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Business News/ News / India/  How India’s millennials spend
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How India’s millennials spend

Millennials are much more likely to buy cars, apartments, and consumer durables compared to any other demographic

Photo: Pradeep Gaur/MintPremium
Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

MUMBAI/NEW DELHI : Millennials have been the favourite explanation behind the demise of many business models and economic phenomena. Over the past few years, millennials have been blamed for killing pretty much everything --- from the 9-to-5 routine to restaurant chains to the oil industry. In a humorous take on the ‘rampaging’ millennials, a recent interactive from the American data visualization website listed thousands of things or phenomena millennials have supposedly killed.

Yet, at least in India, millennials remain the key drivers of consumer markets. And contrary to perceptions, they are very much interested in buying cars and apartments, data from the third and latest round of the YouGov-Mint Millennial Survey show.

The survey conducted between mid-September and mid-October shows that millennials are much more likely to purchase high-value assets such as apartments or cars compared to either pre-millennials or post-millennials in the coming year. When it comes to two-wheelers, post-millennials edge out millennials.

Millennials refer to those who have attained adulthood in the early twenty first century, and grew up at a time when the world increasingly became digitally connected. In this analysis, millennials refer to those born between 1981 and 1996 (aged 23 to 38 years now). Those born after 1996 (aged 22 years or below) are referred to as the post-millennials or Gen Z. The rest have been classified as pre-millennials. Together, millennials and post-millennials account for roughly half of India’s adult population.

Millennials are also more likely to purchase consumer durables such as TV sets or refrigerators compared to other cohorts. Post-millennials are typically poorer than millennials, and some of them are still students. Hence, the disparity between millennials and post-millennials.

Pre-millennials among urban online Indians are typically wealthier than millennials but are likely to have already purchased many of these items. That perhaps explains the gap between millennials and pre-millennials when it comes to buying intention over the next year.

The third round of the YouGov-Mint Millennial Survey was conducted online and solicited the views of 9,324 respondents across 180 towns and cities. Of these, 4908 were millennials, 1888 pre-millennials, and 2528 post-millennials. The YouGov-Mint Millennial Surveys aim to examine the attitudes and outlook of India’s digital natives.

Among millennials, it is the richer lot who are more likely to make high-value purchases or buy consumer durables. Richer millennials and those belonging to richer households. The difference in spending intention across income classes is particularly stark when it comes to cars. Even among post-millennials, the richer lot are likely to spend more, the data suggests.

Unsurprisingly, the financially secure respondents are more likely to spend more compared to the financially insecure. Here, those who are unsure of their financial position or expect it to deteriorate in the coming years have been classified as financially insecure. Those who expect their financial position to improve or remain the same have been classified as financially secure.

The survey results suggest that millennials are not very big spenders when it comes to spending on travel and vacations. When it comes to vacation spending, post-millennials outspend millennials. In fact, millennials seem to be spending less on vacations compared to even pre-millennials, the oldest cohort which includes all respondents above the age of 38.

One reason for this could be young children. Millennials are much more likely to have young children compared to either pre-millennials or post-millennials, which make travel difficult.

As with other spending, household income and vacation spending are closely tied, the data shows, with more prosperous respondents spending more on vacations.

When it comes to routine monthly expenses, there is hardly any difference between the age-cohorts. Pre-millennials spend slightly more on groceries whereas millennials and post-millennials spend slightly more on clothing and luxury items. Post-millennials spend significantly more on education on average.

But other than these differences, there is no stark difference in the share of routine monthly expenses across age-cohorts. The difference between age-cohorts lies largely in how they make purchases, with millennials and post-millennials preferring to order online, as a previous round of the YouGov-Mint Millennial Survey showed. That survey also showed that young men are more likely to order gadgets online while young women are more likely to order clothes and accessories online.

This is the second of a five-part data journalism series on how millennials are coping with the economic slowdown.

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Published: 24 Nov 2019, 09:49 PM IST
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