15 mind-blowing stats about Generation Z as we head into 2021

“In my day…”

Wipe that generational skepticism aside: Generation Z, born 1997 to 2012 and the oldest of whom are now entering the workforce, are a cohort to admire, learn from, and even emulate. Gen Z is all about diversity, ethics, and values, with each one factoring heavily in their choice of which brands they’ll buy from and which companies they’ll work for. At the same time, the younger half of this group is being molded and educated during a global pandemic – a completely unique experience for all of us and especially challenging for young people at a crucial point in their growth and development.

The following statistics provide an interesting overview of who Gen Z is, how they stay connected to each other as well as the brands they love, how to win their trust, how they are coping with their personal and consumer lives going all digital—and more.

1. Generation Z accounts for 20.5 percent of the U.S. population, behind Millennials (22 percent) and Baby Boomers (21 percent). (Source: Census Bureau/Statista)

2. Gen Z represents the leading edge of the country’s changing racial and ethnic makeup. Fifty-two percent are non-Hispanic white, 25 percent are Hispanic, 14 percent are Black, 6 percent are Asian, and 5 percent are another race or two or more races. (Source: Pew Research Center)

3. Since the start of COVID-19, over one third of older Gen Z (18-24) are feeling stressed about saving money (36 percent), supporting their basic needs (35 percent), and dipping into their savings (34 percent). In addition, 46 percent of older Gen Z (18-24) have borrowed money from a friend or family member since the pandemic started. (Source: The Center for Generational Kinetics)

4. Still, estimates of Gen Z annual purchasing power are as high as $323 billion in the U.S., with researchers forecasting this can grow by more than four times when accounting for Gen Z’s influence over others in their households. (Kantar/Snapchat)

5. Gen Z demands online experience that are easy to navigate (43 percent), with seamless check out and payment options (36 percent). Thirty-five percent like to see ratings and reviews front and center. (Source: The Center for Generational Kinetics)

6. The average Gen Z’er received their first mobile phone at age 10.3 years. Many of them grew up playing with their parents’ mobile phones or tablets. The smartphone is their preferred method of communication. On average, they spend three hours a day on their mobile device. (Source: Kasaza)

7. Gen Z spends close to six hours on social platforms. Instagram is their top destination, though TikTok adoption has seen a significant increase since the beginning of the year, with over half of Gen Z now using the video-sharing network. (Source: YPulse)

8. When asked how they spend their free time online, nearly half (48 percent) of Gen Z selected at least one creative activity, such as editing photos, creating memes, or creating digital art. (Source: Wunderman Thompson)

9. In a global survey of 15,600 Gen Zers, 66 percent of respondents said once they find a brand they like, they will continue to buy for a long time. In addition, 59 percent said they trust brands they have grown up with, 55 percent want to have control over what information they share, and 54 percent want control over how brands contact them. (Source: National Retail Federation)

10. Gen Z have the highest rate of advertising recall, at 59 percent (Millennials have 57 percent) ad recall and Gen X/Baby Boomers are at 47 percent) — despite spending less time than either group watching the ad. (Source: Snapchat/Kantar)

11. Sixty-four percent of Gen Zers will pay more for eco-friendly products, and 49 percent prefer to buy from local or independent retailers. (Source: GlobalWebIndex)

12. Sixty-three percent of surveyed Gen Z consumers said recommendations from friends are their most trusted source for learning about products and brands. (Source: McKinsey)

13. Generation Z is expected to make up 30 percent of the labor force by 2030. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau)

14. According to a survey of 1,531 Gen Zers, 77 percent of respondents say it’s important they work at organizations whose values align with their own. (Source: Deloitte Consulting)

15. One-third (33 percent) of Gen Zers say they would never tolerate an employer that gave them “no say” over their work schedule, and, particularly for Gen Zers in Canada (33 percent), the U.K., and the U.S. (both 31 percent), flexibility to work when, where, and how they want is the motivation they need to deliver their “best work.” (Source: Workforce Institute)