Born between the early 1980s and the mid-1990s, Millennials represent a demographic cohort that wields significant influence over various aspects of modern society. As they advance through different life stages and shoulder greater responsibilities, they have transitioned from being young adults to mature adults.

This is why understanding this generation is crucial for businesses, financial institutions, and marketers alike, as it offers valuable insights into consumer behavior and the changing dynamics of our digital age. By exploring various Millennial trends and statistics in this Business2Community article, both businesses and individuals can gain a deeper understanding of the generation that is shaping the present and future.

  • Millennials in the US had an annual purchasing power of $2.5 trillion in 2020.
  • 50% of Millennials discovered a new product on social media in 2022.
  • The median household income for Millennials was $89,641 in 2022.
  • Millennials collectively owed $482.4 billion in student loan debt as of September 2023.
  • By 2045, Millennials are projected to inherit more than $84 trillion from Baby Boomers.

Various shopping trends amongst the Millennial generation indicate that they are actively shaping the future of the retail industry in the US. Considering Millennials when analyzing shopping behavior is crucial because this demographic cohort represents a seismic shift in consumer preferences and habits.

In fact, according to Statista, in 2020, US Millennials numbered an estimated 72.4 million, making them one of the largest groups in the nation’s population and the most influential generation in the consumer market.

statista 2022 generation population US

Millennials have faced financial challenges compared to previous generations due to rising costs. They are now outpacing prior generations in various spending categories, and their consumer choices possess the potential to shape the fate of entire industries.

The National Research Group’s Fandom 50 report revealed that Millennials exhibit the strongest avid brand fandom.

This means that they have a deep and enduring affection for a wide range of brands across various industries. In fact, when compared to their older counterparts, the Boomers, Millennials show an impressive level of brand enthusiasm, with them being superfans of nearly twice as many brands.

Additionally, even when compared to the younger generation, Gen Z, Millennials surpass them by 19% in terms of the number of brands they are fervently passionate about.

This data underscores the significant impact that Millennials have on brand loyalty and consumer behavior, making them a crucial demographic for businesses to engage with and cater to.

Marketing to the Millennial Economy

As per a McKinsey report, Millennials can be categorized into seven unique segments each positioned along a continuum encompassing three behavioral clusters:

  • Value
  • Quality
  • Image

When devising marketing strategies to target Millennials, companies should take into account these distinct segments:


According to a 2020 survey by Draper, price, and style hold the utmost importance for Millennials when it comes to purchasing fashion:

  • 78.7% care about pricing
  • 74.6% value style and design
  • 67.6% shop based on convenience and speed

Millennials prioritize a brand based on concerns related to the environment, sustainability, and social justice. Over three-quarters, or 75.3% of Millennials consider environmentally friendly brands to be a significant or fairly important factor. In addition, 73.9% of this generation believe it’s crucial for a brand to actively support pro-equality and pro-diversity initiatives.

Millennials are at the forefront of raising awareness about sustainability in comparison to other generations. Data from a 2020 IBM report reveals that regardless of the level of trust Millennials have in a brand, they tend to engage in thorough research, examining ingredients on labels, scrutinizing the production or processing methods, and evaluating the delivery process before making their purchases.


70% of Millennials have either bought or want to buy pre-owned, repaired, or renewed products. As sustainability has evolved into a determining factor in Millennials’ decision-making processes, it is crucial for brands and retailers to intensify their emphasis on aligning with these preferences.

Monthly Shopping of the Millennial Age Group

In 2020, Millennials in the US had an annual purchasing power of $2.5 trillion. Millennials allocate a substantial portion of their budget to groceries and eating out, emphasizing their reputation as enthusiasts of food and culinary experiences.

However, their craving for convenience is equally apparent, with 71% of them regularly indulging in dining out, takeout, or fast food options.

Let’s examine the primary monthly expenditures of Millennials in further detail, as revealed by a financial survey conducted by YPulse:

  • Groceries: 83%
  • Dining out/take out/fast food: 71%
  • Auto maintenance: 69%
  • Household supplies: 59%
  • Personal care products / beauty and cosmetics: 56%
  • Clothing, shoes, and accessories: 51%
  • Personal care and beauty services: 36%
  • Events and experiences: 35%
  • Alcoholic beverages: 33%
  • Petcare products and services: 32%

The “treat yo-self” trend, wholeheartedly embraced by Millennials, mirrors their strong conviction regarding the significance of self-care and indulgence. This is exemplified by the fact that more than half of this generation allocates a significant portion of their budget to personal care products.

