Synovate Survey: Most 18-24 Year Olds Worry More About Money than Love, with 83% of Young Americans Saying Cash is Top Concern

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Leading global research firm Synovate has released the findings from its 2008 'Young Adults Revealed' study conducted with over 12,600 young people ages 18-24 across 26 countries, including the US. The survey was conducted to find the truth behind some popular misconceptions surrounding young people and their finances, how they spend their time, and how they view their lives and future.

This indicates the need for young adults to have security because a relationship provides some stability in a scary world and possibly helps replicate the feeling of safety they get from their parents

Leading global research firm Synovate has released the findings from its 2008 'Young Adults Revealed' study conducted with over 12,600 young people ages 18-24 across 26 countries, including the US. The survey was conducted to find the truth behind some popular misconceptions surrounding young people and their finances, how they spend their time, and how they view their lives and future.

The findings show that 18-24 year olds are more pragmatic than we give them credit for. Eighty-seven percent of respondents globally, and 83% in the US, revealed that money was an 'important' or 'very important' factor for them, outweighing even love & romance.

More than half of the young people surveyed globally also expressed some concern about their current financial situation. Almost one quarter said they worry 'a lot' about money. This figure was much higher among Americans (42%), likely due in part to the current economic climate in the US. Only 26% of young Americans say they worry about terrorism and less than one quarter worry about the environment.

"Young adults are more concerned about issues in their personal life, like their current financial situation," said Maribeth Santiago, account group manager of Synovate's consumer insights group and head of the US portion of the study. "Bigger world issues like terrorism, the environment and so on are not as high on their list as they can't really relate to them personally yet."

In addition to a shaky economy in their respective countries, some young people may also be worried about money because they actually have very little disposable income to begin with. The amount varies dramatically from country to country, but the US falls on the low end of the scale, with young adults here having an average of just $66USD per week to spend - less than young adults in Bulgaria ($86), Russia ($70) and Brazil ($110).

Landing a good career (47%) and getting a good education (37%) also tops the list of worries of young Americans.

"The current economic factors are revealing an interesting new societal trend with this age group - the need for security," said Santiago. "There's a new craving for security, which seems to be the underlying theme behind both their aspirations and their fears."

This need for security is evident on both the career and personal fronts. While many people would assume that young adults dream of working in the media, film, music or marketing the study shows that's not necessarily the case. With the disappearance of the 'job for life' these industries are viewed as being too risky. The majority of young adults surveyed in the US say they'd rather work in IT, Engineering, Accounting, Teaching or Business Management. These industries may not seem as sexy but are viewed as a lot safer - showing that security matters a lot to them.

The findings also reveal that young adults consider their partner more important than their friends - this is even true for those who don't currently have a partner. Sixty-six percent of respondents in the US said that their partner is important versus 59% who chose their friends.

"This indicates the need for young adults to have security because a relationship provides some stability in a scary world and possibly helps replicate the feeling of safety they get from their parents," said Santiago.

Interestingly, there seems to be a great correlation between when respondents would like to get married, be financially independent and retire, and when they think they actually will.

The majority of young adults in the US think they will be financially independent at age 27, within two years of completing their education (at age 25). One year after becoming financially independent, they think they will get married (at age 28) and one year after that, at age 29, they will have child. They plan to settle into their job of choice the same year and buy a home two years later at age 31.

The findings point to an overall feeling that things will eventually happen the way they want them to, even if the situation isn't great now. Optimistic or naive, they've got it worked out.

About 'Young Adults Revealed'
The Synovate 'Young Adults Revealed' survey is a global syndicated study conducted by Synovate's youth research team OnePointNine. The study interviewed 12,600 respondents, between the ages 18-24, including almost 1,000 in the US, and across 26 countries including the USA, UK, France, Germany, Russia, Norway, Sweden and Japan. The survey, conducted during the first half of 2008, covered topics including Technology, Communication, Media, Socializing, Entertainment, Environmental Attitudes, Grooming and Cool Brands. It was previously conducted in 2006 covering 14 European markets. For more information, visit http://www.synovate.com/whatwedo/life-stage-lifestyle-life-trends/young-adults-revealed.jspx.

About Synovate
Synovate, the market research arm of Aegis Group plc, generates consumer insights that drive competitive marketing solutions. The network provides clients with cohesive global support and a comprehensive suite of research solutions. Synovate employs over 6,000 people across 62 countries. More information on Synovate can be found at http://www.synovate.com.

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