So much for the joy of youth. Two new studies highlight the unique struggles of millennial and Gen Z consumers, both around the world and here in the U.S
Much of their pain stems from economics, with the findings from the Deloitte Global Millennial Study underscoring that due to a dismal coming-of-age job market, they are keenly aware of how few financial goals they’ve accomplished relative to other generations.
Meanwhile, a new report from the Hartman Group finds that stress and anxiety have taken over these two cohorts’ top health concern, booting the persistent problem of overweight from the No 1 spot.
The Deloitte research is based on more than 13,400 millennials in 42 countries and more than 3,000 Z-ers in 10 countries. It finds that among young people around the world, economic, social and political optimism is at record lows.
People are expressing a strong lack of faith in traditional societal institutions, including mass media, and don’t expect much progress. Both groups are disillusioned, expressing dissatisfaction with their money situation, jobs, government, the way their data is used — and their lives in general.
Only 26% expect economics in their homelands to get better in the year ahead. That’s not just a record low, but shockingly so. Deloitte says that stat has never fallen below 40%, and came in at 45% two years ago.
Traveling and seeing the world is their top ambition, at 57% for both groups, while fewer say they hope to have a family — just 39% of millennials and 45% of Gen Z.
Climate and the environment is the top concern, and these cohorts have little trust in the role of businesses to try and help improve that issue.
They’re paying closer attention to how brands behave, with 42% of millennials saying they have either started or deepened a business relationship because they think a company's products or services have a positive impact on society or the environment. Thirty-seven percent have ditched or diminished a relationship because of a company’s behavior.
Their love/hate relationship with social media is also growing, with 60% of millennials and 59% of Z-ers saying they’d be happier if they spent less time on social media, while 64% and 63%, respectively, think taking that step would make them physically healthier
The Hartman Group’s new report focuses on perceptions of physical health. And while anxiety now tops overweight among all age groups, it’s highest in younger consumers. The market research company finds that 63% of all respondents are taking steps to either treat or prevent anxiety or stress. That compares to 61% of consumers who say they are treating or preventing being overweight.
Gen Z is, by far, the most likely to name anxiety and stress as an issue, at 75%. Millennials are next, at 69%, followed by Gen X, 65% and baby boomers, 52%. Women of all ages are more likely to say it’s a problem, at 68%, compared to men, at 57%.