Millennials are big users of tech products like smartphones, tablets, computers, and gaming consoles. Growing up during the rise of the internet and personal computers, Millennials are often viewed as tech-savvy individuals who prioritize mobility and connectivity.

In 2021, Apple secured its position as the ultimate favorite brand, product, or service for around 17% of surveyed Millennials in the US, solidifying its status as the top choice among this generation.


Furthermore, in 2022, Millennials constituted 60% of the B2B technology buyer demographic. According to a report by Trust Radius, the Millennial generation’s preference for technology-enabled convenience has significantly contributed to their dominant presence in the B2B technology buyer demographic.

One example of the Millennial generation prioritizing convenience would be how they prefer the ease of technology over time-consuming trips to physical stores or banks. This tech-driven convenience streamlines their decision-making and helps them achieve their goals faster.

Millennials Lead the Way in Holiday Shopping

As of August 2023, 95% of American Millennial online shoppers had set their sights on shopping at Amazon for the 2023 holiday season. Following closely behind, specific brand websites emerged as the second most favored choice, with 73% of individuals intending to make their holiday purchases there.

power reviews where millennials do holiday shopping

In 2022, US Millennials planned to spend the most during the holiday season, expecting to average over $1,800 of spending on themselves and others. This substantial spending projection not only signals their eagerness to make the holidays extra special but also highlights that Millennials are an exceptional and lucrative marketing target during this period.

Top Shopping Channels for Millennials

Millennials are at the forefront of mobile device usage for search engine queries, with 74% of them favoring mobile phones over other devices when seeking answers to their questions.

Among Millennials, discovering new products is predominantly achieved through avenues such as social media channels, internet searches, and YouTube advertisements.

Notably, social platforms exerted a substantial influence over the shopping choices made by Millennials in 2022:

  • 50% of Millennials discovered a new product on social media.
  • 28% of Millennials bought a product on social media.
  • 44% of Millennials found influencer recommendations highly important when making purchasing decisions.

hubspot how millennials find new products

Understanding and catering to the digital discovery habits of Millennials can lead to increased brand visibility, trust, and ultimately, higher conversion rates.

30% of millennials learn about products by searching the internet. Millennials’ reliance on online information highlights the need for robust online presence and SEO strategies.

In contrast, 18% of Millennial consumers express a preference for acquiring product information within physical retail stores. Furthermore, only 16% of Millennials consider TV ads as their preferred channel for discovering new products. This shift in preference highlights the evolving landscape of traditional advertising.

Based on the findings of a recent survey conducted in the US and reported by Statista, in 2022, 55% of Millennials primarily used online retailers like Amazon to make their product purchases. What’s more:

  • 34% of Millennials opted for shopping on company websites.
  • 20% chose to use a company’s mobile app.
  • 21% relied on a company’s social media profiles for their shopping needs.

The Millennial Generation as Online Shoppers

Given that Millennials were born into the internet era, characterized by rapid growth in smartphone usage and online communication, they are accustomed to engaging online. In fact, in 2020, 81% of Millennials engaged in online purchases at least once every month.

Furthermore, if given the choice, more than 60% of Millennials worldwide would prefer exclusively shopping online. While Millennials explore online shopping across a range of categories, clothing and shoes take the lead when it comes to buying products online in 2023.

The fact that 59% of Millennials would opt to exclusively shop for clothing and shoes online, even if it meant giving up physical stores altogether, demonstrates their comfort with and confidence in the digital shopping experience.


In Q1 2023, data from Statista revealed that 50% of surveyed Millennials desired personalized product recommendations while shopping online. To deliver a tailored shopping experience to Millennials, retailers must collect substantial volumes of user data across such as website visits, mobile app interactions, and preferred payment methods.

Other than personalization, Millennials consider several other factors when shopping online such as:

  • Pricing and value
  • ConvenienceSocial responsibility
  • User-generated content
  • Mobile optimization
  • Easy returns
  • Free shipping
  • Product reviews and ratings
  • Loyalty programs

The Future of Online Shopping for the Millennial Generation

Millennials have embraced the future of online shopping, with 76% of Millennial shoppers eagerly adopting augmented reality and virtual try-on tools to enhance their virtual retail experiences.

