(Photo: iStock)
(Photo: iStock)

What really matters to millennials, Gen Z

  • Travel and seeing the world is the top priority for 57% of millennials and members of Generation Z around the world
  • In its Global Millennial Survey 2019, Deloitte has mapped the changing life priorities of these two cohorts of young people

New Delhi: Starting a family, buying homes and other traditional markers of achievement are no longer coveted by millennials and Gen Z, whose habits have been an obsession for marketers seeking to tap their spending power.

In its Global Millennial Survey 2019, Deloitte has mapped the changing life priorities of these two cohorts of young people (Gen Z: those born between 1995 and 2002; and millennials: those born between 1983 and 1994) and their perception of society and work.

Fifty-seven per cent of both age groups surveyed globally said travel and seeing the world was top priority for them, while slightly fewer than half said they wanted to own a home (49%). Women (62%) were more interested in seeing the world compared to men (51%).

Priorities are slightly different in India, although they are just as unconventional. As many as 57% of millennials in India aspire to make positive contributions to society (46% globally). This is followed by their desire to earn a high salary (50%). Gen Z, on the other hand, first wants to be wealthy (68%), followed by travelling the world (60%).

The Deloitte survey is based on the views of 13,416 millennials surveyed across 42 countries and territories, and 3,009 members of Gen Z from 10 countries, including India, the US, the UK, China and Japan.


Growing up at a time marked by social, political and economic commotion has filled these generations with distrust rather than optimism, the report said. In the US, for example, millennials entering the workforce around or post the economic recession have lower real incomes and fewer assets than previous generations at comparable ages, as well as higher levels of debt. The cumulative effect has altered a wide variety of financial decisions. The idea is that disaster could hit anytime, so these generations are either putting off big moments or looking to explore the world before it all falls apart.

“The past decade has been marked by a steep rise in economic inequality, a reduction in societal safety nets, insular and dysfunctional governments, increased tribalism fuelled by social media, radical changes in the contract between employers and employees. The impact of myriad, radical changes to our daily lives has hit younger generations hard—economically, socially, and perhaps psychologically," said the report.

Fifty-two per cent of millennials and 56% of Gen Z surveyed globally said they wanted to earn high salaries and make more money, while 49% of millennials and 52% of Gen Z looked forward to buying homes of their own. Further, 46% of millennials and 47% of Gen Z wanted to make positive impact on society and the community. The lowest numbers were thrown up for having children and starting families—39% of millennials and 45% of Gen Z.

Earning a high salary and being wealthy might have ranked second among ambitions, but came in last when respondents were asked whether their ambitions were achievable; 60% saw it as a possibility. Generally, millennials believe their ambitions are within reach. Two-thirds who want to reach senior levels in their careers believe they will be able to accomplish it. Seven in 10, who want to see the world, think it is possible. Three-quarters, who want to buy homes, are confident they will be able to do so. And 83% of those desiring families don’t see family barriers preventing them.

“Individuals now are defined by more specific interests and not linear ambitions. This is a different mindset coming into play in India where you don’t close off unconventional options," said Santosh Desai, managing director and chief executive of Future Brands Ltd. “The shift may be seen as arising from less anxiety about the future at a time when there are so many more avenues for survival than before."

Close