What Do Millennials Like To Do With Their Free Time?

ULILachman-Millennials-Uses-of-Free-Time-May2013Among Millennials (ages 18-35), men and women display different priorities when it comes to their preferred pastimes, according to [pdf] survey results from the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and Lachman Associates. Presented with a list of uses of free time and asked to select up to 5 favorite activities, a leading 58% of men said they watch TV, with about 4 in 10 saying they listen to or play music (43%), play computer games (42%), spend time with friends (41%) and spend time with family (38%). Among women, spending time with family (57%) is most popular, closely followed by watching TV (54%), with reading (47%), spending time with friends (43%), and listening to or playing music (39%) rounding out the top 5 most frequent activities. It’s interesting to note that TV remains a popular free-time activity among Millennials: recent signs are that Millennials are moving their video viewing to other screens, although traditional TV remains their primary viewing source.

The ULI survey results did not identify online browsing as an activity: the only online activities to be selected by at least 20% of the total sample were social networking (28% men; 33% women) and shopping online (16% men; 21% women).

Interestingly, men were more likely to cite shopping online (16%) than shopping in stores (11%) as a frequent use of their free time, while the opposite was true for female respondents (21% and 24%, respectively). Separately, the study shows that in-store shopping remains popular among this young demographic.

Other Findings:

  • 1 in 4 Millennial men like to use their free time to go to the gym, exercise, or engage in indoor sports. 17% of women concurred.
  • Asked their favorite places to get together with friends, two-thirds of respondents said they like to do so at their home or their friends’ homes, while 59% indicated a restaurant, 30% a bar, and 28% a shopping center.
  • 3 in 4 respondents go out to the movies. Among movie-goers, 70% of men go at least once a month, as do 53% of women.
  • Slightly more than 6 in 10 Millennials go out to clubs. However, among those who do, only 1 in 4 do so more than once a month.

About the Data: In January 2013, ULI and Lachman Associates conducted a nationally representative online survey of 1,251 Gen-Yers to gauge their retail, dining, and entertainment preferences.