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113 Key Generation Z Statistics 2021/2022: Characteristics & Facts You Should Know

With their diverse ideals and different lifestyles, Generation Z presents new challenges and opportunities to all industries. Considering what they bring, it is best to consult Generation Z statistics to meet their shifting demands and expectations. But before we do, let’s define what  Generation Z is.

Pew Research Center defines Generation Z as individuals born between 1996 and 2010. Also known as the iGeneration (iGen) or the Net Gen, these individuals are the first true digital natives. They grew up at the height of the information age and rode the social media culture.

Being the newest and largest entrants to the consumer market and workforce of today, it is important that you understand how their minds work. To help you out, we have detailed everything you need to know about Gen Zers, from their academic mindset and workplace expectations to their spending power and shopping habits. This way, it would be easier for you to come up with more effective business strategies geared towards their preferences.

key gneration z statistics

General Generation Z Statistics

Gen Zers make up a good chunk of the world population, and, in a few years, they are expected to dominate the consumer market. Suffice it to say; their lifestyles will reshape the way modern businesses work, set the trends in retail, and provoke major changes in the workplace.

Pragmatic, technologically savvy, and socially conscious, Gen Z adults exhibit different behaviors compared to their predecessors. This greatly affects their purchasing decisions and overall approach to companies.

With that said, it is critical for businesses to understand these factors to effectively engage them today and in the future.

  • The birth rate of Gen Zers in the United States has outpaced Millennials by an average of 3 million. (Pew Research Center, 2019)
  • Gen Zers or iGeners comprise 32% of the entire world population, making it the largest cohort as of 2019. (Pew Research Center, 2020)
  • As of 2019, there are 2.47 billion Gen Zers in the world, surpassing the population of millennials and older generations. (New York Post, 2020)
  • As of 2019, the Gen Z population in the United States has grown to 67.17 million. (United States Census Bureau; Statista 2020)
  • 20% of the United States’ population are Gen Z. (Statista 2020)
  • The global consumer population of Generation Z is estimated to reach 2.6 billion before the end of 2020. (National Retail Federation)
  • A Generation Z report showed that 40% of the consumers in the US would have come from Generation Z in 2020. (Fast Company)
  • Gen Z is more racially diverse compared to older generations. (Pew Research Center, 2020)
  • 22% of Gen Z members in the United States have at least one immigrant parent. (Pew Research Center, 2020)
  • 6% of American Gen Z members are born outside the United States. (Pew Research Center, 2020)
  • By 2023, 30% of the US workforce will be Gen Z. (US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

The Gen Z Behavior Towards Money

In addition to their influence and purchasing power, another thing that sets Gen Zers apart is their behavior towards money. They identify themselves mostly as savers than spenders, allowing them to secure bright financial futures. Experts have observed that the iGen start their savings accounts at an early age and put their money towards investments rather than impulse purchases.

Consequently, companies will have to try harder to grab the attention of this new breed of consumers. Flashy products and star-studded advertisements may no longer work. Instead, you will need to focus on appealing to their unique interests and providing them with products that will add value to their lives.

  • Only 14% of Gen Zers consider themselves big spenders. 38% say they spend from time to time, while 48% say they prioritize saving more. (Apogee)
  • 74% of Gen Zers say that they are either “very trusting” or “somewhat trusting” of financial institutions. (Apogee)
  • 55% of older Gen Zers (18-23) say their parents have the greatest influence on how they deal with money. (The Center for Generational Kinetics, 2020)
  • 66% worry about not being able to pay off school loans — or how to avoid the debt in the first place. (The Center for Generational Kinetics, 2020)

The iGen Spending Power

Generational shifts take place every few decades. So, what makes this cohort different from others?

Poised to make up the majority of the global population, Gen Zers have the strongest purchasing power today. Furthermore, Generation Z market size reports reveal that they are perhaps the only generation that managed to influence their family spending to a great extent. This only means that by capturing their attention, you also tap their siblings and their parents in the process.

