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Key Millennial Insights

According to the Census Bureau, the current U.S. millennial population is 83.1 million strong (26% of the population) which makes them the largest generation in U.S. history. This surpasses the mighty Baby Boomer generation (24% of the population). Industry research estimates that by 2020, total millennial spending will reach $1.4 trillion with CPG projected sales to be $290 billion. Below lists some key insights regarding who millennials are, what social media networks they are using and finally, just some random fun facts.


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Defining Millennials

In July 2015, IRI dispelled the top myths about millennials. They are not the self-absorbed, non-traditionalist path followers that are tied to mobile 24/7 while being non-brand loyalists. In actuality, IRI discovered the below key millennial insights:

  • 90% equate success with being a good friend, 68% with working for a cause they believe in, and 58% with being of service/contributing to their community
  • Millennials still follow the same life stage milestones (i.e. employment, marriage, home ownership), just not in a linear pattern like Generation X or Baby Boomers.
  • Even though they are digital natives, 48% say they can function without their smartphones.
  • 44% of millennials are loyal to brands they buy and 52% choose quality over price. However, due to their financial status, two-thirds tend to be budget conscious.

IRI found that millennials are the “most racially diverse, highly educated generation in history” whom needs to be dissected down into six distinct segments. In addition, it is important to remember that those needs of an 18–24 year old vary quite differently from the 30+ year old.

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Social Media and Millennials

Millennials utilize social media more than older generations. From seeking daily news to searching for information, millennials start first with social media. 88% get news from Facebook regularly with over 50% daily. 57% then turn to online search engines for the next follow-up method. Below shows how social media usage varies throughout the generations.

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Fun Random Millennial Facts
  • Millennials are credited as bringing about the resurgence of vinyl records.
  • 60% of millennials believe they will never own a self-driving car vs. 66% for Generation X and 77% for Baby Boomers.
  • Millennials account for 31% of all pet owners. According to Packaged Facts, millennial pet ownership grew 25% between 2007 and 2015 while the number of pet owners in the 35-and-older age group increased just 14%.
  • According to Mintel, almost 40% of millennials state that cereal is an inconvenient breakfast choice because they have to clean up after eating it.