Who is Generation Z? These are the kids that were born during the height of the grunge era in the mid-1990s to the year 2012. This diverse group as parents that are part of Generation X typically, with a few Generation Y parents sprinkled in – especially if you’re part of the group that believes GenX ended in 1979 instead of 1980.
Generation Z is expected to be the last American generation to see Caucasians have a racial majority in the country.
Generation Z Demographics
These children also have some unique characteristics that will give them a potential advantage in coming years. They don’t remember a time before computers. Many of them don’t know what life was like without the internet in their home. Tablets, mobile devices, cell phones, and other interactive technology have been part of their fabric of life from Day 1.
- In the United States, Generation Z has an estimated population size of 23 million.
- In recent surveys, 46% of Generation Z members like to see advertisements that they consider to be funny, even though they may not trust the advertisement.
- 6 out of 10 members in Generation Z will pay attention to an advertisement if they feel like it is relevant to them.
- Generation Z bloggers tend to use their platform to stay in contact with their social base and provide more information about themselves rather than try to force an opinion upon their readership.
- 65% of Generation Z members state that their primary pastime is to play video games.
- The percentage of Generation Z members who watch TV as their most common activity: 45%.
- 4 out of 10 GenZ kids say that their average daily priority is to get homework done and an almost equal amount include going to music lessons or attending a class, like gymnastics of martial arts.
- Only 1 out 5 GenZ kids say that they enjoy participating in faith-based activities.
- 65% of 12 year-old girls and 79% of girls between 13 and 15 own their own mobile device.
- The percentage of Generation Z that states they do not use the internet at all: 5%.
In looking at the demographics, two things stand out immediately: Generation Z looks to be the least religious generation that America has ever seen and they will be the most collaborative generation since the days of World War II. It means that there may be more secularism in American culture in the next two decades, but it also means that huge advances in technology could be coming. These kids have never known a time when their parents or guardians didn’t have some form of technology in the home. They will look to incorporate technology in brand new, imaginative ways that previous generations wouldn’t have even dreamed about.
What Makes Generation Z Unique?
- This generation got to grow up in the worst economy the United States has seen since the Great Depression.
- Many of them will be working in jobs that don’t even exist right now because of the level of technological advancement that is being seen.
- Most of Generation Z is expecting to earn a lower standard of living than their parents are currently earning.
- They don’t trust advertisers whatsoever, preferring to take a word-of-mouth endorsement from friends or family any time they need something.
- Generation Z is also the first generation to publicly come of age on platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
- There is an independent spirit in Generation Z that has helped to bring forth self-publishing tools, freelancing tools, and other employment options that their parents would have never thought of doing.
- Those in Generation Z struggle with problems that are complex because they are so used to being able to access information from search engines instead of having internal recall.
- 1 out of 4 Generation Z kids owns either a tablet computer or a standard tablet, like an iPad.
- 80% of Generation Z says that their drive to be able to find future success is stronger than any of their other peers.
The dangers that Generation Z face are simple. Because they’re so hooked up to technology, they may lose the ability to personally interact with one another on a face-to-face basis. Although having technology is awesome, non-verbal body language that can only be seen in person is an even more effective communication tool. Add this to the fact that most of Generation Z tends to absorb information in patches of 140 characters or less and many kids today are just skimming through content to pick and choose tiny tidbits that they find interesting. In essence, instead of reading the comprehensive works of Shakespeare to gain knowledge about the playwright, they’re just reading the titles of the Cliff’s Notes that they find online. This will present some unique challenges and some unique insights when the future world rolls around.
What Does Generation Z Talk About?
- Rather than document drug use, sexual behavior or rebellious attitudes, teens were more likely to discuss upcoming exams or church activities.
- Just like other kids in other generations, one of the primary issues that kids in Generation Z say they face is general boredom.
- 20% of minority children in this generation have weight levels that classify them as obese, compared to the 15% of white kids.
- Signs of inflammation in obese children as young as 3 years old, which is linked to a number of future health issues, including heart disease.
- The percentage of Generation Z that worries about acquiring student loan debt: 46%.
- 36% of Generation Z do not believe that they will be able to afford to go to college, even if they graduate with good grade.
- A majority of GenZ kids, 54%, believe that being able to obtain a degree from a college or university will be the key to their success.
