Millennials drive for 8% fewer journeys than older generations



Millennials – sometimes outlined as these born between 1981 and 1996 – have gotten loads of press, each optimistic and destructive.

Some argue that they’re extra public-spirited and much less materialistic than child boomers. Others say they’re spoiled and entitled. Nonetheless others write that they’re the identical as earlier generations, however youthful and with decrease incomes.

Understanding how millennials behave has essential sensible implications for city planning, trade evolution and local weather change. For instance, if millennials choose to take a Lyft and skip the trouble of driving and parking, this might spell massive adjustments for the auto trade. But when their suburban soccer mother part has merely been delayed, not skipped fully, maybe nothing will actually change.

We are students of enterprise and sustainability, and our analysis on millennial driving habits exhibits that they drive 8% lower than do older generations.

The millennial meh

We just lately accomplished a examine for which we interviewed 40 millennials to listen to how they actually really feel about driving.

One quote captured the standard response: “I’ve thought of getting a automobile, particularly after I was in faculty. However now it’s like, meh … I imply, like, it doesn’t sound interesting in any way.”

To search out out if these attitudes have been really consultant, we surveyed 2,225 American adults of all ages. On common millennials drive for 8% fewer of their typical weekly journeys than child boomers or Gen Xers.

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Furthermore, this distinction doesn’t disappear after we management for demographic data, proving that millennial habits is not only about being younger, single and low-income. As an alternative, what distinguishes millennials are their attitudes.

Millennials are extra pro-environment than earlier generations and fewer prone to imagine driving offers them independence. In addition they see driving as extra harmful and need a journey mode that provides facet advantages similar to train or the power to learn or use social media.

No one can say for sure if these variations will persist as millennials develop into center and outdated age, however we do know that millennials have been formed by shared shocks like 9/11 and the Nice Recession, and that they’re the primary era of “digital natives.” These shared experiences could depart imprints which might be gradual to vary.

Different elements

After all, the coronavirus throws a wrench into the combo.

Auto gross sales have been down 33% in Might 2020 from the earlier 12 months. However continued requires social distancing that make using public transit or utilizing ride-hailing apps much less fascinating could immediate a rebound in car gross sales.

Maybe the largest COVID-19 query is whether or not millennials will purchase extra social distance by shifting from residences within the metropolis to indifferent homes within the suburbs.

However millennials are possible higher in a position to work remotely, and may be extra weak to job losses, so socio-demographic elements may go in opposition to a shopping for spree on their half. That notorious millennial meh could show exhausting to shake.


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