We’re back with another month of millennial data. This article attempts to rummage through the thousands of articles and studies published on Google News and pull out the few reports that highlight the economic and societal behaviors and shifts related to millennials.
1. Generational Income Gap
Each report pertaining to millennials outlines the same thing: low income levels, high debt levels, zero assets and an overall bleak future. However, the final statement may seem a bit exaggerated, as many economists believe the future seems relatively bright and millennials will do just fine.
Standard & Poor’s released an interesting and unique report last week that looked at one area that most researchers and media outlets neglect: the generational income gap. The study, which used data from Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances, examined the median household wealth by age group vs. 18-to-34 adults, and it is pretty immense.
There is a gap of between 10 and 23 times when comparing millennials to seniors 65 to 74, and eight to 1 times when comparing millennials to seniors 75-plus.
2. Millennials Turning to Bank of Mommy & Daddy
A substantial number of people will concur that millennials aren’t exactly the beacons of affluence. Since the financial crisis a few years ago, millennials have been straddled with excessive student debts and faced with low-paying jobs. With a higher cost of living, millennials are turning to the First Bank of Mommy and Daddy.
A USA Today and Bank of America Better Money Habits survey found that millennials are three times as likely to concede they received financial assistance from their parents when they were starting out in the real world compared to what their parents admit they were given at the same age.
Forty percent of millennials report to still turning to their mothers and fathers for money. A majority of younger millennials (18 to 25) get financial aid from their parents, but one-quarter of older millennials (26 to 34) still receive financial help. Moreover, one-fifth of those who are married or living with a significant admit to getting help to cover daily expenses.
3. Millennials' Apathy for Ads
Conventional methods of advertising - billboards, television, radio, et cetera - just isn’t capturing the attention of millennials. This is making it more difficult for advertisers and marketers attempting to sell a brand to the largest group of consumers since the Baby Boomers.
Data from eMarketer suggest that brands are still lagging when it comes to the fact that millennials are digital natives and are more likely to share their opinions and gain insights into brands through various social media platforms. Simply put: they’ll seek out their friends’ social networks to see what they’re buying these days and if it is effective.
Millennials are also more likely to embrace content marketing, but they want it to be creative. As Daniel Newman of Forbes writes:
"Millennials want more. They want it now. They want it newer. And they want it faster than ever before. They consume and share content like crazy – but it has to be good – innovative and cutting edge. They want easy and transportable. They want connectivity and share-ability."
4. The Birth Rate Among Millennials
Millennials aren’t having kids. From a paucity of marriages to the economic conditions, millennials are refraining from starting a family, according to a new report from the Urban Institute.
The statistics show that the birth rate for American women aged 20 to 29 hit historic lows in the years prior to and following the Great Recession. The birth rates for female millennials in their 20s experienced a 15 percent drop from 2007 to 2012.
In addition to economic factors and a lack of marriages, the data may also hint at a major shift of when women may actually be ready to have children. For instance, most women in their 20s are still in school, starting their careers or living with their parents, which wouldn’t necessarily be a good time to have kids. Millennial women may start having kids in their mid-30s.
5. Millennials Don't Trust You
Millennials don’t trust anyone. It’s as simple as that. They don’t trust you, the military, the media or the police. That’s harsh. If you don’t believe it, then look at a new poll conducted by Harvard University’s Institute of Politics. Here is a list of the institutions that millennials don’t trust:
- Media: 88 percent
- Wall Street: 86 percent
- Congress: 82 percent
- Federal Government: 74 percent
- U.S. President: 63 percent
- Supreme Court: 58 percent
- Local Police: 50 percent
Why the prolific distrust? The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza tries to answer this question:
"The erosion in confidence is impossible to blame on any one factor because it is so widespread. I believe that the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, made clear in a very powerful and frightening way that those tasked with protecting us might not always be able to do it. That led to a general sense of unease amid the populace that the bad behavior of Wall Street, the faltering economy, an ineffectual Congress and the string of high-profile killings of black men by police have all heightened."
Are you a millennial? Do any of these points seem familiar to you? Your thoughts and comments below please...