Generation Z members are defined by Pew researches people born between 1997 and 2012. The Organization cites important political, economic, and technological factors that helped it determine that “most American millennials were shaped by events in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, even if Gen Z’s members have little to no memory of them. Generation Z is also notable because it is the first generation to fully immerse itself in the world of the Internet from birth, and also one of those generations born before millennials. With the coming of age of the generation, their names change and they develop different characteristics and the events that define them. Often what a generation is called early is not what sticks at the end, but what it calls itself later in life.
At the Center for Generational Kinetics, the generation after the millennials is called the generation Z. In many cases, this new generation’s views follow those of millennials, but are different from those of the baby boomers and Gen Xers, who are in the middle. One of the fastest-growing generations in recent years has been the generation of centennials. For example, 70% of respondents say that the state should do more to solve societal problems, but that it does too many things better that are left to companies and individuals. By comparison, only about half of millennials (49 percent) and (48 percent) of Gen Xers say governments should do more. About 7 in 10, or 60 percent, say increasing ethnic and racial diversity is good for society, compared with about 4 in 10 of the silent generation (44 percent). By contrast, about a fifth of baby boomers (73 percent) say the government should do no more.
Millennials have set the standards of what is acceptable, expected and cool and others have adopted that stance, including Gen Xers and baby boomers. Millennials have encouraged this attitude among teens and young adults, with the rest following suit. Research suggests that Gen Z is establishing a new norm for social media use, thereby resetting the standards that the generation will adopt. Now that Gen Z is approaching adulthood, Research suggests that Gen Z’s members are probably the most educated generation yet; they are more educated than their parents and grandparents. Gen Z is considered the youngest generation, and this is particularly evident in the content that Gen Z and millennials consume. They are also digital natives who have access to smartphones that exist outside their parents and grandparents.
For analytic purposes, it is believed that 1996 is a significant cut for both millennials and Gen Z for a number of reasons, including important political, economic and social factors that determine the formative years of the millennial generation. Most millennials were between 5 and 20 years old when the 9/11 attacks rocked the United States. While most members of Gen Z have little to no memory of these events, many are able to understand the historical and significance of the moment. Nearly half of millennials and Gen Zer’s think that gay marriage is a good thing for society, a sentiment shared by more than 68% of baby boomers and 71% of the silent generation.