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Gen Z – Demographics and Characteristics

Gen Z are the generation after the Gen Y (Millennials). They were born between 2001 and the present day and are the first generation to exist solely when the internet and technology were widely available.

Gen Z - Demographics and Characteristics

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Generation Z.  For some of us our children, others our grandchildren.  

The age range varies, but basically Gen Zs are born between Born between 2001 and 2019 (this overlaps the Centennials who were born between 1995 and 2008).  It is said that they will become the most entrepreneurial, conservative, diverse and educated generation in the world.  

Additional resources : Customer Demographics – Age Ranges, Generational Names and Numbers

Of course, since they are still largely in middle or high school right now, it remains to be seen, but I think the following will help show it’s true.

Gen Z are worriers

58% are somewhat or very worried about the future (source Naylor), and 77% believe they will need to work harder compared to those in past generations to have a good life (source Ryan Jenkins).  

The volunteer requirement many school districts have for graduation?  It’s working.  77% are extremely or very interested in volunteering to gain work experience and 26% are (source Internships).

They have bought lock stock and barrel into the global climate crisis as 76% are concerned about man’s impact on the planet (source VendHQ).

Gen Z and Technology

Gen Z and Technology

Having never lived without it, 79% of display symptoms of emotional distress when they don’t have their electronic devices (source, and a whopping 90% would be upset if they had to give up their Internet connection (compared to 51% would be upset to give up eating out and 56% downloading music). source JWT Intelligence

They are huge multi-taskers.  84% multitask with an Internet-connected device while watching TV.  (source Infinity) I know that my kids are constantly watching YouTube videos on the TV while surfing on their phone or laptop.

Gen Z and the Workplace

They also want technology to be a big part of their work life.  Technologies that they want employers to include in the workplace include are social media (41%), wearables (27%) and virtual reality (26%).  Remember, they’ve never lived in a world without smartphones, computers, Google and Wi-Fi. (source Randstand)

All this tech can lead to some very negative consequences.  The time spent online affects their ability to listen and any interpersonal skills.  The web also gets them used to instant action and satisfaction making patience not one of their better qualities.

Gen Z takes their planet worry to heart and does something about it.  60% want to have an impact on the world with their jobs and 89% say they spend part of their free time in activities they consider productive and creative instead of just “hanging out”.  81% aspire to be leaders. (source CNBC)

Gen Z and Education

Gen Z and education

As for education, just about 50% of Gen Z students are participating in internships for the purpose of advancing themselves professionally in high school and 64% of Gen Z consider earning an advanced degree as a life goal.  (source Millennial Branding)

85% research online and 33% watch lessons online to educate themselves, and 52% use YouTube and other social media for typical school research assignment.  Interestingly, 30% feel their high school or college has failed at teaching them applicable real life business skills.

They are very entrepreneurial.  72% want to start a business someday and 61% would rather be an entrepreneur instead of an employee when they graduate college.  (source Millennial Banding)

They are wiser in that 71% expect to experience significant failure before achieving success, and nearly 40% say they see failure as an opportunity to learn.  

They are very financially focused, and view employment as a means to an end.  Their realistic outlook teaches them that work in necessary and it will lead them to being able to do what they want in the future.  

They know that there is money to be made from good ideas and they aren’t afraid to try them out.

Racial Characteristics

This generation is even more racially diverse than Millennials, and they are more likely to look past color in relationships.  

They are very independent kids, self-directed and confident in their abilities, but they haven’t lived long enough for the wisdom age brings or in many cases the boundaries that their hands-off parents failed to give them.

Gen X Parents, Post 9/11

Since most were born post-9/11, and those pre-9/11 kids were infants or toddlers, the world is defacto a scary and terrorist laden place.  This makes them a hopeful, but realistic generation.  

This also makes them very social justice minded, especially when it comes to poverty, human trafficking, refugees, racism, etc., and put their time where their mouths are – volunteering.

Additional Resource : Boomer Parents, Millenial Kids and Gen X Parents, Gen Z Kids

In short, they are a good bit similar to their Gen X parents, so watch out!