SOURCE: Deep Focus

Cassandra Report

October 20, 2015 11:05 ET

Cassandra Report Finds Parenthood Is No Longer an Essential Element of Adulthood for Millennials

"Ages & Stages" Reveals Young Adults Are Changing Traditional Life Paths to Fit Their Needs

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - October 20, 2015) - The Cassandra Report, published by Deep Focus, launched new research today revealing more than half of Millennials don't need children in order to "have it all." Ages & Stages shows that, as adults, Millennials now prioritize personal, professional and financial growth over becoming parents.

When it comes to the markers of life stages that prevailed when Boomers and Gen Xers were entering adulthood, 61% of Millennials don't plan to follow the same traditional path.

"Priorities shift as people mature, but Millennials continue to go 'off-road' in terms of what's expected of them," said Joe Kessler, President of Cassandra Global. "Their attitudes toward the prospect of becoming parents are indicative of their desire to construct their own personal paths to happiness."

In keeping with their non-traditional views about family, a surprising 75% of Millennials surveyed agree that it is acceptable to have kids before getting married and 69% agree there is no longer any societal stigma associated with not wanting to have children. More so, nearly one-third do not want to have kids at all, either because they do not want to give up their flexibility (34%) or they don't want to take on the responsibility (32%).

Added Kessler: "Our notion of the conventional family unit is going by the wayside. Brands need to invest in reflecting these generational differences in their messaging or risk losing the attention of this high-value target."

Depictions of families in advertising is significantly important to Gen Ys, who think non-traditional families aren't portrayed well in advertising at all. More than half say brands don't understand their generation and 77% would like to see a more realistic depiction of adulthood in branded communications.

Interestingly, home ownership is another milestone Millennials are foregoing in addition to parenthood. While 22% report having already purchased a home, more than half say they no longer consider it to be an essential part of the American Dream. Instead, young adults aspire to financial security -- 79% cite it as a milestone they actively want to reach.

"As we emerge from the recession and high unemployment, Millennials are seeking to make up for lost time when it comes to maximizing their financial well-being," said Kessler.

Although interest in earning a good living is on the rise, young adults are placing equal importance on spending their time as wisely as their cash: 78% say they've become more strategic about how they spend their time, while 76% say the same about their money. However, a majority (58%) say that forming a retirement plan is something that can wait until they are older.

To learn more about the data uncovered in Ages and Stages and understand how you can subscribe to the Cassandra Report, visit www.cassandra.co.

Methodology

The Ages & Stages issue of the Cassandra Report was generated through in-depth quantitative and qualitative research. The quantitative survey was fielded among three respondent groups. Cassandra interviewed a nationally representative sample of 1,502 U.S. young adults: 358 aged 14 to 18 and 1,144 aged 19 to 34. Additionally, the study surveyed 405 19- to 34-year-old Trendsetter respondents across the U.S. who were selected based on their responses to a series of questions that gauged their degree of progressive and experimental thinking and behaviors surrounding the latest trends and culture. Throughout the survey, the Cassandra Report refers to these groups as Ys, teen Zs, and Trendsetters, respectively. The Cassandra Report also conducted a series of in-depth qualitative interviews, both online and in person, among respondents aged 14 to 34 across the U.S., sourced from our private online community. Community members are hand-selected for their creative, expressive, and forward-thinking mindsets. The survey was fielded from June 18 through June 29, 2015.

About The Cassandra Report

For almost 20 years, the Cassandra Report has been the leading ongoing study of emerging trends, generational insights, and youth behavior. Cassandra identifies developing movements in popular culture and translates data into insights for the nation's top companies, brands and institutions. From rich quantitative insights to robust qualitative learning, Cassandra is a must-have resource for marketers, consumer researchers, content creators and product managers looking to the future and identifying Millennials and Gen Z as audiences to win. For more information, visit www.cassandra.co.

About Deep Focus

Deep Focus is an award-winning, digitally-led creative agency that builds culturally connected brands and was founded in 2002 by Ian Schafer. Headquartered in New York City, the 500-person agency has a global footprint with additional offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Providing best-in-class services -- including The Moment Studio, its social and mobile content arm -- Deep Focus proudly builds culturally connected brands with an array of leading clients including Frito-Lay, Nestlé, Purina, Alibaba, Microsoft, Samsung and Ubisoft. Deep Focus is part of Engine Group, a mid-sized global marketing services network comprised of specialist communications agencies that transform brands through a collaborative culture and business approach. For more information, visit www.deepfocus.net or @deepfocus.

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