One of the largest generations in western history has moved into its prime spending years (in 2015 the oldest millennials are 35 years old). Millennials’ unique life experiences will reshape the economy; the ways we buy and sell, forcing companies to examine how they do business for decades to come.
Being the most talked about generation in history, there is myriad of research conducted on Millennials in the US and the UK.
This page will collate the most important Millennial facts in the UK and US.
** Updated 28.04.16 **
UK Millennial facts
1. In 2015 Millennials are making up a quarter of the UK population and they are predicted to hit the 17 million mark by 2019. [Inkling Millennial Report 2015]
2. There are around 16.2 million Millennials in the UK [Guardian 2015]
3. 80% of UK 16-24 year olds are saying that being knowledgeable is important to them. [Youth Trends Report 2016]
It’s now cool to be knowledgable. What were once classed as “boring subjects” are newly being shared and followed on social media by millions all over the world. “I Fucking Love Science” has over 20 million likes on Facebook, while NASA boasts 7.3 million followers on Instagram.
National Geographic has a whopping 38.8 million followers on Instgram, putting them in the same rankings as Beyonce and Justin Bieber.
4. 70% of young people agree they are “impatient”. [Youth Trends Report 2016]
It’s clear that instant delivery is the expected standard.
5. UK Millennials are polite activists [Youth Trends Report 2016]
74% agree that online activism is as important as traditional activism and that it makes the same amount of impact if not more. Only 4% take part in protests on the street.
6. 59% of the UK Millennials feel traditional values are important to them. [Youth Trends Report 2016]
A huge 98% of our respondents feel marriage once again ha place in today’s society. Young people actively want to own a house, get a mortgage and save money and are proud to say so, too. As we found from the survey, standard values still ring true with 16-24s. getting married (57%) having children (58%) and homeownership (54%), while taking the traditional route of going to school, college and university (71%) are the most important milestones of today.
7. Only 24% of 16-24s feel Tinder dating culture has a place in today’s society. [Youth Trends Report 2016]
The new youth consumer prefers old-school approaches to life especially when it comes to ways to fall in love, despite being so connected and having access to digital concepts that immediately find a date or even ‘the one’.
8. Almost all (94%) of UK Millennials feel it’s important to have a unique identity. [Youth Trends Report 2016]
Young people today are constructing their own identities more than ever before and conventional boundaries no longer apply.
9. 49% of 18-24 year olds defined themselves as something other than totally heterosexual [YouGov Survey]
Young people don’t identify themselves through gender. They have more extensive view on gender than any generation before them.
10. 78% find it easier to express emotions through emojis rather than written words [Youth Trends Report 2016]
11. 89% agree that social media enables a more globally connected world and 52% describe themselves as global citizens. [Youth Trends Report 2016]
12. 81% of 16-24s relate to brand campaigns more if they use “real” people as opposed to celebrities or models. [Youth Trends Report 2016]
Youth sector wants to look up to inspiring, but relatable individuals.
13. Being healthy and enjoying your work is the new rich [Inkling 2015]
Being physically and mentally healthy topped the list (77%) for UK Millennials when asked what would most help them live a happier, more fulfilled life. Enjoying their work and profession ranked higher than having friends and an active social circle. Having a family ranked higher (46%), as did being wealthy (41%), in comparison.
14. 60% of UK Millennials will engage with online content that interests them, even if it’s obvious that it’s been paid for by a brand [Inkling 2015]
The barrier to reaching this audience is often the ‘what’ of your messaging itself, not the ‘who’s selling me something’ and ‘why should I care’ questions, which are also potential stumbling blocks.
15. Millennials are influenced by family and friends (72%), search engines and reviews (50%), social networks (21.4%) and bloggers/experts (20.2%) [Inkling 2015]
Millennials are much more skeptical of celebrity endorsements, being twice more likely to turn to their colleagues for recommendations (14%) versus celebrities (7%).