  • Gen Zers’ annual purchasing power has reached $323 billion in the United States alone. (Snapchat, 2020)
  • Gen Zers’ purchasing power is predicted to quadruple in the next two years. (Snapchat, 2020)
  • 87% of parents admit that their Gen Z children influence family purchase decisions. (NRF, 2019)
  • 84% of parents with Gen Z children are more likely to purchase from a retailer that makes it easier to involve their children in the process. (NRF, 2019)
  • 80% of parents with Gen Z kids wish more retailers make it easy to get their children involved in purchase decisions. (NRF, 2019)
  • 57% of parents said that they involve their Gen Z children in family purchase decisions because they will be using the items and their opinions matter. Meanwhile, 56% of parents stated that they want to teach their Gen Z kids about decision-making. (NRF, 2019)

What aspects of the family purchase Gen Z children influence?

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Source: National Retail Federation: Fall 2019 Consumer View

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Generation Z Workforce Statistics

Gen Zers are entering the workforce bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. This is a generation that’s hungry to learn the ins and outs of their chosen career, despite finding work to be one of the biggest sources of stress in their lives.

However, before employers can train the iGen to their full potential, it seems that they will have to be patient in acclimating this age group to their methods. A majority of this cohort don’t favor traditional training methods. They believe that college education and formal work training are not the best ways to learn the skills needed to survive in the corporate world.

So, as employers, you might want to consider thinking out of the box when onboarding Gen Z employees.

  • 76% of Gen Z employees are willing to start from the bottom of the corporate ladder. (Stillman, D. and Stillman, J.)
  • 77% of Gen Z adults in America say that work is one of the most common stressors for them. It only comes second to money (81%). (Statista)
  • 1 in 10 Gen Zers says they would rather spend time reading the iTunes terms and conditions than attend formal workplace training. (Stillman, D. & Stillman, J.)

What Gen Z Operators Want

Much like their predecessors, Gen Z employees want to have careers that pay well, provide good benefits, and hone their skills for the future. The only difference is today; they focus more on finding stable jobs that make them feel fulfilled—not just ones that will help them pay the bills. Moreover, as tech natives, they expect their employers to view technological innovation as a priority in the workplace.

That said, employers will have to pay more attention to career development plans if they want to attract and retain Gen Z employees.

  • 54% of Gen Zers say that salary is what they consider the most when applying for their first full-time jobs. (EHS Today, 2019)
  • Gen Zers prefer to pursue long-term careers and see themselves working for an average of four companies in their professional life. (BuiltIn, 2021)
  • 21 of Gen Zer said that they want a stable schedule and 23% expect that they would also be offered flexible schedules by their employers. (EHS Today, 2019)
  • 51% of iGeners said they would stay longer with a company if they enjoy the work they do, and 51% revealed that a competitive salary is also a reason for them to stay longer in a company. (EHS Today, 2019)
  • 73% of Gen Zers aspire to turn their hobbies into full-time jobs. (BuiltIn, 2021)
  • 77% of Gen Zers are more likely to apply for a job in companies that value diversity. (BuiltIn, 2021)
  • 75% of Gen Zers revealed that they would like to explore different roles in an organization than switch companies. (BuiltIn, 2021)
  • A company’s impact on society affects their decision to be part of the organization according to 93% of Gen Zers. (BuiltIn, 2021)
  • 60% of Gen Zers prefer having cool products more as perks than experiences. (BuiltIn, 2021)

The Entrepreneurial Generation

While the common route for previous generations was graduating from school and getting a stable job, a good fraction of the iGeneration have other plans in mind. They go against the current, wanting not to be followers but leaders of their own companies.

Being raised amidst the great recession and the student loan crisis, Gen Zers prefer pursuing lucrative careers that would not put them in debt. That said, it seems they believe that entrepreneurship is the best way to go.

  • 61% of the iGeneration would choose to be an entrepreneur over being an employee upon graduating from college. (Workplace Intelligence)
  • 54% of Gen Zers prefer starting their own companies than working for one. (Forbes, 2020)
  • 75% of Gen Zers aspire to turn their hobbies into full-time jobs. (BuiltIn, 2021)

Gen Z more likely to work on personal interests

Social Media Use of Generation Z Statistics

Millennials had a bad reputation for being on social media all the time. Gen Zers are not far behind as they, too, spend a lot of time browsing through various social networking sites.

