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Meet the Millennials

Despite the headwinds their generation faced early in life, notably their emergence into a tough job market following the 2008 financial crisis, Generation Y are an optimistic group on average. They feel capable of navigating change and complexity, and feel good about their personal prospects for the future. Born after 1980, these young Canadians have been able to express themselves online for almost as long as they can remember – and their values register a strong attraction to creativity and self-expression. One way they express themselves is with the things they buy, own, and wear. This generation connects deeply to brands, especially brands they believe are genuine and have a strong identity or an interesting story. When they find a product or company they believe in, they’re not shy about promoting it to friends.

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Meet the Millennials

Despite the headwinds their generation faced early in life, notably their emergence into a tough job market following the 2008 financial crisis, Generation Y are an optimistic group on average. They feel capable of navigating change and complexity, and feel good about their personal prospects for the future. Born after 1980, these young Canadians have been able to express themselves online for almost as long as they can remember – and their values register a strong attraction to creativity and self-expression. One way they express themselves is with the things they buy, own, and wear. This generation connects deeply to brands, especially brands they believe are genuine and have a strong identity or an interesting story. When they find a product or company they believe in, they’re not shy about promoting it to friends.

Click on a segment to learn more about the values that define them.
Stoic
Independents

Engaged
Idealists

Mainstream
A-Listers

Diverse
Strivers

Critical
Counterculturists

New
Traditionalists

Critical
Counterculturists

New
Traditionalists

Stoic Independents

Stoic Independents

Who They Are

Often skeptical of authority and selective when it comes to forming social connections, these Millennials are solitary, and favour keeping life simple and straightforward.Stoic Independents are hard-working, relaxed and dependable. They strive to achieve financial security and have a healthy work-life balance. However, achieving this ’balance’ is often challenging for this cohort because they’re in search of a fulfilling career but also one that’s not all-consuming. They want free time that they can spend re-charging by staying physically active or being outdoors in nature. Another central priority is time with family and close-friends – taking care of people who need it, helping a friend with a project or simply spending time together.

Demographic Highlights

World More likely to have had both parents born in Canada.
Graduation Cap Most likely to have completed a college / vocational / trade school degree or a high school degree
More likely to be living on their own.

Engaged Idealists

Engaged Idealists

Who They Are

Engaged Idealists are stereotypical Millennials: engaged, sociable, energetic, experience-seeking and idealistic. They believe in contributing as much as possible to their relationships, careers and communities – and the reward is their own personal growth and development. They find self-fulfillment by challenging themselves to be the best they can be and constantly bettering themselves through learning. This drive to push themselves is evident in both their professional and personal lives.

Demographic Highlights

Chatbox Second most likely to have voted NDP, Green or Liberal.
Graduation Cap Second most educated of the Millennial segments.
House More likely to be living with a partner or spouse.

Mainstream A-Listers

Mainstream A-Listers

Who They Are

Avid risk-takers who pursue thrills and excitement, Mainstream A- Listers are Millennials who work hard to get paid and have the lifestyle they want. They are the largest segment of their generation and very enthusiastic consumers with an acute desire for financial stability. These Millennials embrace technology and appreciate social connectivity. They understand there are down-sides to society’s reliance on tech but are more apt to see its benefits.

Demographic Highlights

More likely to be single.
Person Youngest of the Millennial segments.
House Most likely to have a high-school level of education or less.

Diverse Strivers

Diverse Strivers

Who They Are

The opposite of ‘gate keepers,’ Diverse Strivers cannot wait to tell their friends and colleagues about a new exercise class they tried, a time-consuming recipe they conquered or a movie that brought tears to their eyes. In fact, divulging the ‘secret’ to a perfected Beef Bourguignon makes Diverse Strivers feel they are not only connecting more deeply with people, but with life itself.

Demographic Highlights

World Least likely of the Millennial segments to have been born in Canada.
Most likely to be working full time.
Chatbox Most likely to vote Liberal​.

Critical Counterculturists

Critical Counterculturists

Who They Are

Millennials in the Critical Counterculture segment are the engaged, critical young people of the kind sometimes featured in news stories about 30-somethings building businesses, pursuing ground-breaking online activism, and otherwise shaking up the world. They reject status and authority they see as illegitimate or superficial; they don’t mind leading when they can add value to a project but would hate for someone to judge them by their jeans or smartphone. They know what’s important to them and take time to engage in creatives hobbies that bring them internal fulfillment such as cooking, collaging, dancing and designing/decorating their homes.

Demographic Highlights

Chatbox Most likely to have voted NDP or Green.
Graduation Cap Most likely to have a post-secondary level of education.
More likely to be living on their own.

New Traditionalists

New Traditionalists

Who They Are

As their name suggests, New Traditionalists hold many values that would not be out of place in the 1950s – but their outlook also reflects some distinctly 21st century concerns, including environmental issues and divisive politics. They are concerned with the direction the world is heading and the future their children will inherit. These Millennials are more religious and spiritual than others. Religion is an important part of their lives and central to their identity. They believe in staying true to more traditional value sets and ways of living, particularly regarding conservative family values and gender roles. 

Demographic Highlights

Religion Most likely to have a religion or faith (a plurality are Protestant).
Most likely to be staying at home full time.
House Most likely to live with children under the age of 18 and be living with 4+ people.

Take our quiz to find out which social values segment you belong to

Explore Other Generations

Elders

Pre 1945

Boomers

1945-1964

Gen X

1965-1979

Millennials

1980-1994

Gen Z

Post 1995

Explore more of our social values insights

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