Breaking Down the Millennial Generation: A Typology of Young News Consumers

The Media Insight Project, a collaboration between the American Press Institute and the AP-NORC Center, shows that Millennials fall into four distinct types when it comes to news and internet habits.

There are some clear differences from previous generations in how Millennials—the first group of Americans to grow up with digital technology—consume news and information. The term Millennials, however, which covers a loose generational category of those born between 1980 and 1998, is in some ways too broad.

This report highlights the significant differences among Millennials in the ways they experience the world and follow news about it. The analysis suggests that Millennials’ news consumption and online habits fall into four distinct types based on their age and how they encounter news and information.

The report presents a new typology of Millennials as it relates to their information use and the way they consume information about different topics. Understanding these distinct segments within the Millennial generation offers some clarity for publishers seeking to reach Millennials.

This study was conducted by the Media Insight Project, an initiative of the American Press Institute (API) and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. A nationwide survey of 1,045 adults age 18-34 was conducted from January 5 through February 2, 2015. In addition to the survey, the research included 10 semi-structured, in-person interviews with small groups of Millennials to understand their news habits.