However, this generation sets itself apart from its predecessors as they don’t use social media for socialization. Instead, they utilize it for entertainment, to find new brands, and learn more about the companies they are interested in. And if you use social media monitoring, you can find out how they interact with your business’s social profiles.

  • 95% of Gen Z are active on social media at least once a week. (The Center for Generational Kinetics, 2020)
  • 97% of Gen Z are on a video streaming platform in a typical week. (The Center for Generational Kinetics, 2020)
  • Social media is the most preferred channel of Gen Zers when engaging with a brand (1591 votes). This is followed by email (1515 votes), face-to-face meetings (1453 votes), ads (1268 votes), chat (1159 votes), and company blogs (907 votes). (Campaign Monitor, 2019)
  • 20.2% of Gen Zers engage with companies on social media more than any other communication channel. (Campaign Monitor, 2019)
  • 85% of Gen Zers utilize social media to scout for new products. 
  • Gen Zers spend an average of 3 hours a day on social media. This is more than the amount of time that Millennials would normally stay on the platforms (2 hours, 39 minutes). (Global Web Index)
  • The primary motivation for using social media among Gen Zers is the need to be entertained. (Global Web Index)
  • Social Media Platform Preferences

The majority of Gen Zers may use social media for communication as well as business transactions. However, it is important to note that not all social media platforms are created equal.

Statistics show that unlike their Millennial and Gen X counterparts, the iGen are using Facebook and Twitter less and less. If you want to effectively engage this cohort on social media, Youtube is the way to go.

Gen Zers spend hours on the platform every day, citing that it is great for destressing and learning new skills. As a result, YouTube has become a prime space for advertisements and branded content—something worth considering for your marketing strategies. You can even utilize social media management tools to optimize your interactions with Gen Zers online.

  • 73% of Gen Z adults are active on Instagram more than any other social media platform. (Marketing Charts, 2019)
  • The most used online platforms among teenage Gen Zers are Youtube (85%), Instagram (72%), Snapchat (69%), Facebook (51%), and Twitter (32%). (Pew Research Center)
  • 55% believe that YouTube has contributed to their education. (Pearson)
  • The number 1 reason why iGeners go on YouTube is to relax and cheer themselves up. (Think With Google)
  • 80% of Gen Z teens say YouTube is a great tool for helping them become more knowledgeable. (IPSOS)
  • 7 out of 10 Gen Zer ranked YouTube as the second most common way for them to learn about new brands, products, and companies. (The Center for Generational Kinetics, 2020)

Source: Marketing Charts

Leading Social Media Monitoring Software

  1. Qwaya. This software helps drive your marketing efforts on Facebook. Read more about its capabilities in this Qwaya review.
  2. BuzzSumo. This application analyzes your social media posts to find which kind of content perform best. You can find out what other benefits it offers in our BuzzSumo review.
  3. Sprout Social. Communicate with your audience better on social platforms. Take a look at the tools this platform in this Sprout Social review.
  4. Agorapulse. Keep track of your social standing on Facebook and other popular social media sites. Discover what else you can do with it in this Agorapulse review.
  5. Mention. Extend your listening to anywhere on the web with this platform. This Mention review can tell you other functionalities this software has.

Marketing for Generation Z Statistics

Gen Zers are perhaps one of the most challenging individuals to create marketing campaigns for. They grew up at a time when it was normal to be online 24/7 on multiple platforms. Moreover, they face a deluge of information every day just by browsing through social networks and different websites. This allows them to process information faster than their predecessors. However, as a result, they also have shorter attention spans.

Digital marketers will have to up their game if they want to catch the attention of this generation and reap the benefits of their influence. For instance, now might be the time to invest in SaaS to optimize marketing strategies. After all, there’s an extensive selection of marketing automation tools available on the market.

  • Gen Zers have short attention spans that last only 8 seconds. (Forbes)
  • Gen Zers demand personalized interactions across various channels. (IBM)
  • 65% of retailers in the US have increased their Gen Z marketing budgets since 2018. (Statista)

How to Tap Gen Zers

Gen Zers are natural multitaskers, and they like efficiency. That said, they prefer consuming content in the fastest way possible—through visuals. Be it YouTube videos, Instagram posts, gifs, or ads with images. These types of content are easier to digest for this generation. Hence, they are more appealing than traditional content like blogs and articles.

