Generation Z is a tech-savvy multicultural generation that is highly global, both in population and perspective. Also known as “screen addicts” or “Generation Zed”, today’s cohort of confident and curious screeners are tomorrow’s entrepreneurs, consumers, peace negotiators, global leaders, game-changers and major contributors to social causes.
Here are three defining characteristics of Gen Z,
- 325 million: US population as of 2017, according to the US Census Bureau
- 68 million: US pop age 0 to 21, born between 1996 and 2017; 27% of the pop
- 23 million: US pop age 7 to 21, born between 1996 and 2010
Generation Z was born between 1996 and 2010 meaning that as of 2017, they range in age from seven to 21. Opinions differ on birth dates, with the generation beginning from 1992 to 1996, and end dates ranging from 2000-present, anyone under 21.
Why 1996 to 2010?
- Generation Z follows Generation Y / Millennials who, as offspring of the Baby Boomers, were born 1980 to 1995. Today Millennials are 22 to 37 years old.
- Generation X, born 1965 to 1980, really started having more babies in 1995. Gen X offspring (Gen Z) are raised very differently than Boomer offspring (Gen Y).
- In 1996, technology emerged into the hands of the masses, with the debut of the PC and introduction of email beyond corporate walls.
- Technology brought us screens with continuous news, unfiltered news and images from around the world. This kind of access at a young age shaped Gen Z’s persona.
- Born after 1996 means a child witnessed, experienced or grieved through 9/11 and was old enough to remember 9/11 at the age of 5.
- In 2010, Gen X births began declining and Millennials finally began having babies, the youngest Millennial was 30 years old in 2010.
- An infant and a teen need to be treated very differently which I one reason I end the generation in 2010.
- The generation after Gen Z is called Generation Alpha (age 0-7) who are being raised by Millennials and their parenting style is very different than Gen X.
2. Geography: Generation Z is a very global and multicultural population.
- Generation Z accounts for 27%, or nearly a third, of the total world population.
- In the US, there are 23 million between ages 7-21, or born between 1996 and 2010.
- The majority of Gen Z resides in under-developed or developing countries. The top 10 countries account for 57% of the Gen Z population. (Sapient study)
- Among the top 10 countries, all but the US are developing or under-developed countries. Countries with the maximum Gen Z populations include India, China and Nigeria. The Gen Z population is relatively low in mature markets such as Europe.
3. Formative Years: Their Gen X parents promoted independence; Gen Z was also “born with a silver screen” streaming world news.
- Majority of Gen Zs are the children of Gen X (born 1965-1980). While Gen X was labeled latchkey kids and rebellious teenagers, Gen X parents are doing an impressive job raising responsible and motivated Gen Zs. Gen X parents work hard and give their offspring a lot more attention than they received as children.
- Gen X, and truly all parents of Gen Z, are the first generation of parents to raise children in a tech-driven society. Just as Gen Z are pioneers of a new kind of society, parents of Gen Z are pioneer parents, navigating unprecedented territories dominated by technology and social media.