HomePersonal Finance Resources26 Key Millennial Spending Statistics Marketers Should Know

26 Key Millennial Spending Statistics Marketers Should Know

Last updated 29th Nov 2022
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Millennials are the most coveted age group among businesses and marketers, but their consumer habits are vastly different from other generations. In this overview of millennial spending statistics, we’ll examine how well-off millennials really are. We’ll take a closer look at their spending and shopping habits to learn what they spend most of their money on. Finally, we’ll discuss how indebted millennials are and how that reflects on their finances and lifestyle.

Top 10 Millennial Spending Statistics and Facts for 2022

  • US millennials hold $9.38 trillion in household wealth.

  • An average US millennial makes $84,795 a year.

  • Millennials spend an average of $208.77 daily.

  • 48% of millennials say their spending has increased due to COVID-19.

  • Groceries and food are millennials’ biggest expenditures.

  • 40.6% of millennial digital shoppers use the “buy now, pay later” option.

  • 25% of millennials do most or all of their grocery shopping online.

  • Millennials spent $38 per month on streaming in 2021.

  • US millennials owe $500.5 billion in student debt.

  • An average millennial had a credit card debt of $4,322 in 2021.

Millennial Financial Statistics

Millennials are America’s largest generation.

According to the latest census data, the US population comprises 72.1 million people born between 1981 and 1996. That’s more than 71.6 million baby boomers (1946–1964) and 65.2 million Gen-Xers (1965–1980). Researchers predict Gen-Xers will surpass boomers to take second place by 2028, but millennials will remain the country’s most numerous age group.

(Pew Research Center)

US millennials hold $9.38 trillion in household wealth.

Despite being the most numerous generation in the country, millennial statistics reveal they only hold 6.65% of the US household wealth. Boomers have most of it ($71.08 trillion), and Gen-Xers are second with $42.16 trillion. Americans from the so-called silent generation (1928–1945) are also ahead of millennials, with $18.48 trillion in household wealth.

(Federal Reserve)

American millennials have a spending power of $2.5 trillion.

Even in 2020, when this data was taken, the US millennials’ annual expenditures had exceeded analysts’ expectations. For context, millennials spent a total of $0.6 trillion in 2013 — marking a 316.7% increase over just seven years. While Gen-Xers and boomers are still outspending millennials, experts predict this will change, especially as millennials’ income gradually rises.

(YPulse, Statista, McKinsey & Company)

An average US millennial’s income is $84,795 a year.

Millennials’ earnings align with the national household average of $84,352. Only Gen-Xers have a higher annual household income at $113,445. As for other generations, baby boomers make $78,508 per year, the silent generation makes $41,876, and Gen-Zers — most of whom are only entering the workforce — have an annual household income of $38,635.

(Statista)

Millennials spend an average of $208.77 daily.

This translates to $5,845.56 per month or $70,146.72 per year. According to millennial spending stats, they have the highest daily expenditures of all age groups. Older Gen-Xers are in a close second with $202.48 per day, while younger Gen-Xers are in third with $189.13 daily. Boomers’ spending is also significant — younger members of this age group spend $178.01, and older ones spend $135.73 per day. Meanwhile, Gen-Zers spend just $92.13 daily.

(Sunmark Credit Union)

73% of millennials say they are saving money.

While their expenditures don’t leave much room for saving, 73% say they still save money for significant life events and milestones. A recent survey of millennial saving habits reveals that 75% are already saving for retirement, while more than half (51%) want to have money handy in case of emergencies. Overall, 59% of those who save money say they have $15,000 or more in savings. Even more impressively, 24% say they’ve already saved up $100,000 or more.

(Bank of America)

The unemployment rate among millennials is below 10%.

In 2020, 9.5% of Americans aged 25–29 and 7.4% of those aged 30–34 were unemployed. While the global pandemic led to a massive increase in unemployment over 2019 (4.1% and 3.3%, respectively), millennials fared much better than Gen-Zers (14.9% unemployment rate).

(Statista)

48.6% of US millennials are homeowners.

Looking more closely at millennial home buying statistics, 60% of those aged 40 and over own a home. Interestingly, when they were 40, 64% of today’s Gen-Xers, 68% of boomers, and 73% of silence were homeowners. This speaks to what many economists have long been claiming — several recessions over the past few decades have had a lasting negative impact on millennials’ financial standing. To that point, 22% of millennials don’t think they’ll ever be homeowners.

(Apartment List)

Millennials’ Spending Habits

48% of millennials say their spending has increased due to COVID-19.