However, simply fine-tuning your brand’s aesthetic and learning to produce content that they like is not enough to capture this audience.

Another thing to know when targeting millennials is that they don’t want to simply purchase from your brand—they want to be part of what you stand for. This is why the authenticity of your company plays a big role in their purchasing decisions.

  • 52% of Gen Zer are highly likely to get a product or service if recommended by their favorite influencer. (The Center for Generational Kinetics, 2020)
  • 71% of Gen Zers consume over 3.4 hours of online videos daily. (CNBC, 2019)
  • Visual content can relay information 60,000 times faster than words. (Visual Communication)
  • 91% prefer seeing visual content instead of traditional marketing formats. (Visual Communication)
  • Gen Zer respect and prefer brands and companies that support humanitarian and social causes such as ending hunger (50%), stopping human trafficking (50%), ending poverty and homelessness (51%), and racial equality (51%). (The Center for Generational Kinetics, 2020)
  • 79% of Gen Zers trust companies that do not photoshop their ads, while 84% trust companies that use actual customers in their ads. (Adage)
  • 67% of Gen Zers find seeing real people in ads more appealing. Only 37% said they prefer seeing celebrities in ads. (Forbes)

In addition to these data, you might want to take a look at this list of visual content marketing statistics to learn how you can maximize your advertisements and marketing content.

AI for Personalized Marketing

Personalized experiences proved important in attracting and converting Gen X and Millennial leads. The same holds true for the iGen consumers.

By creating targeted campaigns for specific target demographics, you can appeal to their unique interests. It also lets them know that you genuinely care about their wants and needs. Thus, yielding better sales later on. The only problem is it’s difficult to do it manually.

With this said, you might want to start leveraging AI and CRM systems to provide them with better experiences. Just be sure to handle your customers’ personal data with care and let them know how you are protecting their information. This way, they can be more at ease when transacting with your company.

  • Generation Z marketing statistics show that 68% of the Gen Z population believe in predictive personalization. (Small Business Trends, 2019)
  • 79% of Gen Zers expect digital experiences to be AI-powered. (ZD Net, 2019)
  • 61% of Gen Zers prefer patronizing brands that can protect their personal data. (National Retail Federation)
  • Less than 30% of Gen Zers are willing to share their personal data. These include information on their health, location, or payment details. (National Retail Federation)
  • 2 in 5 Gen Zers are okay with giving companies their personal information for a more customized experience. (ZD Net, 2019)

The Power of Word-of-Mouth

No consumer wants to hear companies toot their own horn. This is why word-of-mouth marketing is a tried and tested strategy that works wonders even for Gen Zers. In fact, the factors that drive their purchasing decisions rely heavily on the recommendations of friends, social media influencers, and content creators.

With this said, you might want to consider investing in content marketing and influencer marketing if you aim to cater to this generation. After all, what better way to get your brand out there than to let people talk about your products, right?

  • A Generation Z market research revealed that 43% of this cohort is more likely to provide product reviews after a purchase. (Forbes)
  • 35% of Gen Zer prefer to see product reviews on the company’s website. (The Center for Generational Kinetics, 2020)
  • 46% of iGeners follow over 10 social media influencers. This plays a vital role in their purchasing decisions. (The Center for Generational Kinetics)
  • 46% admit that they rely on the recommendations of friends and family members before buying a product. (IBM)
  • A majority (93%) of iGeneration watch product reviews on YouTube. (Ad Week)

Aversion to Advertisements

Thinking of resorting to old-school advertisements for Gen Z marketing? You might want to think again.

Most people from the iGeneration have a negative relationship with ads. They find them annoying and interruptive. So much so that some even resort to using ad blockers on their devices or even pay service providers just to remove ads from the apps they’re using.

If you truly want this demographic to notice your brand, the best way to do it would be through quality content that really speaks to them. Try telling them more about your company’s mission and give them an idea of what makes your brand different. This way, you can forge more authentic connections with this generation.