However, while Millennials are generally receptive to new technology, they are also the demographic most prone to perceiving such innovations as invasive and expressing privacy concerns.


In 2023, Millennials are set to uphold their inclination for online shopping over in-store purchases. CNBC reported findings from a survey conducted by ESW, a global leader in direct-to-consumer solutions for retailers, indicating that more than 27% of Millennials intend to increase their online spending significantly while reducing their in-store expenditures in 2023.

Millennials’ Influences on Shopping Preferences

Friends as Influencers

In 2021, Millennial consumers in the US and Canada identified their friends as the primary influence when purchasing clothes. According to a survey shared by Statista, when Millennials were segmented as those aged 21 to 29, approximately one-third of them cited peer reviews as influential in their fashion choices.

Millennials were likely to be swayed by the recommendations of their significant others, with 30% acknowledging such influence.

According to McKinsey, 40% of Millennials are value-driven consumers. Within this group of consumers, there are two distinct segments:

  • Economizers, who prioritize budget-consciousness and show little brand loyalty.
  • Risk avoiders, who heavily rely on recommendations and advice when making decisions.

Payments Experiences

According to a payment provider ECOMMPAY, when it comes to payment experiences, around 15% of Millennial survey respondents indicated they were likely to abandon a checkout page if they were required to create an account on a retailer’s website or app.

Additionally, payment preferences are a critical consideration in online shopping for Millennials. The study found that approximately 80% of Millennials would abandon an online checkout if their preferred payment method was not available, showing the significance of catering to their payment choices in ecommerce.

Millennials exhibit a willingness to embrace “buy now, pay later” options as a convenient shopping alternative. As per Statista Consumer Insights, US Millennials distinguish themselves as the generation keen on these arrangements, with 56% indicating their use of online programs that enable interest-free installment payments for goods and services.


Positive Reviews

Millennials rely heavily on positive reviews to guide their purchase choices. According to industry experts, 99.9% of Millennials report reading reviews when shopping online. This preference for reviews significantly impacts their choice of online retailers, with 85% actively seeking websites that feature reviews — surpassing both Gen Xers at 76% and Boomers at 70%.

Millennials are inclined to forgo a product altogether if they can’t find the information they’re looking for, setting them apart from other generations. Nearly half (48%) of Millennials state that they would abstain from buying a product if it lacks reviews, as opposed to 42% of Gen X shoppers and 39% of Boomers.

Reviews Millennial-Shopping

97% of Millennials sometimes look for negative feedback, and 60% specifically search for one-star reviews. In fact, compared to Gen Xers and Boomers, Millennials are most likely to seek out one-star content.

Household Wealth

According to Statista, the median household income for Millennials was $89,641 in 2022. However, the fact that the average annual expenditure for Millennials in the same year was $74,782 suggests that many are unable to save substantial amounts.

Millennials earn more than prior generations at the same age but they have less wealth. According to financial experts, many Millennials’ wealth is lower because the cost of living has risen faster than wages. Furthermore, unlike previous generations like the Boomers, who often had two incomes in a household due to marrying younger, many Millennials rely on a single income, due to delayed marriage or choosing not to marry at all.

As a generation, Millennials have relatively fewer assets in the United States compared to older generations. Nonetheless, by 2045 Millennials are projected to inherit more than $84 trillion, with an estimated $16 trillion expected to change hands within the 10 years up to 2033.

This wealth transfer is in part due to the fact that baby boomers in the US, despite constituting only 21% of the population, currently hold half of the nation’s $156 trillion in assets.

Level of Debt and Liabilities

According to The Federal Reserve, Millennials carry a total of $5.5 trillion of liabilities. These liabilities encompass various forms of financial obligations, including consumer debt, student loans, mortgages, and other financial commitments. As of Q3 2023, Millennials held the following financial obligations in the respective amounts:

Liability Amount Owing
Home Mortgages $3.66 trillion
Consumer Debt $2.14 trillion
Other $100 billion

These significant figures highlight the financial landscape and challenges faced by the Millennial generation as they navigate various aspects of their financial lives.