For comparison, only 34% of Gen-Xers and 30% of older consumers said the same. A lot of this has to do with shifting buying habits during the pandemic. To that point, 30% of millennials say they currently spend significantly more online than before the pandemic struck. And with prices going up across the board, 40% of millennials say they had to increase their food spending.

(Clutch)

Groceries and food are millennials’ biggest expenditures.

In a survey examining how millennials spend their money, 83% cited groceries as their biggest expense. Other significant expenditures include dining out (71%), car maintenance (69%), household supplies (59%), and clothing and accessories (51%). It’s also interesting to note that 33% of surveyed millennials listed alcoholic drinks among their top monthly expenses.

(YPulse)

Millennials were most likely to buy home furnishings in 2021.

As they settle down and find a place to live, buying furniture and other home furnishings is among the most prominent millennial purchasing trends. According to research, 88.2% of US millennials planned to buy these products in 2021. That puts them well ahead of Gen-Zers (74.8%), Gen-Xers (69.3%), and baby boomers (59.7%).

(Statista)

32% of US pet owners are millennials.

Baby boomers are second at 27%, Gen-Xers are third at 24%, and Gen-Zers are fourth at 14%. Despite the differences in ownership rates, all age groups had one thing in common — they planned to spend less on pet supplies in 2022. This is true for 33% of millennials, 42% of Gen-Zers, 22% of Gen-Xers, and 15% of baby boomers.

(Statista)

40.6% of millennial digital shoppers use the “buy now, pay later” option.

Recent data on millennial spending habits shows that two out five millennials use this option. Meanwhile, Gen-Zers are most likely to use “buy now, pay later” payments at 47.4%. Other age groups are more careful about amassing debt — just 30.9% of Gen-Xers and 14.9% of baby boomers say they use this feature when buying products online.

(Statista)

Millennials are most likely to treat themselves and splurge on luxuries.

According to a 2021 survey of the shopping habits of US millennials, 68% planned to splurge on luxuries and treat themselves following the COVID-19 pandemic. This attitude is more prevalent in younger people, as 59% of Gen-Zers planned to do the same. And while Gen-Xers are not far behind at 48%, boomers are more budget-conscious — only 35% planned to indulge themselves when shopping in 2021.

(Statista)

Millennials’ Online Shopping Statistics

Millennials are the most avid online shoppers.

While only 9% of US millennials shop exclusively in brick-and-mortar stores, 91% are at least occasional online shoppers. Gen-Xers (90%) and Gen-Zers (89%) follow closely. Unsurprisingly, older generations aren’t as prone to online shopping — 81% of boomers and 76% of the silents shop online. This means that nearly one in four (24%) of the silents shop exclusively in-store.

(Jungle Scout)

75% of millennials shop for items on Amazon.

Walmart (46%) is their second favorite online retailer, and eBay (20%) is in third place. Further millennial online shopping statistics reveal that 10% of them shop on Amazon seven times or more per week, while 47% buy something there at least once a week. As for why they use Amazon, the majority cite user ratings and reviews and low prices as their key motivators.

(Jungle Scout)

25% of millennials do most or all of their grocery shopping online.

The COVID-19 pandemic changed an average millennial’s grocery shopping habits. While millennials have always been avid online shoppers, one in four (25%) now says they buy all or most of their groceries on the internet — up from just 14% before the pandemic. At the same time, 32% of millennials living in urban areas get most of their groceries online, which is also true for 21% of those living in rural areas and 20% of those living in suburban areas.

(Morning Consult)

US millennials spend $112 a month on gaming.

According to millennial consumer statistics, $72 of that sum goes towards digital downloads and subscriptions, while only about $40 goes towards physical purchases. In terms of total spend on this pastime, millennials are far ahead of Gen-Zers ($92) and Gen-Xers ($59). And while 70% of millennials play games on their phones, 60% use consoles, and only 30% use computers.

(Game World Observer)

Millennials spent $38 per month on streaming in 2021.

At the height of the global pandemic in 2020, millennials were spending an average of $36.5 on streaming. A year later, their spending had increased by 4.1%, but the number of services they subscribe to (three) has remained the same. Looking at the streaming-related spending habits of millennials, 77% have a Netflix subscription. Other popular streaming services include Hulu (35%), Amazon Prime Video (29%), Disney+ (29%), HBO Max (20%), and Paramount+ (16%).

(Bloomberg)

39% of millennials believe they spend too much on delivery services.

At the same time, 48% of Gen-Zers say they tend to overspend on delivery. In all, 89% of US millennials use delivery services, costing them a total of $208 a month — more than Gen-Zers ($206), Gen-Xers ($151), and baby boomers ($79). Food delivery is the most popular category among millennials, with more than 20% of them subscribing to a meal kit delivery service.

