Millennials present marketing, advertising, and market research professionals with a unique challenge. A distinct combination of social, cultural, and environmental influences have formed a generation of consumers with very specific needs and touch points.

A force of approximately 80-90 million strong in the US, with an estimated $200 billion in purchasing power, Millennials are not an audience to be taken lightly. Understanding Millennial consumers’ mindsets, values, and purchase patterns and behaviors through creative and innovative Millennial-specific market research methodologies is essential to the success of most mainstream brands and products.

Our white paper, W5 on Millennials, outlines key characteristics which affect their attitudes toward and interaction with products and the marketing surrounding them, as well as how W5 approaches gaining a true understanding of how to effectively communicate and connect with them. Here is a snapshot of this force by the numbers:

24% of Millennials say that ‘Technology use’ is what most makes their generation unique, the #1 answer (Pew Research 2010)

50 median number of text messages teenagers send every day (Pew Research 2010)

48% of Millennials who say word-of-mouth influences their product purchases more than TV ads. Only 17% said a TV ad prompted them to buy (Intrepid Study 2010)

47% of 16-to-24-year-olds are employed, the smallest share since government started recording data in 1948 (Bureau of Labor Statistics 2011)

46% of Millennials say they’ve had vigorous exercise in the past 24 hours

45% of Millennials highly associate their lives with simplicity, compared to 51% of Gen X and 58% of Boomers

44% of Millennials say that marriage is becoming obsolete, compared to 35% of Boomers who feel the same way (Pew Study 2010)

43% of 18-24 year-olds say that texting is just as meaningful as an actual conversation with someone over the phone (eMarketer 2010)

42% of teens say the primary reason they have a cell phone is for texting. Safety was second at 35% (Nielsen Study 2010)

41% of Millennials have made a purchase using their smartphone

40% of Millennials think that blogging about workplace issues is acceptable. Compared to 28% of Boomers (Iconoculture 2011)

39% of Millennials have a tattoo (Pew Study 2010)

38% of Millennials count themselves as Democrats, 28% Independents, 26% Republicans (Brookings Institution Study, March 2011)

35% of employed Millennials have started their own business on the side to supplement their income (Iconoculture 2011)

33% of Millennials live in cities and 14% live in rural environments

32% of Millennials say they don’t like advertising in general, compared to 37% of the general population (Experian Simmons Study)

31 the age of the oldest Millennials in 2011

29% of Millennial workers think work meetings to decide on a course of action are very efficient. Compared to 45% of Boomers (Iconoculture 2011)

28% of Millennials have a gun in their home (Pew Study 2010)

27% approximate decline in email usage among those ages 12-34 over the past year (ComScore Study 2010)

26% of Millennials say they are not affiliated with any religion (Pew Study 2010)

23% of Millennials think they will still be with their first employer after two years (8095 Live survey 2011)

21% of Millennials say helping people in need is one of the most important things in life (Pew Study 2010)

20% of Millennials are Hispanic. Millennials are more racially diverse than any generation before them (U.S. Census Bureau 2011)

19% of Millennials have voted on American Idol (Pew Study 2010)

15% of Americans ages 25-29 who had never been married in 1960, compared to 55% in 2011 (U.S. Census Bureau)

14% of the Millennial population is African-American (Pew Study 2010)

12% (only) of Millennials disagreed that they should pay more for higher quality items (Intrepid Study 2010)

11% of Millennials have boomeranged back to their parents house after graduating from college because of the recession (Pew Study 2010)

8% of 18-29 year-old internet users have used a location sharing service such as FourSquare (Pew Study 2010)

7 average number of jobs a person will have by age 26 (Intrepid Study 2010)

6 # of text message sent by those ages 13-18 every waking hour (Nielsen Study 2010)

4 average number of times that Millennials eat out per week (3.39 per week to be exact), more than any other generation