Millennials carry $2 trillion in consumer credit, comprising the largest portion of consumer credit and representing about 43% of the total consumer credit market. Furthermore, Millennials hold the second-largest total amount of home mortgages.

These financial obligations and credit holdings of Millennials can have several implications for future generations such as:

  • Impact on lending and credit markets
  • Housing market dynamics
  • Debt management
  • Retirement planning

Student Loan Debt

Data from the Pew Research Center in 2019 showed that approximately 39% of Millennials aged 25 to 37 had attained a bachelor’s degree or higher. However, many Millennials bear a significant share of the country’s debt load and are the most inclined to express concerns about student loan debt affecting young borrowers.

For many Millennials, student loan debt is a major obstacle to building sustainable wealth. A study by researchers at Boston College found that 40% of Millennial households, aged 28 to 38, had student loan debt that was more than 40% of their income.

The percentage of young adult households with student debt doubled from 1998 (when Gen Xers were 20 to 35 years old) to 2016 when Millennials were in that same age range. Additionally, Millennials with student debt had a median debt level nearly 50% higher ($19,000) than their Gen X counterparts when they were young ($12,800).

Millennials collectively owed $482.4 billion in student loan debt as of September 2023. According to US Federal Student Aid (FSA), this generation holds the second-largest share of federal student debt collectively.

In June 2022, 27.7% of older Millennials had debt amounts of $10,000 or lower, while 43.5% of Millennials aged 36 to 41 carried debts totaling $20,000 or less for the same year.

Credit and Millennials

Millennials exhibit distinct preferences when it comes to credit cards. According to a survey from The Motley Fool Ascent, 71% of Millennials are most likely to have a cash-back reward credit card and least likely to have a store or brand-specific credit card compared to both younger and older generations. Credit card types break down as follows:

  • Cash back: 71%
  • Travel rewards: 35%
  • Gas and groceries: 29%
  • Balance transfer: 30%
  • 0 APR%: 28%
  • Secured: 26%
  • Sign-up bonus: 23%
  • Store or brand-specific: 13%
  • Student: 10%

As of Q3 2022, a Millennial’s average FICO Score in the US was 687. According to financial experts, a good FICO score is essential for Millennials because it opens doors to financial opportunities, lowers borrowing costs, and provides financial security.

Emergency Funds and Savings

According to Bankrate’s 2023 survey, 27% of Millennials have no emergency savings. Further:

  • 21% of Millennials have enough to cover 6 months’ expenses or more.
  • 20% of Millennials have 3 to 5 months of expenses covered.
  • 32% of Millennials have some savings, but less than would cover 3 months’ expenses.

More than half of Millennials are uncomfortable with their level of emergency savings. Around 37% of Millennials aged 27 to 42 feel comfortable with their current level of emergency savings, while the majority, comprising 63%, express discomfort with their savings preparedness for unforeseen financial needs.

bankrate comfortable with savings by generation

The Millennial Housing Market


In 2020, the number of Millennial homeowners had increased by 12.6% compared to 2019. Furthermore, despite soaring home prices during the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of Millennial homeowners rose by almost 30% between 2019 and 2022.

There are 18.2 million Millennial homeowners in the US as of 2022. Millennials achieved majority homeownership at an average age of 34 in 2022, slightly later than Gen X at 32 and Baby Boomers at 33.

According to an analysis of census data by RentCafe, in 2022, the percentage of US Millennials who had become homeowners rose to 51.5%. Notably, this increase was significant even in costly metropolitan areas like New York and Los Angeles.

In 2020, 59% of Millennial homebuyers received assistance with their mortgage down payments. According to Lender Tree’s survey, this support came from sources such as parents, family members, friends, employers, or down payment assistance programs.

Downpayment-for-Millennials92% of Millennial homebuyers say inflation has impacted their future homeownership plans. While it presents difficulties, acquiring a home in a high-inflation market remains feasible. However, Millennials are adapting to the expensive economic climate by:

  • Saving more for a home (59%)
  • Planning to spend more on a home (36%)
  • Delaying plans to buy a home (28%)
  • Buying a fixer-upper (26%)
  • Buying a smaller home (25%)


In 2022 there were 17.2 million Millennial renters in the US. Among the most prominent cities for renting were New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

Since 2017, Millennials have seen a decline of nearly 1.4 million renters. However, they still maintained their position as the primary demographic in the rental market, with a total of 17.1 million households in 2022.


