Some people are young at heart, and some turn into “old souls” before the age of 40. Lately, however, living like a grandma has taken on a particular appeal for young people. During lockdown, hobbies associated with grandmas, like baking, crafting, knitting, and playing solitaire, surged. Then styles began to feel the impact of grandma, from the “grandmillennial” interior design trend, affectionately nicknamed “granny chic,” to the “coastal grandma” aesthetic that took the Internet by storm this summer.
Since anyone can take part in these trends and hobbies, we wondered which of them are the most prevalent, and where. We wanted to know which states have the most grandmas that aren’t actually grandmas. So we studied the most popular “granny hobbies” by state and surveyed 800 people under 40 on their most “granny-like” hobbies, habits, and preferences.
Of Americans under 40, 45% have at least one “granny hobby.”
The most popular “granny hobbies” in the U.S. are crafting, baking, drinking tea, and gardening.
The states most interested in “granny hobbies” are Vermont, Maine, and Montana.
The coastal grandma trend is popular with 43% of Gen Z.
Granny hobbies provide relief from stress and burnout.
We compiled a list of popular “granny hobbies” that included everything from puzzling and playing cards to crocheting and gardening, and we gauged just how many Americans under 40 engage in these activities. Of Americans under 40, 45% have at least one granny hobby. That includes 6 in 10 Millennial and Gen Z women and 1 in 4 Millennial and Gen Z men.
Folks with “granny hobbies” were most likely to work in industries such as Ads & Media (88%), Hospitality (58%), Retail & Food Services (53%), Healthcare (51%), and Education (50%).
The “granny hobbies” that are the most popular with Americans under 40 include crafting, baking, drinking tea, gardening, puzzling, and playing cards. They also enjoy collecting, couponing, antiquing, and even sewing.
Other simple, economical hobbies that did not make the top-10 most popular list include crocheting (9%), bird watching (9%), knitting (8%), embroidering (7%), and scrapbooking (6%). The least popular “granny hobbies” were canning (3%), quilting (2%), and shelling (1%).
The “granny hobbies” that folks partake in the most frequently include drinking tea, baking, and gardening. Men under 40 were more likely to play cards on at least a weekly basis than women.
Knowing which “granny hobbies” Americans under 40 prefer, we then dove into a local Google search analysis to determine which states favor which hobbies, and where specific hobbies are the most common. According to our results, the states most interested in “granny hobbies” are Vermont, Maine, and Montana.
We found some clear regional trends when it comes to “granny hobbies” in the U.S. Southern states such as Texas, Tennessee, and North Carolina have a particular affinity for embroidery. The entire West Coast prefers drinking tea, and many Midwestern states like Minnesota, Iowa, and Missouri are fans of playing cards.
The following list details the most popular granny hobby by state:
California: Drinking tea
Delaware: Drinking tea
Florida: Drinking tea
Hawaii: Drinking tea
Illinois: Drinking tea
Indiana: Playing cards
Iowa: Playing cards
Maryland: Drinking tea
Massachusetts: Drinking tea
Michigan: Playing cards
Minnesota: Playing cards
Missouri: Playing cards
Nevada: Drinking tea
New Hampshire: Crafting
New Jersey: Drinking tea
New Mexico: Drinking tea
New York: Shelling
North Carolina: Embroidering
North Dakota: Couponing
Ohio: Playing cards
Oregon: Drinking tea
Rhode Island: Drinking tea
South Carolina: Embroidering
South Dakota: Scrapbooking
Washington: Drinking tea
West Virginia: Collecting
Hobbies aren’t the only thing that can make you feel like a grandma under 40. We dove into some of the more “grandma” aspects of lifestyle trends at the moment. For example, turning in early, spending a night in instead of a night out, or participating in antique or vintage trends.
We asked our survey respondents about their affinity for these trends, and 80% indicated they prefer a night in over a night out. There were some interesting generational trends, too, even among people under 40 (which consists of Millennials and Gen Z). For example, 39% of Millennials go to bed before 11 p.m. (compared to 21% of Gen Z).
Additionally, 43% of Gen Z loves the “coastal grandma” aesthetic (compared to 34% of Millennials). Popularized on TikTok, “coastal grandma” is a trend defined by beachy and easy-to-wear clothing, and a minimal but wealthy, cozy approach to hobbies, such as cooking Ina Garten recipes or tending to a coastal garden.
People under 40 have also embraced the “grandmillennial” home decor trend, an interior design aesthetic defined by bold patterns, heirloom furniture, and a love of vintage knick-knacks. Over 4 in 10 women under 40 are fans of it, compared to an overall average of one-third of people under 40.
Why are “granny hobbies” so popular? According to our survey, people under 40 are drawn to them because they prefer a quiet life (49%), they feel stressed out (32%), or they feel overstimulated by modern life and technology (27%). Fewer indicated that they turn to them when feeling overworked (15%), even though 46% of people under 40 reported that they are currently burnt out when it comes to their job.
We also asked respondents why they love their “granny hobbies” so much. Over half (55%) rely on them as a stress reliever, but that’s not all they provide. “Granny hobbies” let people under 40 be creative (42%), introverted (34%), or reconnect with themselves (27%) in a busy, fast-paced world.
No matter their connotation, our hobbies can be a large source of joy, stress relief, and connection. From card games to gardening, younger folks participating in “granny hobbies” might just be seeking something that many of us that have been around for longer yearn for, too—a return to simpler times.
Methodology: We conducted a combined analysis of Google search interest for 19 “granny hobbies” by state as well as a custom survey. The survey ran on August 12, 2022, and included 802 respondents, all located in the United States. Survey participants were between the ages of 18 and 40. 51% identified as women, 45% identified as men, and 4% identified as nonbinary or preferred not to say.
Below is the full list of “granny hobbies” included in our study: