For starters, they are people often suspicious of the term millennials, believing it’s implicitly encumbered with the criticisms and prejudices of their elders. An oft-cited 2010 Pew study characterized the generation born between 1980 and 2000 as “confident, self-expressive, liberal, upbeat, and open to change.” More judgmental sources have labeled them narcissistic, coddled, and poorly read. In an Atlanta magazine survey, metro millennials described themselves as hobbled by student loan debt, largely nonreligious, and tech-savvy. Perhaps surprisingly, even though our 180 survey respondents chafed at many of the negative stereotypes surrounding their generation, they also conceded that there might be some truth behind them.
Happy to be in the ATL
Do you see yourself living in metro Atlanta 10 years from now?
Not sure 7%
Probably not 10%
Absolutely not 2%
Let me count the reasons
Top responses for best thing about living in Atlanta:
Cultural attractions 21%
Dining scene 18%
Career/civic opportunity 14%
Cost of living 8%
Trees and parks 6%
About half of those citing Atlanta’s opportunities praised it as a place where residents can “make an impact.”
Stuck behind the wheel
How do you typically get to work, school, etc.?
Drive a car 71%
Ride a bike 6%
Public transit 16%
. . . but not slaves to the commute
56% consider it very important to live near where they work
53% Consider themselves better off than their parents were at their age
60% believe they’ll be better off than their parents at age 50
Nice work if you can get it
How much do you earn annually?
Drowning in debt
If you have student debt, how much is it?
89 respondents—50 percent of those surveyed—said they have outstanding student loans.
$100K+ 8 respondents
$75-100K 12 respondents
$50-75K 13 respondents
$25-50K 19 respondents
$10-25K 29 respondents
<$10K 8 respondents
57% do not consider themselves religious
Don’t call me lazy!
Top responses for least accurate millennial stereotypes:
61% say that millennials are perceived negatively by society
What you hear is true
Top responses for most accurate millennial stereotypes:
Addicted to cellphones 13%
Highly indebted 7%
Want instant gratification 7%
Those who said millennials are tech-savvy are a different 13 percent from those who said they’re addicted to their cellphones.
Source: Atlanta Magazine Millennial Survey
Illustrations by Liz Noftle
This article originally appeared in our February 2016 issue.