The Deloitte Global Millennial Survey 2020
Millennials and Gen Zs hold the key to creating a “better normal”
Deloitte research reveals “resilient generations.” In the face of unprecedented health and economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, millennials and Gen Zs express resolve and a vision to build a better future.
The Deloitte Global Millennial Survey 2020 explores the views of more than 27.5K millennials and Gen Zs, both before and after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, to understand their perspectives on business, government, climate, and the pandemic, among other issues.
The survey reveals that despite the individual challenges and personal sources of anxiety that millennials and Gen Zs are facing, they have remained focused on larger societal issues, both before and after the onset of the pandemic. If anything, the pandemic has reinforced their desire to help drive positive change in their communities and around the world. And they continue to push for a world in which businesses and governments mirror that same commitment to society, putting people ahead of profits and prioritizing environmental sustainability.
The world that follows the COVID-19 pandemic surely will be different and likely more aligned with the ideals that millennials and Gen Zs have expressed in this and previous Millennial Surveys. They’ve seen how quickly the earth can heal, how rapidly business can adapt, and how resourceful and cooperative people can be. They know that a post-pandemic society can be better than the one that preceded it, and they’re tenacious enough to make it a reality.
The 2020 report consists of two parts: a “primary” survey of 18,426 millennials and Gen Zs across 43 countries conducted between November 2019 and early January 2020, and a “pulse” survey of 9,102 individuals over 13 countries taken between April and May of 2020 in the midst of the worldwide pandemic. Many questions from the first study were repeated to gauge the effect of the pandemic on opinions.
Millennials included in the study were born between January 1983 and December 1994. Gen Z respondents were born between January 1995 and December 2002. The overall sample size of 27,500 represents the largest survey of millennials and Gen Zs completed in the nine years Deloitte Global has published this report.
The picture that emerges from this year’s survey is complicated, but hopeful.
- Close to half (48%) of Gen Z and 44% of millennial respondents in the primary survey said they’re stressed all or most of the time. But in the pulse survey, anxiety levels fell eight points for both generations, indicating a potential silver lining to the disruption caused by the pandemic.
- Half of respondents in the primary survey said they believe it’s too late to repair the damage caused by climate change. But in our pulse survey, this figure dropped, suggesting that the pandemic’s environmental impact—reduced economic activity has lowered energy use and therefore pollution—has given hope that there is still time to take action and protect the planet
- The pandemic has brought about an even stronger sense of individual responsibility. Nearly three-fourths said the pandemic has made them more sympathetic toward others’ needs and that they intend to take actions to have a positive impact on their communities.
- Both generations said they’ll make a special effort to more actively patronize and support businesses—especially smaller, local sellers—after the pandemic. But they won’t hesitate to penalize companies whose stated and practiced values conflict with their own.
- A majority of respondents gave businesses and governments high marks for their pandemic responses. Actions taken during the crisis, however, did not translate into overall better opinions of business.
- Many are financially prudent and literate. While long-term finances are a top cause of stress, more than half of millennials, and nearly half of Gen Zs, are saving money and could cope if they unexpectedly received a large bill.
- Job loyalty rises as businesses address employee needs, from diversity and inclusion to sustainability and reskilling. In the primary survey, more millennials said they’d like to stay with their employers for at least five years than would prefer to leave within two years. This is unprecedented since Deloitte first asked this question in our 2016 survey. It remains to be seen how pandemic-driven job losses will affect loyalty.