16. Over half (53%) of UK Millennials would rather spend money on an experience versus a possession (only 22.6% who valued material goods more than experiences) [Inkling 2015]
17. 96% of 16-24 years old own a smartphone, 95% a laptop, while over a third (39%) claim new technologies are what excites them the most about the future [Voxburner Youth Trend Report 2015]
18. 72% 16-24 years old say they only adopt once they have seen their friends benefiting or if they have seen an obvious benefit [Voxburner 2015]
While as a demographic they may adopt earlier, a significant 72% say they only adopt once they have seen their friends benefiting or if they have seen an obvious benefit. Only 14% of young people consider themselves to be early adopters. This suggests that word-of-mouth and advocacy will be the main determinate of youth uptake.
19. 16-24 year olds righteous attitudes [Voxburner 2015]
Young people’s values are changing. Whereas Boomers and Gen Xers had booze, sex, and truancy firmly at the top of their to-do list, a new wave of 16-24s are leaning towards a cleaner, brighter and less risqué lifestyle.
Another factor that’s increasingly important to this rather well-behaved group is developing new life skills, with 67% of young people stating as so. Connecting with new cultures is at the top of their bucket list, with 88% claiming they’d like to travel more and 59% wanting to learn a new language.
Everyday tasks such as cooking (45%) and understanding money (38%) are also high-ranking as they can use these as a kickstart to build a better future for themselves.They’re also geared towards understanding themselves better as humans – self confidence is the number one life skill they’re eager to learn with 63% wanting to prioritise it over other attributes such as new ways to keep fit and even that all-important C.V. writing.Stepping up the work ladder is also pretty major with 44% wanting to learn how to gain new connections and be a networking guru.
20. 58% of 16-24 year old claim to have an interest in politics [Voxburner 2015]
A generation of laptop-living natives still turn to television first for political news (64%), although a sizeable 56% keeps track online. More use newspapers to stay ahead (33%) than use Twitter (22%) or Facebook (21%). While social media may be used to some extent to keep up-to-date, the notion of following politicians directly through Twitter or similar has no appeal for 65%.
21. 72% 18-34 years old have suffered personally as a result of the recession [Initiative Debunking The Millennial Myth 2014]
22. 59% 18-34 years olds worry about not having enough money to retire [Initiative 2014]
23. 59% of 18-34 year olds don’t have children [Initiative 2014]
24. 35% of 16-34 year olds are living with their parents [Initiative 2014]
25. 65% of 18-34 year olds are employed full time [Initiative 2014]
26. 30% of 16-34 years olds are cynical about the way brands market to them [Initiative 2014]
Short, concise and visual is where the focus should be when it comes to online content. 71% of 16-24 year old said videos were the type of content they enjoyed the most, closely followed by Buzzfeed-esque lists (40%) and memes (32%) (Voxburner 2015). Thinking outside the box is also important. If you don’t do your homework, keeping up with young, influential content creators who are surpassing innovation in this sector will prove difficult.
27. 54% of 16-34 year olds would be more loyal to brands that help improve ecological or societal issues [Initiative 2014]
Millennials want brands do more to address today’s societal and ecological issues. They are aware of how much power they have as customers, and expect brands to value their concerns and treat them with respect.
28. 59% of 16-34 year olds believe brands should actively participate to improve causes [Initiative 2014]
29. 64% of 16-24 year olds said they are more likely to become a loyal customer if a brand engages with them on social [Voxburner 2015]
Millennials like to be involved in a brand’s creative process. To promote engagement and build loyalty is by offering Millennials the opportunity to co-create your products with you. 42% of Millennials said they are interested and want to get involved in helping businesses build their future products and services. By including them in your development process, you are gaining their loyalty and building your community of advocates and fans.
30. Over half (54%) of 16-34 year olds want to be able to interact with content [Voxburner 2015]
Content needs to be hyper-connected and accessible when and where the reader wants it to be. It also needs to be interactive via (not only) social media allowing young people’s opinions to directly influence new ideas.