  • 44% of iGeners start to dislike brands whose ads are overly repetitive.
  • 56 % of Gen Zers say they don’t click on ads that they see on websites.
  • 65% of the members of Gen Z utilize ad-blocking technology.
  • 12% of Gen Zers are willing to pay to get rid of ads.
  • 66% of Gen Zers say ads interrupt them. Meanwhile, others find them annoying (54%) and irrelevant (45%). (UNiDAYS)

Gen Zers Expect Authenticity from Brands

Shopping Behavior of Generation Z Statistics

Quality, aesthetics, convenience, speed—these are only a handful of what Gen Z consumers expect from the companies they do business with. As a generation that spends their money wisely, they have demands that are difficult but not impossible to meet.

  • Generation Z consumer data show that brands are increasingly struggling to meet the demands of iGen consumers. (IBM)
  • 55% of Gen Z men feel more loyal to a brand that provides them with high-quality products or services; 47% of women feel the same. The Center for Generational Kinetics, 2020)
  • 55% of Gen Z women feel more loyal to brands that are reasonably priced, the same as 44% of Gen Z men. (The Center for Generational Kinetics, 2020)
  • Gen Z customers are more loyal to brands that fit their style (39%), support causes they agree with (31%), and brands that are cool and liked by their friends (21%). (The Center for Generational Kinetics, 2020)
  • 60% of Gen Zers say they will no longer use an application or shopping site if they have slow loading times. (IBM)
  • 58% of Generation Z shoppers say they are willing to pay over $5 if it means they get the products they purchased within an hour. (Accenture, 2020)
  • 71% of Gen Zers would like to take part in automatic replenishment programs for convenience. (Accenture, 2020)

How Do Gen Zers Shop?

The tech natives that they are, Gen Zers are used to having all the information in the world at their fingertips. Similarly, they have become accustomed to procuring things that they want almost instantly. That said, even though the majority of iGen consumers still shop in physical stores, a significant fraction of them are now turning to online shopping for certain types of products.

If you want to take advantage of this growing shopping trend, you might want to start investing in ecommerce solutions, shopping cart tools, and online marketplaces. To help you get started, you can take a look at this list of leading ecommerce platforms.

  • 2 in 3 Gen Z teenagers make purchases online. (Think With Google)
  • 65% of Gen Z teens use their mobile phones to shop online. (YPulse, 2019)
  • The most common products/services that Gen Z purchase online are music (69%), films (61%), food and drink (58%), games (54%), and technology (53%). (For Business Snapchat, 2019)

Source: The 2019 Everything Guide to Gen Z Study

Generation Z Technology Statistics

The iGeneration was exposed to technology throughout their formative years. So, not only are they tech-savvy like Millennials, but they also have a tech-first mentality that allows them to innovate various aspects of their life. One proof of this is their extensive use of the internet not only for entertainment and socialization but also for picking up new skills.

  • Gen Z will be the first generation that will have little or no memory at all of a world without smartphones and similar technology. (Pew Research Center, 2020)
  • Generation Z technology statistics show that 9 out of 10 Gen Zers surf the internet for prolonged periods every day. (Pew Research Center)
  • 45% of Gen Z teenagers are online “almost constantly.” (Pew Research Center)
  • 17% of teens spend more than four hours online, 12% spend more than three hours, and 38% spend less than an hour a day online. (eMarketer, 2019)

Mobile Technology Usage

In addition to spending a lot of time on the world wide web, another technology use trend among Gen Zers is their need to stay connected anytime, anywhere, through their smartphones.

Nowadays, mobile devices are no longer limited to texting and calling. The iGen utilizes these gadgets as if they were mini computers. All they need is an internet connection, and they can practically do everything from work to shopping straight from their phone.

