Traditional milieu Established Conservative milieu Liberal‐intellectual milieu Social‐ecological milieu New Middle Class milieu Precarious milieu High Achiever milieu Adaptive Pragmatic milieu Escapist milieu Movers and Shakers milieu

The Sinus-Milieus® are a social and target group typology that identifies groups of like-minded people based on values and views of life.

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The Sinus-Milieus offer a true-to-life image of the sociocultural diversity of the modern world, providing accurate descriptions of people’s attitudes and orientations, values, lifestyles and life goals, and social backgrounds and positions. With the Sinus-Milieus, you can dive into your target groups’ lifeworlds and appreciate them from the inside. By revealing what moves people, the Sinus-Milieus show you how to move them. The key here is that Sinus-Milieus interpret people holistically, taking account of everything important in their lives.

Sinus-Milieus identify groups of like-minded people that can be visualized along two dimensions: social situation (status/class) and basic normative orientation. The areas of overlap among the bubbles on the milieu chart indicate that transitions between milieus are fluid.

The Sinus-Milieus® model is continuously adapted to socio-cultural changes. While the proportion of the traditional milieus has been declining for years, we are seeing continuous growth in the modern segment. The quickest to grow are the two future milieus Cosmopolitan Avan-garde and Adaptive Navigators, whose approaches to current challenges are indicative of future trends.

A comprehensive introduction to working with the Sinus-Milieu model can be found in our information packages. For German speakers, methodological background and detailed explorations of use cases are available in our basic work “Praxis der Sinus-Milieus" (Springer 2018).

The diverse applications of Sinus-Milieus

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The first Sinus-Milieu models were developed through the analysis of German, Austrian, and Swiss society, and are without question the best-known segmentation models in the German-speaking world. Over the years, the milieu concept and methodology have been extended to a wide range of contexts:

  1. Sinus-Meta-Milieus: Sinus-Milieus on an international level. Sinus Meta-Milieu segmentations – which identify like-minded people across national borders – have been conducted in over 40 countries. Applying the same principle as the well-proven German Sinus-Milieus, comparable but distinct models have been developed for established and emerging markets.
  2. Sinus-Geo-Milieus: Sinus Geo-Milieus track the Sinus-Milieus in geographical space, neighborhood by neighborhood and block by block. They are thus useful for urban planning and direct marketing.
  3. Digital Sinus-Milieus: Digital Sinus-Milieus transpose the Sinus-Milieus onto the internet. They allow strategic target groups to be identified and addressed online, for instance through the analysis of website traffic and targeted provision of content or advertisements by milieu affiliation.
  4. Sinus Youth Milieus: The Sinus Youth Milieus clarify the sociocultural diversity of young people’s lifeworlds in Germany.
  5. Sinus Migrant Milieus: The Sinus Migrant Milieus map the lifeworlds and lifestyles of German residents with migrant backgrounds.

All Sinus Milieu models can be used in quantitative and qualitative ad-hoc studies on a wide variety of issues. For short representative surveys up to five minutes in length, the Sinus Milieu Bus (omnibus survey) is a time- and cost-efficient option. Tailor-made target group typologies and segmentations can also be created based on the Sinus-Milieu model (tailored segmentations).

Our information packages provide a comprehensive introduction to working with Sinus-Milieus.

For decades, leading private and public sector institutions have used SINUS Milieus as a scientific tool for target group segmentation.

SINUS-Institut keeps the milieu models up-to-date through continual research and by monitoring sociocultural trends. Each milieu study goes a step further in enhancing our knowledge of the different groups within society. Because SINUS milieu studies are published regularly by our public sector clients, our other clients are able to benefit continuously from new insights.

The Sinus-Milieus have found especially widespread use as a target group model in German-speaking countries, and form part of the major market media studies in Germany as well as in TV audience panels in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. For international purposes, the Sinus-Meta-Milieus, our international solution, are part of the global market and media study TGI (Target Group Index by Kantar Media).

The Sinus-Milieus are used by leading-brand manufacturers and well-known service providers in all sectors of industry, by public sector clients in government and civil society, and by advertising and media agencies. They have also long been a part of school and university curricula (e.g. in business studies, social science, and cultural studies). Thanks to their high degree of everyday plausibility and market relevance, they feature prominently in leading marketing textbooks.

The fields of application for the Sinus-Milieus are manifold: marketing, politics, religion, publishing, and educational theory, to name a few. Indeed, there is barely a single market sector in which the Sinus-Milieus have not been effectively applied. They are used to create highly differentiated descriptions of customer groups, position products and services, define market segments for new products and relaunches, seek out niche markets, address buyer potential as efficiently as possible, and gain early insight into emerging trends, motivations, and frames of mind.

The Sinus-Milieu models are continually adapted to ongoing sociocultural change. In 2017, for instance, the German model was updated: whereas the ten-milieu-model remains valid, the sizes of the milieus have shifted and the profiles of certain milieus – namely, the two “future milieus” – have been refined.

Click here for a detailed summary of the background to SINUS-Institut’s milieu research.

Click here to learn more about our international solution, the Sinus-Meta-Milieus.

Your contacts for the Sinus-Milieus:

Dr. Marc Calmbach
E-Mail: marc.calmbach(at)
Tel: +49 30 20613098-11

Jan Hecht
E-Mail: jan.hecht(at)
Tel: +49 6221 8089-31