Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Millennials and Finance market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Key points included

  • Millennials defy easy categorization
  • Millennials are family-oriented
  • Debt is a burden and a stressor

Covered in this report

This report examines the behaviors and attitudes of Millennials as concerns the financial services industry. The report includes the following information about Millennials:

  • Current financial incentives, priorities, and satisfaction
  • Financial habits and attitudes
  • Attitudes toward debt, homeownership, children, and retirement

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Chris Shadle, a leading analyst in the Financial Services sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Millennials are the generation born between 1977 and 1994, who in 2019 are between the ages of 25 and 42. Millennials are now the largest consumer generation, with roughly 79 million members, and their incredible diversity presents both challenges and opportunities for brands and marketers Chris Shadle
Financial Services Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Overview
          • Themes
            • Millennials defy easy categorization
              • Figure 1: Millennial breakdown by key demographics, April 2019
            • Millennials are family-oriented
              • Figure 2: View of Millennial parents toward children and finances, April 2019
            • Debt is a burden and a stressor
              • Figure 3: Attitudes toward debt, April 2019
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • What is a Millennial, anyway?
                • Millennials are more diverse than any previous generation
                  • Consumer debt keeps on soaring
                    • Education levels are at an all-time high, with diminishing returns
                      • Children and homeownership often take the back seat
                      • Millennial Demographics

                        • Millennials are the largest consumer generation
                          • Figure 4: Millennial breakdown by key demographics, April 2019
                        • The Millennial generation is not a monolith
                          • Figure 5: Millennial breakdown by key demographics, April 2019
                        • Millennials are the most diverse generation yet
                          • Figure 6: Generation composition, race and Hispanic origin, 2018
                      • Market Factors

                        • Non-housing consumer debt exceeds $4 trillion for first time in history
                          • Figure 7: Consumer debt balance, non-housing debt, Q4 2003-Q4 2018
                          • Figure 8: How extra money is spent – Paying off debt, by age, February 2019
                        • Education and income levels are inextricably linked
                          • Figure 9: Educational attainment of 25-to-37 year olds (%), by generation, 1968-2018
                          • Figure 10: Median adjusted household income of households headed by 25-to-37 year olds, in 2017 dollars, by generation
                        • Millennial unemployment quite high, especially among women
                          • Figure 11: Millennial breakdown by employment status and gender, April 2019
                        • Women are waiting longer to have children
                          • Figure 12: Average age of mother at first birth, 1990-17
                        • Homeownership levels still impacted by recession, but Millennials are hopeful
                          • Figure 13: Homeownership rate for the United States – Percent, not seasonally adjusted, Jan 2000-Jan 2019
                      • Key Trends – What You Need to Know

                        • Millennials pose a conundrum for marketers
                          • Budgeting and taking tough love are not strong suits
                            • Digital future
                            • Trends Affecting Millennials

                              • Millennials are Redefining Adulthood
                                • Switching Off: what’s good for the psyche is bad for the marketer
                                  • Millennials are philanthropic, care about Moral Brands
                                    • Figure 14: Brand representation of values, top factors, March 2019
                                    • Figure 15: Top factors of trust, October 2018
                                • Sore Subjects

                                  • “Don’t ask me about my budget…”
                                    • Figure 16: Millennial budget habits, by region, April 2019
                                  • “…or tell me how to spend my money”
                                    • Figure 17: Chase Tweet, April 29, 2019
                                  • “I don’t trust the man”
                                    • Figure 18: Millennial attitudes toward finances, various topics, by gender, April 2019
                                • What’s New and What’s Next?

                                  • Millennial mindset may undercut traditional banking fixtures
                                    • Mobile wallet inflection point may be around the corner
                                      • Figure 19: Mobile wallet usage, by gender and age, April 2019
                                    • Financial products reflect desire for sustainability
                                    • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                      • Family is the focus
                                        • Budget deficit
                                          • Young Millennial men are using mobile wallets
                                            • Debt is a serious burden
                                              • Women are stressed about retirement (men aren’t much better)
                                              • Financial Incentives and Priorities

                                                • Millennials are doing it for their families
                                                  • Figure 20: Millennial incentives for making money, April 2019
                                                  • Figure 21: Bank of America, eNewsletter, January 2019
                                                • Paying bills and saving for emergencies top the list
                                                  • Figure 22: Millennial financial priorities, April 2019
                                              • Financial Habits

                                                • Budgeting is not a priority – with a surprising regional twist
                                                  • Figure 23: Millennial budget habits, by region, April 2019
                                                • Better credit is correlated with better habits
                                                  • Figure 24: Tendency to save/spend, by credit score, April 2019
                                                • Rural consumers less likely to save, more likely to spend
                                                  • Figure 25: Tendency to save/spend, by area, April 2019
                                                • Nearly 1 in 5 Millennial men use a mobile wallet
                                                  • Figure 26: Mobile wallet usage, by gender and age, April 2019
                                                  • Figure 27: M&T Bank, loyalty email, December 2018
                                              • Financial Attitudes

                                                • Millennials value experiences over things
                                                  • Figure 28: Attitudes toward money, by level of education, April 2019
                                                • Millennial men are significantly more financially confident
                                                  • Figure 29: Gender disparities in financial attitudes, April 2019
                                                • Most Millennials think they’ve had it tougher than their parents
                                                  • Figure 30: Millennial exceptionalism, April 2019
                                                • Millennials averse to investing and large corporations, especially for Hispanics
                                                  • Figure 31: Millennial attitudes toward corporate finance, by race and ethnicity, April 2019
                                              • Financial Satisfaction

                                                • In most financial areas, Millennial satisfaction barely exceeds 50%
                                                  • Figure 32: Financial satisfaction, aspects with highest satisfaction, April 2019
                                                • On several key areas, Millennials are nearly as dissatisfied as satisfied…
                                                  • Figure 33: Satisfaction with key financial metrics, April 2019
                                                  • Figure 34: Citibank, Cross-sell offer, May 2019
                                                • …and the gap is tighter among women
                                                  • Figure 35: Satisfaction with key financial metrics among women, April 2019
                                              • Debt

                                                • Debt overview – Millennials are stressed, and trying various options
                                                  • Figure 36: Attitudes toward debt, April 2019
                                                • Debt is a serious stressor, and education is a factor
                                                  • Figure 37: Attitudes toward debt, by education level, April 2019
                                                • “Keeping up with the Joneses” is a problem for some Millennial men and Hispanics
                                                  • Figure 38: Attitudes toward debt, by gender and Hispanic origin, April 2019
                                              • Homeownership and Children

                                                • Almost half of Millennial homeowners see their property as a good investment
                                                  • Figure 39: Satisfaction with current home purchase, by region, April 2019
                                                  • Figure 40: Satisfaction with current home purchase, by region, April 2019
                                                • Nearly one third of Millennials think buying a home was easier for their parents
                                                  • Figure 41: Millennial attitudes toward homeownership, April 2019
                                                • Children are stressful, costly
                                                  • Figure 42: View of Millennial parents toward children and finances, April 2019
                                                • Millennial men have been waiting to become fathers for financial reasons
                                                  • Figure 43: View of Millennial parents toward children and finances, by gender, April 2019
                                              • Retirement

                                                • The prospect of retirement is more stressful for Millennial women
                                                  • Figure 44: Millennial attitudes toward retirement, by gender, April 2019
                                                • Parents more likely to have met with advisor, but also to have prematurely withdrawn from 401(k)
                                                  • Figure 45: Financial behavior of Millennial parents, April 2019
                                              • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                • Data sources
                                                  • Consumer survey data
                                                    • Consumer qualitative research
                                                      • Direct marketing creative
                                                        • Abbreviations and terms
                                                          • Abbreviations

                                                          About the report

                                                          This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.


                                                          Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.


                                                          Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.


                                                          Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.


                                                          Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our tables of data are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

                                                          Below is a sample report, understand what you are buying.

                                                          Click to show report

                                                          Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted. Also, our reports come in PDF, Powerpoint, Word and Excel Databook formats.

                                                          Trusted by companies. Big and small.

                                                          Bell Logo - Mintel client
                                                          Boots Logo - Mintel Client
                                                          Kelloggs Logo - Mintel client
                                                          Samsung Logo - Mintel client
                                                          Nike Logo - Mintel client
                                                          Walgreens Logo - Mintel client

                                                          Want to speak to us directly?

                                                          Contact us on via phone or fill out a form with your enquiry.

                                                          Contact Us