Millennial renters are shrinking in numbers and aging each year. Affordability remains their top reason for renting, while the lifestyle benefits of renting have become less significant. Those expecting to rent indefinitely due to homeownership unaffordability have increased from 69% to 74% between 2017 to 2022.


Millennials on Social Media

Social Usage Patterns

Insider Intelligence reported there were 68.5 million Millennial social media users in the US as of 2023. Projections indicate that this figure is expected to climb even further, reaching 69.7 million by 2027, a trend fueled by the enduring appeal of social media as a dynamic platform for communication, connection, and content consumption among this generation.

As per findings from a global survey conducted in 2021, participants identified as Millennials dedicated an average of 2.25 hours daily to online social platforms. Connecting remains a central aspect of social platforms, with 47% of Millennials utilizing social platforms to engage with friends and family. Other reasons include to:

  • Occupy free time (37%)
  • Discover content (33%)
  • See what’s trending (31%)

Millennials enjoy discovering new brands and products on social platforms. Consumers from this generation specifically seek companies that align with their values and purpose. According to GWI’s Social Report, 28% of Millennials use social media to find and purchase products.

Social media is also used by Millennials for customer service inquiries. According to HubSpot, over 25% of Millennials reached out to a brand on social media for customer support in 2022.

The Role of Influencer Marketing in Millennial Consumer Behavior

Millennials were among the first generation to encounter influencer marketing. As early adopters of social platforms, Millennials display a remarkable receptivity to influencers. In 2023, 80% of this generation expressed some degree of trust in them. Additionally, they are 15% more likely than the average consumer to have complete trust in influencers.


User-generated content (UGC) and influencers play a significant role in Millennials’ consumer behavior. Millennials are highly engaged with both UGC and influencers on social media platforms. This generation values authenticity and peer recommendations, which UGC and influencers provide.

Genuineness and authenticity rank as top priorities among followers of influencers, with 88% of Millennials emphasizing the importance of influencers being authentic in a 2019 study and displaying a sincere interest in their followers’ interests.

Furthermore, 50% of Millennials place their trust in the influencers they follow when it comes to product recommendations, whereas only 38% extend the same level of trust to their favorite celebrities.

Prevalent Social Platforms Among Millennials

In August 2023, the largest demographic on Facebook in the US was individuals between the ages of 25 and 34, accounting for 23.6% of the platform’s user base.

Hootsuite’s 2022 Global State of Digital report revealed that approximately 64 million Americans, constituting nearly half of Instagram’s US user base, fall within the Millennial demographic.

Business owners can leverage Instagram as a powerful social media marketing tool through video content. Video marketing on Instagram allows you to visually share new ideas, engage your audience, and convey dynamic, compelling brand messages.


According to GWI’s Millennials report, Facebook held the title of the favorite social media app for 22% of Millennials in 2023. Here are the rest of the rankings for other favorite platforms:

  • Instagram (21%)
  • WhatsApp (21%)
  • TikTok (9%)
  • Twitter (4%)
  • Facebook Messenger (4%)
  • Telegram (3%)
  • Pinterest (2%)
  • Snapchat (2%)
  • Line (2%)

Newer entrants like TikTok are gaining ground and capturing the attention of a notable portion of Millennials. While established platforms like Twitter and Facebook Messenger still hold some appeal, it’s clear that the social media landscape continues to evolve.

Millennials vs. Other Generations

US Wealth of Younger Generations vs. Older Generations

To learn more about US wealth by generation, Visual Capitalist shared Q4 2022 data from the Federal Reserve that breaks down both the assets and liabilities held by each American generation. As demonstrated in the chart below, we can see the distribution of wealth is an important measure of the economic power of each generation.

Please note some financial data on Gen Z may be limited due to their relatively young age, limited financial history, and privacy concerns. Researchers often prioritize studying older generations at more advanced life stages, and detailed data on Gen Z may not be as readily available as for prior generations.

