Generation Z

Move over, Millennials. There’s a new generation ready to rock our world.

If you have a child between the ages of five and 20, you’re raising a Gen Zer. With some 60 million in the U.S., they’re suddenly garnering the attention of research firms and business analysts as the oldest among them are becoming more active consumers and also preparing to enter the job market.

            Overall, they’re frugal, focused and fiercely independent bunch. Unless your child is headed to college soon, it’s probably a bit premature to group them in with the findings below; still, it’s fun to get some perspective on this next generation.


who they are, and what they aren’t

  1. They’re the most ethnically diverse generation ever in our country; 47% comprise minorities.
  2. A large majority (82%) say they don’t care about sexual orientation; and only 48% identify themselves as exclusively heterosexual.
  3. Their attention span is the shortest in history, estimated to be 8 seconds.
  4. They’ve come to age in the aftermath of the recession, and that has affected their outlook on college, career, and saving for the future.

their connected world

  1. Many have never experienced a landline in their home; they are mobile first and always.
  2. They prefer applications like Snapchat, Secret and other messaging apps allow them to share words, pics or video quickly and for a limited time only.
  3. They value their privacy, and shy away from like “broadcast” social networks like Twitter and Facebook.
  4. They prefer messaging to talking on their cells, and no, they won’t open that email.
  5. They watch 2-4 hours of YouTube and less than an hour of traditional TV each day.

as consumer and beyond

  1. They don’t have much brand loyalty, nor do they care about labels on their clothes. Thrift store outfits on college campuses are as commonplace as clothes from American Eagle.
  2. They’re gender-neutral with clothing styles and colors, language, and bathrooms.
  3. Gen Z ers ages 15-20 are focused on their future: 60% already have savings accounts, and 83% say saving for the future is very important.
  4. They’re serious about their college studies and the importance of finding a job.
  5. They’re worried about things. The number of college students seeking treatment for anxiety increased significantly last year.
  6. They’re both competitive and tolerant in the workplace, and they want to work for a company that they can believe in.
  7. Analysts also expect more entrepreneurs from this generation; they’ve grown up with kickstarter and been inspired by the likes of Uber and AirBNB.


Sources: Inc. Magazine, Forbes Magazine,,, and J Walter Thompson’s “Meet Generation Z.”

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