US Millennials 2020

US Millennials 2020

So, How’s that Adulting Thing Going—in Digital Usage, Shopping, Finances and Homeownership?

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About This Report
Marketers must look past some familiar stereotypes of millennial life—about their digital usage, shopping behavior, finances and attitudes toward homeownership—to grasp the realities of how this cohort has evolved.
Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Delayed by the Great Recession, millennials took their time in reaching standard milestones of adulthood. But they’re getting there, especially the older ones. In the process, they’re rewriting some common notions about millennial life.

Are millennials still heavy users of digital devices and media?

Of course. What’s different from before is a skew toward stability and away from volatility. Making the most of their smartphones, millennials have adopted newer devices in lackluster numbers. In social media, they don’t rush en masse to embrace the most novel options (like TikTok) and tend to stick with what’s already familiar. Netflix is a fixture in their media mix, though Disney+ has quickly gained traction.

How digital are they in their shopping?

Very, though physical stores remain an important part of their mix—even as the lines blur between digital and in-store shopping. More than eight in 10 millennials are digital shoppers, and it represents a large chunk of their purchasing. Amazon dominates their ecommerce activity. Coupons are highly influential.

Has student debt left most millennials impoverished?

It is a burden for many. But one shouldn’t overlook the fact that a majority don’t have any. The broader problem is that many millennials have other sorts of debt—on credit cards, car loans, etc. Despite decent income (finally), millennials’ share of total household wealth is negligible.

Is homeownership a rarity among millennials?

No. Despite their financial struggles, increasing numbers of millennials are homeowners, including a slim majority of those in their 30s. And despite the stereotype of millennials as city dwellers, homeownership is drawing more and more to the suburbs.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report looks at the shifts adulting brings to millennial life—in areas ranging from social media usage to homeownership—as the generation moves into a certifiably grownup life stage.

KEY STAT: Reflecting the greater stability now in millennials’ digital usage, they are less apt to seek out the newest and buzziest social platforms—and they’re sticking with Facebook, according to our February 2020 forecast.

Here’s what’s in the full report

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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Act Your Age
  3. Where Their Digital Usage Stands (Still)
  4. The Omnichannel Shoppers
  1. Auditing Millennials’ Finances
  2. We’re Home!
  3. Key Takeaways
  4. eMarketer Interviews
  1. Read Next
  2. Sources
  3. Media Gallery

Charts in This Report

Interviewed for This Report

R. Byron Carlock, Jr.
PwC US
Real Estate Leader
Interviewed January 29, 2020
Ron Cohen
Claritas
Vice President of Product Strategy
Interviewed January 30, 2020
Reid Cramer
New America
Senior Fellow
Interviewed January 29, 2020
Joan Driggs
IRI
Vice President of Content and Thought Leadership
Interviewed January 27, 2020
Michael Parrish DuDell
CouponFollow
Advisor
Interviewed January 28, 2020
Ana Hernández Kent
Center for Household Financial Stability at Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Policy Analyst
Interviewed January 27, 2020
Carrie Parker
Valassis
Vice President of Marketing
Interviewed January 28, 2020
Jack Randall
CivicScience
Chief Commercial Officer
Interviewed February 3, 2020
Crystal Surrency
Fullscreen
Senior Vice President for Strategy and Insights
Interviewed February 3, 2020
Jeff Tucker
Zillow
Economist
Interviewed January 30, 2020

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authors

Mark Dolliver

Contributors

Paul Briggs
Senior Analyst
Jasmine Enberg
Senior Analyst
Lucy Koch
Junior Analyst
Oscar Orozco
Senior Forecasting Analyst
Jennifer Pearson
VP, Research
Monica Peart
Senior Director, Forecasting
Vincent Yip
Forecasting Analyst