(LendingTree)

Other Millennial Consumer Trends

30% of millennials say they’re loyal to brands and not products.

This makes millennials the age group most likely to be loyal to a specific brand. To that point, even though they’re fairly young, 60% of US millennials say they’ve been loyal to at least one brand for 10 or more years. Moreover, 70% of millennials claim they’ll go out of their way if necessary to buy products from the brands they like and trust.

(InMoment)

60% of millennials value socially conscious brands.

A recent survey of millennials’ money habits found that 60% would support large companies that have taken good care of their workers and made a positive societal impact during the global pandemic. Millennials are also socially conscious themselves — a staggering 80% said they would start prioritizing products from small local businesses as soon as the pandemic was over.

(Deloitte)

81% of millennials would spend more if a company offered rewards.

But even though 78% say they’d switch to another company with a better loyalty program, 61% prefer donating their rewards to a good cause rather than claiming them for themselves. And while 55% of millennials believe they already belong to too many loyalty programs, 61% say they’re drawn to brands that offer creative rewards instead of traditional reward points.

(KPMG, Merkle)

Millennial Debt Statistics

US millennials owe $500.5 billion in student debt.

With Gen-Xers owing $601.7 billion, millennials have the second largest collective student debt. Statistics reveal that one in three millennials has ongoing student debt, and 25% say that this debt is preventing them from moving out of their current residence. California is the US state with the largest millennial student loan debt — $50.09 billion between 1.45 million borrowers.

(Education Data Initiative)

An average millennial had a credit card debt of $4,322 in 2021.

While millennials rank third behind Gen-Xers ($7,165) and boomers ($6,043), their average credit card debt was up by 22% over 2020. The inflation and the skyrocketing food and gas prices are negatively impacting an average millennial’s buying power. With this in mind, experts predict that the rate of credit card delinquencies could reach 8.4% in 2022’s first quarter.

(CNBC, Business Insider)

58% of US millennials live paycheck-to-paycheck.

Just 31% of millennials said they have enough savings to live for three months, and 48% said they couldn’t pay their rent if they missed a paycheck. Additionally, while an average American could live for 10 weeks without a paycheck, millennials could only manage for 7 weeks.

(MagnifyMoney)

Millennial Spending Statistics FAQ

How much money do millennials have?

US millennials hold $9.38 trillion in household wealth. This accounts for just 6.65% of the total household wealth — less than any other generation. As for their collective spending power, it currently stands at $2.5 trillion.

(Federal Reserve, YPulse)

What generation is spending the most?

With an average daily spend of $208.77, millennials spend more than other age groups. Meanwhile, older Gen-Xers spend $202.48 and younger Gen-Xers $189.13 per day. Whereas younger boomers spend $178.01, older boomers spend $135.73 daily. Gen-Zers spend the least — just $92.13 per day.

(Sunmark Credit Union)

How much do millennials spend per month?

Millennial spending stats reveal this age group spends $5,845.56 per month or $70,146.72 per year.

(Sunmark Credit Union)

What do millennials spend the most money on?

Most of millennials’ money goes towards buying food and groceries, which 83% cite among their top 10 expenses. Other top expenditures include take-out (71%), car repairs (69%), household supplies (59%), and clothing (51%).

(YPulse)

What are millennials buying online?

In a recent survey, 25% of US millennials said they bought most or all of their groceries online. Additionally, 89% of millennials use delivery services. They also spend on gaming ($112 per month) and streaming ($38 per month).

(Morning Consult, LendingTree, Game World Observer, Bloomberg)

Millennial Spending Habits in 2022: The Takeaway

Although they’re more numerous than any other age group in the US, millennials hold just 6.65% of the total household wealth. Decades of economic hardships have put them at a serious disadvantage compared to other generations. What’s more, their indebtedness is negatively affecting their lifestyle and preventing them from making big steps in life.

Yet despite all this, millennials have considerable spending power and a high average income. Millennial spending statistics show they’re not prone to overspending and are also very likely to have at least some money saved up for emergencies. And even though marketers may find their shopping habits hard to pin down, millennials are most likely to be loyal to a specific brand.

Sources:

Radovan Sekulic

Radovan Sekulic

Radovan is a journalism graduate with years of experience as a writer and editor. He loves dabbling in numbers and percentages, interpreting data, and trying to make sense of seemingly complex information and turning this into digestible articles. He is also a pop culture aficionado with boomer taste, and if he's not watching movies or reading on current events, he's probably busy getting cat hair off his furniture.