Generation Z Defined: Global, Visual, Digital

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Generation Z: 1995-2009With the oldest Generation Zeds turning 18 in 2013, and the youngest a year away from starting school, here’s an analysis of what defines this global, 21st Century generation.

The world is changing at a rapid pace, and has been transformed in the lifetime of our Gen Zeds. Just five years ago if you said “do you have the latest app? “Did you read that tweet?” “Make that your status update”, “Oh you have an android”, people would wonder what planet you are from. Such is the speed of technological change that while it took almost 90 years for there to be one car in Australia for every person, it’s taken just five years for smart phones to have the same reach!

Click hee to download this report | McCrindle Research

Generation Z: growing up in shifting times

Generation Z are the children and teenagers growing up in these fast-moving, complex times. Aged 3 to 17 years, the youngest of this cohort are about to enter primary school, while the oldest have just put down their pens and exam papers after finishing their final Year 12 exams. There are currently 4.6 million Gen Zs in Australia, and with this generation the learners of today and the employees of tomorrow, understanding what has shaped them, as well as what motivates them, is critical. In light of that, here 7 top trends shaping Generation Z.

7 trends defining Generation Z

1. Demographically changed

Australia is experiencing both an ageing population and a baby boom, with over 300,000 babies born in the last year. Since 1966 Australia’s population has doubled and is now growing by a new Canberra every year. Not only is the population growing, but our households are changing. The nuclear family (parents and children) is still the most common household form (33% of all households), however within a few years, the couple only household will be the most common and with our ageing population, the lone person household has been the fastest growing.

2. Generationally defined

Generations are comprised of people who share a similar age and lifestage, have been shaped during their formative years by similar conditions and technologies and have lived through the same events and experiences which have impacted them. For Generation Z, coming of age in the 21st Century has created a unique generation from the Global Financial Crisis to growing cultural diversity, from global brands to social media and a digital world. Generation Z are the most materially endowed, technological saturated, formally educated generation our world has ever seen.

3. Digital integrators

While all age groups have embraced the digital technologies of the 21st Century, the age at which first utilise the technology determines how embedded it becomes in our lifestyle. We refer to adults as the digital transactors who use technology in a practical, functional, structural way, using the new technology to achieve tasks that they previously used old technology to achieve. However Generation Z are digital integrators in that they have integrated technology seamlessly into their lives, and having used it from the youngest age, it is almost like the air that they breathe, permeating almost all areas of their lifestyle and relationships. Our recent study showed that more than half of Australian young people don’t wear a wristwatch because the smartphone has become the primary device used to tell the time (in addition to being the primary device for getting directions, checking the weather and taking a photo).

4. Globally Focused

Generation Z is the first generation to be truly a global one. Not only are the music, movies and celebrities global for them as they have been for previous generations, but through technology, globalisation and our culturally diverse times, the fashions, foods, online entertainment, social trends, communications and even the “must watch YouTube videos and memes” are global as never before.

5. Visually engaged

At 4.7 billion searches per day, Google is the number one search engine, but with 4 billion YouTube searches a day, YouTube is a close number two. We have an emerging generation, many of whom are opting to watch for a video summarising an issue rather than read an article discussing it. In an era of information overload, messages have increasingly become image based and signs, logos and brands communicate across the language barriers with colour and picture rather than words and phrases. Our analysis of learning styles has shown the dominance in the visual and hands on learning styles above that which traditionally dominated the classroom; the auditory delivery format.

6. Educationally transformed

While the Federal Government has a target of 90% of students completing year 12 by 2015, many schools have already surpassed this. And while the average young person is spending more years in formal education than ever before, with tertiary education rates similarly increasing, for today’s students, education is no longer life-stage dependant (at the start of life, before the career commences), but a life-long reality. Not only have students changed, but also their schools with a shift from a teacher centred to learner adaptive, from content driven to engagement focused and from formal delivery to more interactive environments.

7. Socially defined

More than any other generation, today’s youth are extensively connected to and shaped by their peers. In a recent study by McCrindle Research, it was found that while nearly all the generations had the same amount of close friends (an average of 13); Generations Y and Z had almost twice as many Facebook friends than the older generations. And so, the network that influences them is greater numerically, geographically and being technology based, is connected 24/7. This technology, while helping to facilitate their relational world can also negatively impact it with our research showing that a third of students having been bullied via social networking websites (such as Facebook), instant messaging, text or email.