  • 75% of Gen Zers selected smartphones as their device of choice for everyday use. This is followed by laptops (45%), desktop computers (30%), tablets (10%), gaming consoles (8%), smart TVs (3%), and wearable devices (1%). (National Retail Federation)
  • 95% of iGen teens say they have a smartphone or, at the very least, access to one. (Criteo)
  • 55% of Gen Zers use their smartphones for 5 or more hours a day. (The Center for Generational Kinetics)
  • Gen Zers spend roughly 11 hours per week on their mobile phones. (Criteo)
  • Gen Zers use their phones for texting (73%), entertainment (59%), playing games (58%), doing schoolwork (36%), learning new things (28%), and shopping (17%). (National Retail Federation)
  • 73% of iGeners utilize interconnected devices primarily for socialization (i.e., texting, and chatting).  (National Retail Federation)
  • 73% of iGen consumers are interested in trying voice-activated ordering. (Accenture, 2020)

favorite gadgets of Gen Zers

If you are interested in reading more about important tech data for 2019, be sure to check out our compilation of technology statistics. This should give you all the latest information on technology use and challenges for the coming years.

The Impact of COVID-19 on Gen Z’s Present and Future

As the generation born surrounded by a highly progressive technology, Gen Zers have both the convenience and opportunities to pursue a bright future laid out before them. This, however, has been disrupted by the pandemic that has shifted not only their routine but also their priorities as they deal with mental and financial struggles and face an uncertain future.

  • 50% of the oldest Gen Z population in the United States (18-23 years old) have been laid off from their jobs or received reduced pay due to the pandemic. (Pew Research Center, 2020)
  • More than 30% of the older Gen Z (18-24) years old are stressed about the financial difficulties brought on by the pandemic. (The Center for Generational Kinetics, 2020)
  • Since the pandemic started,  46% of older Gen Z have money owed from a family member or a friend. (The Center for Generational Kinetics, 2020)
  • 56% of Gen Z said that the pandemic has affected their social life. (Gen Z Planet, 2020)
  • 36% of Gen Z said their future career plans are affected by COVID-19 (Gen Z Planet, 2020)
  • 51% of Gen Z teens (13-17 years old) reported that the pandemic has made planning for their future seem impossible; 67% of Gen Z adults feel the same way. (APA, 2020)
  • 47% of Gen Z admitted that the COVID-19 outbreak affected their family’s finances. (Gen Z Planet, 2020)
  • 47% of Gen Z stated that the pandemic has affected their future education plans; 36% said their future career plans are affected by COVID-19 (Gen Z Planet, 2020)

Source: The Center for Generational Kinetics: The State of Gen Z 2020

COVID-19’s Impact on Mental Health

  • 40% of Gen Z revealed that the pandemic has impacted their mental health. (Gen Z Planet, 2020)
  • 34% of Gen Z adults reported that their mental health was worse in 2020 compared to the same time in 2019. (APA, 2020)
  • 81% of Gen Z teens (13-17 years old) said school closures due to the pandemic has affected them negatively. (APA, 2020)
  • 87% of Gen Z adults who are in college revealed that school plays a significant role in the stress they are experiencing. (APA, 2020)

What Do These Generation Z Facts Mean for Your Business?

Gen Zers are now on the cusp of adulthood. They are entering the workforce, approaching financial freedom, and contributing more and more to the economy. Moreover, they are joining the consumer market with their unique views on shopping and brand engagement in tow. With that said, they will have the capability to reshape the modern business landscape in the coming years.

The takeaway here is that generational shifts are just as important as economic changes when it comes to business. Remember, generations are molded by the environment in which they emerged, and in turn, the lifestyles they develop shape the world we live in. By understanding the mentality and behavior of this incoming breed of consumers, companies may adapt to their unique wants and needs.

Hopefully, with this compilation of Generation Z statistics, you were able to get an idea of how to connect with this group of individuals. These data can prove helpful in understanding the different spending patterns and shopping behaviors of this cohort as we move through 2019 and beyond.

In case you are looking for more ways to attract this group of consumers, you might want to check out our guide to lead generation best practices. With this, you can get an in-depth explanation of the different strategies you can use to attract customers and boost conversions.

 

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Jenny Chang

By Jenny Chang

Jenny Chang is a senior writer specializing in SaaS and B2B software solutions. Her decision to focus on these two industries was spurred by their explosive growth in the last decade, much of it she attributes to the emergence of disruptive technologies and the quick adoption by businesses that were quick to recognize their values to their organizations. She has covered all the major developments in SaaS and B2B software solutions, from the introduction of massive ERPs to small business platforms to help startups on their way to success.

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