Generation Year Born Population (millions) Mean Income (thousands) Annual Expenditures
Generations Total Assets (trillions) Total Liabilities
Silent Generation before 1946 18.29 $45,519 $52,005 $18.6 $0.8
Baby Boomer 1946-1964 68.59 $73,086 $66,362 $78.1 $5.1
Gen X 1965-1980 65.37 $108,615 $91,382 $46.0 $7.0
Millennials 1981-1996 72.24 $89,641 $74,782 $13.3 $5.5
Gen Z 1997-2012 69.58 $46,618 $47,975 x x

Gen Z and Millennials

Social Media Usage Among Young Adults

In 2027, the combined number of Gen Z and Millennial social network users in the US is set to reach 135.5 million individuals. This figure represents more than half of the entire US social network user base.

Gen Z will witness the most rapid growth in social network users, with an estimated CAGR of nearly 4% from 2023 to 2027. In contrast, Insider Intelligence predicts that other generations are anticipated to demonstrate slower growth or, in some cases, a decline in social network users.


According to a 2023 report by Morning Consult, the shares of Gen Zers and Millennials who said they trust social media influencers grew from 51% in 2019 to 61% in 2023. A different 2019 report shows that 72% of Gen Z and Millennials follow influencers for the following reasons:

  • Inspiration and aspiration
  • Voyeurism
  • Learning about new trends
  • Interesting, fun, content

YouTube stands as the preferred platform for both Gen Z and Millennial men, whereas Instagram holds the top spot as the favorite app among Gen Z and Millennial women.


Young Adults Love Online Shopping

Gen Z and Millennials are increasingly embracing online shopping. In a 2020 Kibo survey for Business Wire, it was discovered that 30% of Gen Z and 36% of Millennials intend to reduce their in-store shopping. Convenience drives 55% of Millennials to shop online, while 51% of Gen Z prioritize online shopping for price comparisons.

Both generations like to shop for fashion online. In fact, according to a 2020 report by Draper, 39.6% of Gen Z and 39.7% of Millennials favor shopping with online retailers over physical stores.

Boomers and Gen X vs. Millennials

Adaptation to Tech

Millennials have consistently been at the forefront of technological adoption and usage in comparison to previous generations, a trend that continues to shape the digital landscape today. However, there has been substantial growth in tech adoption among older generations since 2012, particularly among Gen Xers and Baby Boomers.

According to a survey by Pew Research Center, over 93% of Millennials were smartphone owners in 2019. Additionally, smartphone ownership among previous generations highlights the substantial adaptation of technology among Millennials compared to their older counterparts:

  • 90% of Gen Xers – those aged 39 to 54 at the time – owned a phone
  • 68% of Baby Boomers – aged 55 to 73 – owned a phone
  • 40% of the Silent Generation – aged 74 to 91 – owned a phone

Pew Research Center data also revealed that while various generations exhibit differences in their technology adoption, younger internet users hold a more positive view of the internet’s societal impact compared to their older counterparts. Specifically, 73% of online Millennials believed that the internet had predominantly benefited society, in contrast to 63% of users from the Silent Generation.

Silent Generation vs. Millennials College Education Attainment

Young adults in the 2020s possess significantly higher levels of college education compared to their grandparents, with the percentage of those holding a bachelor’s degree or higher steadily increasing since 1968.

Among Millennials, approximately 39% of young adults aged 25 to 37 had attained at least a bachelor’s degree in 2019. This stands in contrast to the Silent Generation, where only 15% had similar educational achievements at the same age, with Baby Boomers and Gen Xers also lagging behind with lower rates of educational attainment during their youth.


Educational attainment has shown significant growth, particularly among Millennial women. During the Silent Generation, only 11% of women had a college degree or higher education between the ages of 25 and 37 in 1968. In contrast, Millennial women are approximately 43% more likely to have attained such educational levels at the same age as their Silent Generation counterparts.

Millennial men also exhibit higher education prowess, with about 36% holding at least a bachelor’s degree, nearly double the proportion of Silent Generation men (19%) during their equivalent age range.

The Future of Millennials

In conclusion, Millennials are shaping the future landscape of consumer behavior and digital trends in profound ways. Their preference for online shopping, demand for authenticity in influencer marketing, and reliance on social media underscore their role as a driving force in today’s market.

As they continue to age and gain more financial stability, their impact on various industries is poised to grow even more, making it crucial for businesses to adapt and cater to their preferences and values.


What are the trends for Millennials?

What are Millennials known for?

What’s the difference between Gen Z style and Millennial style?