Millennials Show Above-Average Propensity to Identify as “Spenders”

March 4, 2013

This article is included in these additional categories:

Boomers & Older | Local & Directories / Small Biz | Social Media | Youth & Gen X

Scarborough-American-Spenders-v-Savers-by-Generation-Mar2013Compared to the average adult, American Millennials (18-29) are more likely to view themselves as “spenders” rather than “savers,” according to new data from Scarborough. Among Spenders (the 9% of adults who “mostly agree” with the statement “I am a spender rather than a saver”), 23% are Millennials (18-29), while among self-identified Savers (the 29% of adults who “mostly disagree” with the above statement), only 17% are Millennials. All told, Spenders are 13% more likely than the average US adult to be Millennials.

By contrast, the Silent Generation (65 and older) accounts for 24% of Savers, compared to 18% of Spenders.

To some extent, those results follow the generational breakdown of affluent households. According to research released last year by Ipsos, Millennials account for 1 in 5 adults living in affluent households, while seniors (67 and older) account for only 5%. Still, the Scarborough findings stand somewhat in contrast to survey results from WSL/Strategic Retail released last year, which found 1 in 4 18-34-year-olds saying they do not have enough money to cover their basic needs. (Perhaps because they spend too much?)

Meanwhile, the Scarborough study also breaks down the top cities for Spenders and Savers. Interestingly, the top 3 cities for Spenders are located in the MidWest. They are: Chicago, IL (residents are 33% more likely than the national average to identify as Spenders); Milwaukee, WI (31% more likely to be Spenders); and Green Bay, WI (28% more likely to be Spenders).

There is less geographical concentration among Savers, though. The top 3 cities on that list are: Fort Myers, FL (19% more likely than average to be Savers); Des Moines, IA (17% more likely to be Savers); and El Paso, TX (12% more likely to be Savers).

Other Findings:

  • Spenders are 15% more likely than the average adult to spend 3 or more hours per day social networking.
  • Spenders are 25% more likely to feel that social networking is important for finding out about products and services.
  • 26% of Spenders listen to Pop Contemporary Hit radio.
  • On TV, Spenders are 26% more likely than the average US adult to watch the BET network, and 16% more likely to watch reality/dating shows.

About the Data: The data is from Scarborough USA+, Release 1, 2012 – Scarborough/GfK MRI Attitudinal Insights Data. Scarborough measures 210,000 adults aged 18+ annually across a wide variety of media, lifestyle, shopping and demographic categories.

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