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Millennials’ Diversity Exposed

There is a ton of information about Millennials in the marketplace and reading forty page white papers can be overwhelming and time consuming. At BARD we excel at gathering trends and insights and narrowing down the key takeaways for busy marketing folks.

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Because Millennials are not easy to define, we’ve decided to break down the details into a series of blog posts. The first post here will cover the broad overview of Millennials. Forthcoming will be a feature on Millennial Moms and a handful of other posts. We would love to hear your feedback if you found the information helpful or any other data you’ve come across.

Here’s the snapshot overview of Millennials:

  • Currently Millennials are 77 million and growing, comprising 24% of the U.S. population
  • The age demo is 18–36; although it makes sense to view the group as the younger (18–27) and older (28–36) segments based on where they are in their life cycle. For example, the younger group (18–27) tend to be students or newly graduated and may be living at home. The older group (28–36) may be more established in their careers and starting families.
  • 21% are married
  • Millennials make up 20% of same-sex couples
  • Overall Millennials are educated with 23% having a Bachelor’s degree or higher
  • Millennials will surpass Baby Boomers as the largest percent of the U.S. population in 2015 by about 7%

Ethnically Diverse

Millennial population is driven by immigration. Millennials are 14 percent first generation and 12 percent are second generation. Overall Millennials are more racially diverse than any previous generation.

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  • 19% Hispanic
  • 14% African-American
  • 5% Asian

Latino Millennials are most concentrated in the following states:

  • New Mexico   51%
  • California       42%
  • Texas               40%
  • Arizona            36%
  • Nevada            31%
  • Colorado         24%
  • Florida            24%

Dwelling and Travel

Two-thirds of Millennials are renters with a higher likelihood to live with roommates or family members than alone. Thirty-six percent rely on parents for financial support.

With city dwelling, Millennials are less likely to own a car, and many have a preference for walkable communities and public transportation. Approximately 62 percent of Millennials prefer urban living close to shopping, restaurants and offices.

Buying Power

Younger Millennials (1986–1995) were born into more wealth than older Millennials, although the Great Recession and down economy has had an impact on their overall household income. Approximately 2.5 million Millennial households have more than $100k in income.

  • Younger Millennials 18–27 have a median income of $25K.
  • Older Millennials 28–36 have a median income of $48K.

Shopping Behavior

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Millennials are bigger discount shoppers than any other generation. They spend an average of $54 per trip and spend more on baby food, carbonated beverages and cereal than other generations.

When provided with a good deal, they will spend money online and in brick and mortar locations.

The top 20 apps used by Millennials are either retail or discount focused. They visit Chipotle, Panera, Quizno’s and Starbucks most frequently.

Millennials crave authenticity with their purchases, which includes a preference for local business loyalty, products that are “Made in America” and regional pride.

Millennials are influenced by celebrity endorsements that feature relatable characters or strong visual elements tied to their expressive nature. Millennials will try a brand or product if the brand sponsors an event for a music artist that they like.

Sleeping with Smartphones

Eighty three percent of Millennials sleep with their smartphone and are 1.5 times more likely than average to own an iPhone. Millennials are a social generation. The recent study from eMarketer outlines both mobile and tablet usage by age within Millennials:

The Second Screen is the Primary Screen

Millennials make up 50 percent of households that do not own a TV. They rely on laptops and their phone for watching content on platforms like Netflix, Hulu and YouTube.

Magazines vs. Newspapers

Millennials are reading magazines not the daily newspaper. Typical magazines include Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Vogue, Rolling Stone, Wired, and American Baby, a parenting magazine.

Healthcare and Millennials

One third of Millennials are classified as obese, yet indicate that they are interested in guidance to make healthy choices. Thirty-four percent of younger Millennials and 27 percent of older Millennials are uninsured.


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Key Takeaways

  • Millennials are diverse; segmentation and targeting is required
  • Give them a deal
  • Communicate with authenticity
  • Supporting social issues with marketing will make Millennials feel better about supporting your product or brand
  • Mobile and social are the best avenues for communication
  • Surprise and delight them (what consumer doesn’t want this)

Sources: Euro RSCG Worldwide White Paper by Marian Saltzman, Nielsen report: Millennials: Breaking the Myth 2014, eMarketer Feb 2015

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