Meet Gen Z: The Next Population Tsunami
May 21, 2019
Gen Z will soon outnumber Millennials — according to Bloomberg, they account for over 32% of the world’s population. This generation is on the brink of entering the workforce, the oldest are just now graduating college while the majority are still in middle and high school. Though they’re still young, they already have had an immense impact on the world, representing $143 billion of purchasing power according to Forbes. With economic influence and strength in numbers, researchers are keen to understand the mindset of this powerful generation. Get ready, here’s what you need to know.
Of Course, They’re Digitally Fluent
While other generations have grown alongside the rise of technology, Gen Z was born into an already tech-saturated world, being dubbed ‘digital natives’ and ‘the online generation.’ Unlike other generations fumbling to integrate online technology into their lives, 92% of teens are online daily and a shocking 24% say they’re online “almost constantly” according to Pew Research Center. There’s no doubt about it, Gen Z is the most digitally sophisticated generation yet.
They’re Extremely Private
Seventy percent of Generation Z would rather share personal information with their pet than with their boss. Smarter about privacy than preceding generations, Gen Z prefers online anonymity — favoring impermanent social media like the ‘vanishing media’ platform, Snapchat, and using aliases rather than real names and identifying information as social media handles. Gen Z is much more careful and selective about the information they put online and keep safety, job searches, and anonymity in mind when posting to social media. The eldest members of the generation are beginning to enter the workforce, and watching what they say online as a result. In fact, a Pew Research Center study found that only 1 in 10 Gen Z-ers share any personal, religious, or political beliefs online.
They’re Surprisingly Hard-Working
Gen Z grew up in turbulent times, witnessing a recession and the intensely conflicted political climate. Difficult formative years and constant social media use have contributed to this generation’s rising rates of mental health issues including stress, anxiety, and depression. It isn’t all bad news though — their upbringing has influenced a generation of realistic, pragmatic, hard-working, future-thinkers. According to a survey by Monster and global research firm TRS, 76% of Gen Z said they were responsible for driving the success of their own career, and nearly half said they want to contribute to the growing entrepreneurial workforce and have their own businesses (that’s 10% higher than any other generation surveyed). Unlike the foosball tables and beer taps companies used to draw in Millennials, 70% of the remarkably practical Gen Z cites health insurance as their workplace must-have.
They View Themselves as Global Citizens
As more and more of the world is available online, global boundaries are shrinking and these digital natives are taking advantage of connections to peers across the world, making global connections with ease unlike any other generation. As more information about other cultures is available online as well, geographies are shrinking, causing Gen Z to view themselves as global citizens — able to learn about, connect with, or visit anywhere in the world. A byproduct of being the most informed and ethnically diverse generation yet, many Gen Z-ers identify as Pluralists, meaning they believe that the existence of different cultures, beliefs, and opinions within society is vital.
For Streetsense updates, follow us on social media or sign up for the Word on the Street newsletter.