- 52% of online teens say they have had an experience online that made them feel good about themselves.
- 4% of online teens say they have shared sensitive information online, while another 4% have posted something online that got them into trouble at school the next day.
- More than half of all Generation Z teens have decided not to post something because they were afraid it would reflect poorly on them in the future.
- One-third of Generation Z kids that are online say that they’ve been targeted for advertising that was not appropriate for their age group, even if they were accurate with their age on their profile.
1 out of 3 Millennials wishes they hadn’t even bothered with college. 1 out of 2 Generation Z kids is thinking that college is the way to go. Why is this? It’s most likely because of living expectations. It will be a struggle for this next generation to be able to earn more than their parents. In the Middle Class, the overall income levels have been static since GenZ’s parents were kids back in the late 70’s and early 80’s. The only real way to get out of this trap seems to be getting a degree. The only other option is to find a niche of creativity that no one else has found. That’s why there may be greater fulfillment in philosophical or educational discussions online instead of discussing the latest drugs they’ve used or ways they’ve gotten out of trouble.
What Is Generation Z Doing Online?
- 24% of online teens use Twitter, up from 16% in 2011.
- The average teen Facebook user has 300 friends, while the typical teen Twitter user has 79 followers.
- 60% of teen Facebook users keep their profiles private.
- 3 out of every 4 teen social media users have deleted people from their network or friends list.
- Only 9% of Generation Z kids are concerned about third-party organizations having access to their social media data.
- 9 out of 10 GenZ kids have posted at least one photograph of themselves online, which is up from 79% in 2006.
- The percentage of teens who post their cell phone number online: 20%. Boys [26%] are significantly more likely to share their numbers than girls [14%].
- More than half of all of today’s teens will publicly post their email address.
- 16% of teen social media users have set up their profile to automatically include their location in posts.
In some ways, the previous generations have a lot to fear about Generation Z coming into the vocational marketplace. They are especially suited to technology work because they have grown up with it. They know computers like the back of their hand, use tablets frequently, and many prefer to read ebooks instead of picking up a real book to read – assuming that they even bother to read a book. The one issue that this generation of kids is going to face, however, is a complete lack of privacy. Everyone is going to know what they are doing. There are no moments of privacy because these kids are getting online early and then staying online all day if they can manage. They are journaling to share emotions, which is a definite positive, but they are ultimately isolating themselves in front of a screen without really knowing it. Generation Z is perfectly setup to be one of the most amazing generations the planet has ever seen. The only question is this: are they willing to take on that mantle?
Will Transparency Help or Hurt Generation Z?
- The percentage of Generation Z that says all of their friends, including their family members, can see the same things on their profile: 81%.
- Only 5% of teen Facebook users say they limit what their parents can see.
- 45% of Generation Z teens have removed their name from photos that have been tagged to identify them.
- 19% have posted updates, comments, photos, or videos that they later regretted sharing.
- 1 out of every 2 Generation Z members has blocked at least one person from their social networking presence online.
- 82% of teen girls today say that they have deleted friends from their network.
- Despite the transparency and willingness to share, 58% of teens also say that they disguise their messages on social media in some way so that not everyone will understand them.
- 1 out of every 4 Generation Z kids say that they post fake information about themselves as an extra measure of privacy protection.
- 65% of teens with more than 600 friends on Facebook say that they visit social networking sites several times a day, compared with 27% of teens with 150 or fewer Facebook friends.
- 1 out of every 6 teens today say that they’ve been contacted by someone they didn’t know on their social network and it made them feel uncomfortable or scared.
In the past, kids have thought of themselves as invincible in a wide variety of ways. Some kids would drive muscle cars at high speeds without a seat belt while drinking a beer. Others would take on extreme supports with limited safety protection. Part of the nature of growing up is to think of oneself as indestructible. For Generation Z, that perception is clearly in the world of online privacy. These kids believe that nothing bad is going to happen to them and they are surprised when their level of sharing winds up creating uncomfortable, scary encounters. The good news of modern social media is that many kids today feel like it draws them closer together to the people that they care about. The bad news is that anyone with nefarious purposes in mind is going to be able to see and read the same things – and even know where teens are because they’ve created a location post. A majority of parents are concerned about this… and rightly so.