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Generational Perspectives on COVID-19: Millennials Most Impacted

Multigenerational survey on life during COVID-19

Published on August 17, 2020

Millennials are financially impacted the most during COVID-19. A new multigenerational survey polled Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers about their perspectives on everything from healthcare and the economy to technology and social media during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 Healthcare and Financial Hardships

51% of those surveyed say they have experienced financial insecurity due to COVID-19. Millennials were most impacted with 6 in 10 saying they have experienced financial insecurity during the Coronavirus pandemic. 52% of Millennials said they’ve also had to put off medical care because of cost. Baby Boomers were the least impacted generation with only 37% reporting financial hardships during COVID-19. Across the three generations, 3 in 10 respondents say they have or have known someone who has lost their health insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic — nearly 40% of Millennials were impacted by this. And when asked broadly about the U.S. healthcare system, 82% of all surveyed say it’s broken.

Stimulating The American Economy

Gen Xers, Millennials and Baby Boomers have all been busy hitting that checkout button: 72% report shopping more online during the Coronavirus pandemic. 77% also say they have made an effort to patronize small businesses during the pandemic. However, the overall economic outlook is bleak: 47% don’t believe that small businesses will recover after the COVID-19 pandemic, and an additional two-thirds think it will take two or more years for the U.S. economy to recover.

Slowing The Spread of COVID-19

While 87% are comfortable having their temperature checked before walking into an establishment, only 4% feel it’s an effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Overall, 4 in 10 think masks are the most effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but Millennials and Gen Xers think that social distancing and lockdowns are almost equally as effective. But the lockdowns are just a bummer to the Baby Boomers: only 12% think they are effective.

All generations are worried about kids going back to school with 6 in 10 thinking students should not go back to classrooms or to college campuses this fall. When asked about getting vaccinated, 69% say they will. That number was slightly higher for Baby Boomers: 75% say they will get the vaccine when one becomes available.

Trusting Telemedicine

Gen Xers are embracing telemedicine the most with 52% saying they’ve used telemedicine services during the pandemic. Meanwhile, 46% of Baby Boomers are trying virtual visits during COVID-19.

Overall, 60% say they are more comfortable using telemedicine now than they were six months ago. More than half of respondents say their doctor has encouraged a telemedicine visit over an in-office visit. Lastly, 54% say they plan on using telemedicine when the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

Depending on Digital

50% have video chatted more with their parents and or kids since the COVID-19 pandemic began, with Millennials reporting the biggest increase. 71% of all respondents find themselves on the computer or phone more often since the pandemic started, which may be why 39% say they need a digital detox. At 51%, Millennials were the top generation needing a digital detox – a multigenerational divide that is very telling.

Staying connected on Social Media

Facebook is still King with 60% of all generations saying they use Facebook the most, followed by Instagram at 19% and Twitter at 11%.

75% of Baby Boomers say they use Facebook the most, compared to 45% of Millennials. Instagram comes in second among Millennials, with 27% saying it’s their preferred social media platform.

The above results were gathered through an online poll of 1,595 Americans aged 24-74. The poll was conducted August 6-7, 2020, gleaning representative samples from each state based on population. Samples were weighted for even sample results for Millennials (ages 24-39), Gen X (ages 40-55) and Baby Boomers (ages 56-74). Percentages have been rounded to the nearest full percentage point.

Associate Writer