The Financial Behavior Of Middle-Aged Millennials

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Survey Conducted by CNBC Make It in Partnership with The Harris Poll Examines Financial Behaviors of Middle-Aged Millennials

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The Financial Behavior Of Middle-Aged Millennials

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., March 29, 2021 – As millennials begin to turn 40 this year, CNBC Make It, in partnership with The Harris Poll, created the "Middle-Aged Millennial" survey, which examines the financial behavior of 1,000 American millennials ages 33 to 40. The survey looks at how millennials have grown into adulthood by covering a wide range of topics such as homeownership, debt, children, health care, social justice, and technology.

While much of this generation has begun celebrating huge milestones – buying homes, paying off debt, raising children and saving for retirement – the road to get there has been far from easy. Millennials came of age in the height of a recession, and just as they were finally getting their footing, the world was upended by the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent economic fallout.

Despite commonly being referred to as financially irresponsible job hoppers, the survey finds that most older millennials have already achieved one of life’s biggest goals (and purchases) – owning a home.

Findings From The Survey

Findings from the “Middle-Aged Millennial” survey include:

  • 59% of those surveyed own their own home, while 28% rent and 12% live with family members
    • The majority of all Black (55%), Hispanic (56%) and white (59%) older millennial respondents say they own their home
    • Additionally, 87% of those with a post-graduate degree and 82% of those with a college degree own their home, which is twice as many as those without a college degree who own their home (41%)
  • More than half (56%) of older millennials surveyed who own their home say they bought it more than five years ago
    • 40% say they have owned their home between one and five years
    • 5% say they bought their home within the last year
  • Most respondents say they used a mortgage or cash to help cover the cost of their home
    • 20% say they used a credit card to help cover the cost
    • 18% say they received help from family members to buy their home
    • 10% say they took a loan from their retirement to buy their home
  • Credit card debt and job instability were among the top reasons respondents say they don’t own a home
    • 50% of respondents say it is because they don’t have enough in savings yet
    • 31% say housing is too expensive where they live
    • 29% say they don’t know where they want to live long term yet

CNBC Make It will publish additional content from the findings of the “Middle-Aged Millennial” survey, including stories about the spending habits of millennials, escaping the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle and the sacrifices many have made to pay off student loan debt, among others.

To learn more about the “Middle-Aged Millennial” and read relevant content from the survey, go to:


This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of CNBC from February 12 to 15, 2021 among 1,000 U.S. adults ages 33 to 40. Results are statistically weighted for age within gender, region, race/ethnicity, household income, education, marital status, and size of household where necessary to align them with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting is also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

About CNBC:

CNBC is the recognized world leader in business news, providing real-time financial market coverage, business content and general news consumed by more than 547 million people per month across all platforms. The network's 15 live hours a day of news programming in North America (weekdays from 5:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. ET) is produced at CNBC's global headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., and includes reports from CNBC News bureaus worldwide. CNBC at night features a mix of new reality programming, CNBC's highly successful series produced exclusively for CNBC and a number of distinctive in-house documentaries.

CNBC also offers content through its vast portfolio of digital products such as:, which provides financial market news and information to CNBC’s investor audience; CNBC Make It, a popular website focused on making you smarter about how you earn, save and spend your money; CNBC PRO, a premium service that provides in-depth access to Wall Street; a suite of CNBC mobile apps for iOS and Android devices; Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Siri voice interfaces; and streaming services including Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and Samsung Smart TVs. To learn more, visit

Members of the media can receive more information about CNBC and its programming on the NBCUniversal Media Village Web site at For more information about NBCUniversal, please visit

About The Harris Poll:

The Harris Poll is one of the longest-running surveys in the U.S. tracking public opinion, motivations, and social sentiment since 1963 that is now part of Harris Insights & Analytics, a global consulting and market research firm that delivers social intelligence for transformational times. We work with clients in three primary areas; building twenty-first-century corporate reputation, crafting brand strategy and performance tracking, and earning organic media through public relations research. Our mission is to provide insights and advisory to help leaders make the best decisions possible.