Gen Y Comes into Focus - eMarketer

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Gen Y Comes into Focus

Buying power, income on the rise

June 6, 2008

Call them Generation Y, millennials or whatever you choose. Just don't ignore them.

Young consumers in the US wield considerable buying power. Among 13 to 21 year-olds alone, over $120 billion was spent in 2007, according to The Harris Poll. Definitions vary, but millennials are generally considered those born from 1979 to 1999.

Annual Spending by US Children and Young Adults, by Age, 2007 (billions)

The group's income is predicted to rise through at least 2017, when it will approach $3.5 trillion, according to Javelin Strategy & Research.

US Total Annual Income, by Generation, 2007, 2012 & 2017 (trillions)

The group is very comfortable shopping online. One-half of consumers under age 24 made an Internet purchase between April 2007 and February 2008, according to Nielsen Online.

The US Census Bureau says there are about 70 million Americans who fall into the Generation Y category. It is an ethnically diverse group: 60% white, 15% black (non-Hispanic), 18% Hispanic and 4% Asian. As a point of reference, baby boomers are 72% white, 11% black (non-Hispanic), 10% Hispanic and 4% Asian.

Nielsen released a wide range of data about Gen Y in its May 2008 "Consumer Insight Magazine." It said that the typical Gen Y consumer surfed the Internet 22 times per month from April 2007 to February 2008.

The group should also interest in-game advertisers, since it spends a large amount of time playing video games.

Nearly every day is game day for 10 to 26 year-old Xbox 360 owners, who averaged 28 days of game play every month from April 2007 to February 2008. Even the Nintendo Wii, which had the fewest days of use among new gaming consoles, saw about 20 days of use each month by the same age group.

US Video Game Console Usage, by Age, April 2007-February 2008

Learn how US consumers of all ages use the Web to shop. Read eMarketer's US Retail E-Commerce: Slower But Still Steady Growth report.

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