Who likes the sharing economy? Most people, but especially millennials

Do you like sharing?

The advent of the ‘sharing economy’ is allowing people everywhere to partake in both using and sharing some of their most valued assets. Whether it’s a home through a service like Airbnb, or a car using an application like Uber, the process of sharing these assets safely with strangers has improved markedly.

Here at SurveyMonkey, we take an interest in understanding the sharing economy’s impact on everyday consumers and how opinions vary across demographics. We recently surveyed over 2,000 adults and weighted the panel based on several demographic variables, including age, race, sex, education, and geography.

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Here’s how our respondents perceive the sharing economy:

Consumers overwhelmingly enjoy the sharing economy

Respondents as a whole, have a positive experience from participating in the sharing economy.

For example, when asking respondents to rate their overall experience from using ride hailing services on a scale of 1 to 5 stars—1 being lowest and 5 being highest—more than half gave either a 4 or 5 star rating.

Looking at responses across certain demographics, however, gives us deeper insight into who the relative proponents and detractors are:

Age- the older our respondents were, the less positive they viewed the sharing economy.

Age Group Percent rating their experience with ride hailing services as either 4 or 5 stars
Millennials (18-34 years old) 73%
35-64 years old 64%
65 years old and older 52%

Seeing as younger adults are tech savvy and are growing up in parallel to the rise of the sharing economy, their tendency to both normalize and enjoy shared services relative to older adults shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Political orientation- liberal respondents favored the sharing economy compared to conservatives or independents.

Political orientation Percent rating their experience with ride hailing services as either 4 or 5 stars
Liberals 72%
Conservatives 59%
Independents 56%

It’s hard to know for sure why responses varied widely based on political affiliation, but given that the majority of respondents in each party still gave a 4 or 5 star rating, both rider sharing companies and drivers should have no cause for concern.

Everybody agrees on certain benefits

Whether or not you enjoy participating in the sharing economy, there are certain benefits that are too clear to discredit.

  • Sharing services are more affordable than alternative options. Roughly 80% of respondents agreed that home sharing services are cheaper than hotels.
  • Provides an unrivaled level of convenience. Over 60% of our respondents chose ride sharing services for its convenience.
  • Gives owners an opportunity to earn more money. More than 90% of our respondents cited home sharing services as a good way for homeowners to earn extra income.

What the future looks like

As we reviewed earlier, young adults are by and large the biggest proponents of the sharing economy.

Here are some additional insights on why they’ve come to embrace this market most:

The growing demand for shared services, particularly among younger generations, are making companies optimistic on their future prospects. Airbnb, for example, is projecting profits of 3 billion dollars by 2020. This puts the company’s profitability at a higher level than several current fortune 500 companies. Whether or not this forecast comes to fruition, it’s clear that the sharing economy is set to keep growing.