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Millennial Paper Usage and Attitudes

By TRU, a division of TNS Research Global



"Despite preconceptions of the new digital age youth -- labeled ‘millennials' -- many are deeply connected through social media websites, text messaging and email, yet also prefer paper for basic personal and business communications. Paper consumption among this group of teens and young adults increases with age and employment."

Date released:  March 2011

Material/Activity Tested: Understanding the role of paper in the lives of U.S. Millennials (ages 16-26):

Methodology:  Online interviews with 600 young U.S. adults ages 16-26.  Two hundred interviews each with age groups 16-18, 19-22, and 23-26.  Each of the three groups had equal number male and female participants.  Eighty-eight percent were single.  Sixty percent employed, 56% students, 25% both work and go to school.

Top-Line Results:

Take-Away:   In discussing millennials, TRU research director Kristi Sarmiento is quoted as telling the audience at Paper 2011, "They are highly engaged and highly active," and that "They are living in a digital world."  Yet, "Paper continues to play a significant role.  There is a place for paper in their lives."

"Technology is the first language of millennials.  Sustainability is at the top of their minds. They are not letting go of paper. They are not forced to choose." She urged the Paper2011 audience to provide a leadership voice on sustainability, to align with the same values, and "build on the emotional attachment to paper."


Complexity rating of original source: 1  (Complex statistical analysis scale:  1= none, 2= moderate, 3 = difficult)


Source:  TRU, Millennial Paper Usage and Attitudes, presented at Paper2011 sponsored by the American Forest & Paper Assn and the National Paper Trade Alliance, March 2011.