31. The proportion of 17-20 year olds with a license has fallen from 48% in 1994 to just 29% in 2014 [Different Spin “Dude, where’s my car? The complicated relationship between the automative industry and Millennials” 2015]
65% of Millennials favour public or self-powered transport for their day-to-day travel, compared to just 22% who regularly drive or ride their own vehicle.
32. The weekly food bill for UK Millennials came up to £63.65, in comparison to £57.30 for older (and wealthier) cohorts [The BBC Good Food’s National Survey]
US Millennial facts
1. By 2015, their annual spending is expected to be $2.45 trillion and by 2018, they will exclipse boomers in spending power at $3.39 trillion [Oracle 2010]
2. Millennials are highly influenced by their peers [Mr Youth – Class of 2015 Report]
66% of Gen Y would check out stores that their friends had checked into.
3. 71% said that they had liked a brand on Facebook in order to take advantage of an offer [Mr Youth – Class of 2015 Report]
4. 40% check their Facebook more than 10 times per day [Mr Youth – Class of 2015 Report]
76% spend more than 1 hour each day on Facebook.
5. Millennials tend to get married later than previous generations [Goldman Sachs]
Median marriage age in 2010s is 30 years old whereas in 1970s it was 23.Millennials have been putting off significant milestones like marriage and children. But that doesn’t mean they want to stay single forever.
6. Millennials are turning to brands that can offer maximum convenience at the lowest cost [Goldman Sachs]
57% of Millennials compare prices in store. Millennials’ affinity for technology is reshaping the retail space. With product information, reviews and price comparisons at their fingertips.
7. 57% consider wellness the most important pursuit in life [Goldman Sachs]
Similarly to U.K. Millennials, for U.S. Millennials, wellness is a daily, active pursuit. They’re exercising more, eating smarter and smoking less than previous generations. They’re using apps to track training data, and online information to find the healthiest foods. And this is one space where they’re willing to spend money on compelling brands.
In 2013 83% of graduates disapprove of people 18 or older smoking one or more packs of cigarettes a day, compared to 69% in 1998.
8. Millennials are more likely than previous generations to report that they consider creativity to be a very important job feature [White House – Government]
Perhaps this is no surprise for a highly-connected generation for whom technology was a key part of their upbringing. On the other hand, they are less likely to report that having an interesting job, or one where they can see results or have advancement opportunities, is very important.
9. While many Millennials report that earnings are very important to them in a job, breaking the data down by gender reveals that this change is driven primarily by young women [White House – Government]
Each cohort of young women is more likely than the last to name earnings as a key job feature. earnings has been stable for men. The result is that Millennial women have aspirations that are similar to their male peers.
10. Millennial women are attending college and attaining degrees in greater numbers than in the past [White House – Government]
Millennial women have more labor market equality than previous generations. Millennials are not only the most highly educated U.S. generation to date, but a larger share of that increase has come from the educational attainment of women.In fact, starting in the late 1990s, just as the first Millennial cohorts were completing high school, women began to outpace men in completion of both four-year college degrees and post-college educational attainment.
11. 63% of Republican Millennials favor marijuana legalization [Pew Research 2015]
Six-in-ten (63%) Millennials say the use of marijuana should be made legal, while 35% say it should be illegal, according to our February 2014 survey. That level of support is higher than among Republican Generation Xers (47%) and Baby Boomers (38%), and much higher than among GOP members of the Silent generation (17%).
12. 61% of Millennials are worried about the state of the world and feel personally responsible to make a difference [Huffington Post]
13. Only 29% of Millennial workers think work meetings to decide on a course of action are very efficient, compared to 45% of Boomers [Iconoculture 2011]
80% of Gen Y said they prefer on-the-spot recognition over formal reviews, and feel that this is imperative for their growth and understanding of a job.
14. 56% of Gen Y’s won’t work at a company if they ban social media access [Cisco]
15. 69% believe office attendance is unnecessary on a regular basis [Cisco]