hispanic whites account for 73% of 45- to 64-year-olds and 80% of those 65 years old and over. [Table 4-3]

Debit Cards Important Part of Gen-Y Lifestyle

Gen-Y consumers in the 25- to 29-year-old age group are more likely than any other age segment to have a debit card. Those in the 18- to 24-year-old age group are more likely than consumers in the 65+ age group to have a debit card.
Credit cards, on the other hand, are less likely to be found in the wallets of Gen-Y consumers. Only 31% of 18- to 24-year-olds and 58% of 25- to 29-year-olds have them. [Table 5-3]

Multicultural Gen-Y Consumers Especially Interested in Using Cellphones to Shop in Stores

Consumers in the 18- to 29-year-old age group are more likely to be interested in using their cellphones to shop in stores. Multicultural Gen-Yers are especially interested in the technology that would allow them to use cellphones as a platform to select and purchase merchandise in stores. While 12% of non-Hispanic white 18- to 29-year-olds are interested in using a cellphone to shop, 18% of multicultural Millennials want this option. Black Gen-Yers are particularly interested in using their cellphones in stores. [Figures 6-2 and 6-3]

In the News

Economically Optimistic Gen-Y Adults are Essential to Nation’s Recovery


New York, September 21, 2010 — With an aggregate income approaching $1 trillion, the adults of the Millennial Generation are expected to play an essential role in the recovery of the American economy and consequently offer significant opportunities to marketers of consumer goods and services, according to survey data published in Millennials in the U.S.: Trends and Opportunities Surrounding Gen-Y Adults by market research publisher Packaged Facts.

Though hit harder than any other age demographic during the recession due to pay cuts and rampant unemployment, Millennials remain optimistic about the future of the American economy and are less likely to have cut spending despite the downturn.

"The older Gen-X consumers are at a ‘big-spending’ stage of life, while Gen-Y consumers offer a bright note in an otherwise dismal spending picture because throughout the recession they have been more willing than older shoppers to spend more in coming months. Additionally, Gen-Y consumers are at a stage in life where most of the income they earn is likely to be spent," says Don Montuori, publisher of Packaged Facts.

Of the 51 million Millennial adults between 18- to 29-years-old, approximately 42 million are employed and have a mean income of nearly $24,000. Packaged Facts expects that the aggregate income of 18- to 29-year-olds will total $1.2 trillion in 2015, for a cumulative growth of 18% during the 2010-2015 forecast period.

Diversity is a hallmark of Millennials, and multicultural Gen-Y adults are gaining in importance. Between 2010 and 2015 all of the growth in the 20- to 29-year-old population will be generated by Hispanic, black and other multicultural population groups, which are expected to increase by nearly 2 million adults. Since there are significant differences between the attitudes and behavior of multicultural Gen-Y consumers and those of their non-Hispanic white counterparts, marketers will need to adjust their strategies to take into account the changing profile of the diverse and tech-savvy Millennial population, counsels the report. For example, report data based on Experian Simmons’ Winter 2010 National Consumer Study indicate that multicultural Millennials are comparatively much more likely to assign prestige to foreign automobiles and are especially interested in the technology that would allow them to use cellphones as a platform to select and purchase merchandise in stores.

Millennials in the U.S.: Trends and Opportunities Surrounding Gen-Y Adults analyzes the consumer attitudes and behavior of 18- to 29-year-olds. Those in this age group form the adult portion of the population group described as the "Millennial Generation" or "Generation Y" or "Gen-Y." The report begins with an assessment of trends shaping the adult Millennial market and identifies opportunities available to marketers interested in connecting with Gen-Y consumers. It continues with a forecast of the growth of the buying power of Gen-Y consumers through 2015 and a detailed demographic profile of the Gen-Y population. The next chapters analyze how Gen-Y consumers manage and spend money.

About Packaged Facts —Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com, publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer market topics, including consumer goods and retailing, foods and beverages, demographics, pet products and services, and financial products.

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