The generation following millennials, Gen Z is an incredibly diverse generation consisting of individuals born in the late 90s to right around the year 2010.
This generation is known for being financial-minded, politically progressive, technologically connected and creative.
While each Gen Zer is unique and different from the others, some facts remain the same regardless of the person in question — and today, we’re going to discuss some general information about the tech-savvy generation that’s taking the working world by storm.
Who are Gen Z?
The Gen Z population is, as we said, the generation that came directly behind the millennials.
Gen Z is the largest generation to be seen in America, with roughly 20% of the total population falling into the Gen Z category.
In the Canadian province of Nunavut, Gen Z is also the largest population (48%), while Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba, and Northwest Territories see substantially large populations of Gen Zers as well.
Gen Z Age Range
Depending on which source you examine, the exact age range for Gen Z will shift by a year or two.
Generally, though, most sources agree that Gen Z starts in the mid-90s (1996-1997) and ends in the 2010s (2010-2012).
Pew Research and Statistics Canada both define Gen Z as being anyone born between 1997 and 2012.
Gen Z Characteristics
The typical Gen Zer is deeply connected to technology, never knowing a world without smartphones or the Internet.
They also tend to be very interested in recreational activities such as video games and music, and are present and active on various platforms, including text messaging, social media, and the Internet as a whole.
In fact, 98% of Gen Z own a smartphone and spend more than 3 hours online daily.
The Gen Z population is more likely to pursue entrepreneurship and to start saving for retirement at a younger age than previous generations, as they are very goal and career-oriented.
The generation desires stability and personal financial education, as many saw their parents grow up in poor financial situations, such as the Great Recession.
They are more accepting and open-minded than previous generations, with nearly half of all Gen Zers being part of a minority and 15.9% of the Gen Z population self-identifying as LGBT.
Gen Z Trends and Interests
Gen Z’s interests include an endless number of trends, as all generations do. Here, however, are a few of the trends that you’ve most likely noticed but never considered.
One popular Gen Z trend is the general distrust for the government that can be found across a large portion of the generation.
70% of Gen Zers believe that the government should be doing more to solve the country’s problems, while 66% disagree that it does everything in its power to protect its population.
The same study also found that almost 60% of the Gen Z population reportedly finds it hard to trust the government coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This distrust is expected to spark a widespread lack of approval of the country’s future political leaders, which could change the course of the 2024 election.
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The 90s/2000s Fashion
Gen Z is taking fashion a step back in time, bringing some of the 90s and early 2000s most popular fashion trends back into the light.
Popular styles that you may see Gen Zers sporting today include low-rise jeans, chunky butterfly hair clips, braids, bucket hats, and holes and cutouts of varying shapes and sizes.
You may also see hairstyles from other decades, as the 80s seem to be returning among a chunk of Gen Z men.
It’s not uncommon to see mullets and mohawks — and for women, chunky dye jobs and crimping.
With the generation being so immersed in the digital world, it’s no wonder that social media is a huge trend among Gen Z.
Visual-driven social media platforms, in particular, as 81% of Gen Zers report that Instagram and YouTube, which are both highly visual, are their favourite platforms.
Platforms like TikTok are also incredibly popular, as Gen Z seems to have an appetite for short-form video content.
Gen Z Financial Habits
According to a survey by the CBA (Canadian Bankers Association), Gen Z was hit the hardest in terms of the job market when the pandemic hit.
However, they have proved resilient and incredibly adaptable, with 9 of 10 Gen Zers in Canada still feeling optimistic about their financial future.
Three-quarters of the Gen Zers surveyed reported that they have a savings account they regularly deposit money into, 70% actively participate in budgeting, and more than half of the Gen Zers that received government support during the pandemic put some portion of the money away for later use.
In terms of spending, Gen Zers are keen to save. They frequent thrift shops and secondhand stores and participate in item reselling online and in-person when possible.
Gen Z buys secondhand clothing 250% more than previous generations.
Gen Z vs Millennials
A quick breakdown of a few differences between Gen Z and Millennials.
|Focus on future||Focused on the current time|
|Consumes information through images||Consumes information through text|
How Old is Gen Alpha?
Gen Alpha is the current youngest generation. Today, most of them are younger than 12 years of age.
Why is Gen Z called “Gen Z”?
The name “Gen Z” came about because the generational naming system that was being used at the time followed an alphabetic approach. Because it is the second generation after Generation X, it is called Generation Z.
What Age are Millennials and Gen Z?
Today, in 2022, Millennials are anywhere from 26-41. Generation Z ranges from 10-25.