Singapore millennials care more about family, society and self-growth – than being famous or owning material goods, an OCBC study finds

The Straits Times

It appears that some millennials in Singapore aren’t all materialistic and self-indulgent. Most of them care more for family, society and self-growth, according to a study.

The findings of Frank by OCBC’s first-ever Frankly Asked Questions survey were officially announced at the Frank store in the National University of Singapore (NUS) on Wednesday (April 3).

The study, based on data from 866 students and young working adults aged 16 to 29 in Singapore, found that only 49 per cent of millennials place owning physical goods as top priority, if they have the money to buy them.

Higher proportions of respondents find it important to give back (77 per cent), are concerned about their parents’ finances for retirement (73 per cent), and are conscious of the environmental impact caused by purchased products (63 per cent).

Yap Si Guan, OCBC Bank’s head of customer experience management, was one of the speakers at NUS’ Frank store who unveiled the survey findings.
Sean Lim / Business Insider

The survey – conducted between January and February this year – hopes to gain a deeper understanding of the values, attitudes, interests and desired experiences of millennials in Singapore.

The study found that the five most important social causes among respondents are human rights (82 per cent), poverty (81 per cent), environmental awareness (79 per cent), helping the elderly (79 per cent), and mental health awareness (79 per cent).

Meanwhile, the top five technological features which excite respondents are the Internet of Things (73 per cent), artificial intelligence (62 per cent), virtual reality (60 per cent), a cashless society (59 per cent), and self-driving cars (57 per cent).

42 per cent of respondents indicated starting a business as an important goal in the next five years, while 45 per cent said that they would consider being a freelancer.
Frank by OCBC

Millennials seek self-discovery and new experiences

Apart from valuing family and society, the study found that Singapore millennials are also keen on self-growth.

When asked what their life motivations are, a whopping 86 per cent of respondents indicated that it is to understand their inner selves. This compared with only 32 per cent, who said they want to be well-known.

Meanwhile, 76 per cent of respondents said that they like to try new and different things, and 82 per cent indicated that travelling to gain life experiences will be their top priority once they have the financial means.

The study also found that 73 per cent of millennials agree that getting a degree is a necessity. When asked what their top motivation is to further their studies, 82 per cent of them said it is to maintain relevant skill sets.

Additionally, 66 per cent of millennials are interested in technology improvements and new gadgets.

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