Australia’s Generation Z, coming of age in the 21st Century, are alive at an amazing time in human history, are living in one of the most amazing places of the 242 countries in the world and being at the start of their lives, they have amazing opportunities, unimaginable just a generation ago. Understandably, very few Generation Zs would swap their lives with any other generation at any other time and in any other place. The challenge for the older generations is to offer the wisdom, guidance and support so that this emerging generation can make a positive difference in their era and for the generations of the future.

Click hee to download this report | McCrindle Research

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare

Last 150 Articles


salary acf15 Engineering Manager education family collaborative new office demographic transformations teaching infographic wall income CBD changing face of sydney 2017 marriage Australian Bureau of Statistics housing trends learning styles education future report urban living index product affordability consumerism NBRS Architecture relevant investor research data trends of 2017 national crime rates high density pharmacy father's day Caregiver volunteering data unemployment South Australia annual income volunteer financial independence poker master NBRS socialising australian social research hello fresh Wagga Wagga market research Sydney keynote speaker marriages graphs bondi New South Wales Crime Rates Andrew Duffin average aussie households poor students sydneycity participants future-proof group chairty generation Z data analyst 1980 optus futurist cultural diveristy staying in Australian Dream cancel plans Mark McCrindle Real Estate high density apartments ACF 23 million gender award winner global financial crisis Macquarie University ABS wealth ageing population population milestone cancelling event apartments village follow Financial Planning Association of Australia future of shopping christian baby name predictions tv Research Executive gig happiness economic forecasting anzac educhat trend money Wellington tertiary education Australian Communities Trends charities Gen Y intern newspaper mythbusting megatrends professional speaker employers high school analysis priorities Australian Population conferences capital city curiosity the changing face of names social commentator sydney event narcissism youth Deaths kate middleton personalities twentyseventeen speakers pack prince george politics fresh housing Australian community trends easter Melbourne life renter of the future data dream litter population map forecast future of education renting 2016 overcast 2015 business index women ACF17 Population Clock social shifts slideshare Netflix greatness sunny days shopping repayments 1968 demographer cartodb travel 24,000,000 house prices relational easy rider generations award census results mortgage land of the middle class culture 10 years community event snapshot online marketing communicate visualisation economy Financial Planning Week suburb google for education townhouses pharmacies mentor internships Sydney cloudy days university Skilling sydney speaker paying to work unaffordable faith Financial Planning Association world youth day food gold coast research services technology sydneysiders clothing school satisfaction James Ward shopper's pick communication Res Vis The Daily Edition learner non profit urban living local Royals vegetarian FPA plans 1994 nfp facts not-for-profit consumer earn offenders ultimo millionth workforce insights resilience optimistic perth vegemite resource 40 million brisbane ease of travel SMART city public speaker social change VIC conference presentation transport ideas local communities logan pyrmont sydney metro program #censusfail area brand experience bureau speakers motivate Generation Y study cooking young people medicine survey design children long weekend Assistant Store Manager typical australian professional presenters Hills Shire Council baby name google ashley mckenzie summer TED community engagement child care cica research home ownership cancelling plans new york times divorce language holiday shopping centre digital charity contiki cost ageing careers mythbusters Myth eliane water young australians education future cash financial dreams thought leadership blaxland seasons Vocational education entrepreneurs of today office space Duchess of Cambridge customer publication collaboration selfie office opening training REIV National Conference sector travelling jobs workshop sunburnt country belief states rule keeper census domestic news australian communities trends report coffee WA future of work world data visualisation work mates business performance ethnography visual social enquiry finance spirituality media activity volunteering gig economy internship care support professional rise of local impact panel government Tuesday Trend live the dream environment Tuesday Trends meetings mccrindle research staff DESTEL baby names australia report Northern Beaches quote business crime ipswich household increasing densification in depth interviews public holiday environmental scanning deloitte daily telegraph Sydney Hills Business Chamber grandparents social holidays trades commute stay home video wolloomooloo Queensland NFP event media recap networking research report Word Up wellbeing System's Architect baby names generation sentiments owning a home society baby names report brand mccrindle tea socialites thrive global wedding weekly earnings ashley fell sector wide study car group session woolworths divorce rate rent workplace HSC suburban living millennials entertainment moreton bay australians staying home more baby Gen X Territory menai monarchy Western Australia criminal researcher learn australia screenage organisations Aussies commuters teachers FOMO NT small business dare to dream christianity SMSF professional development waverton REIV Conference qualitative research capital cities friends real mover and shaker media release Canberra leadership workshop lalor park tips Christmas season royal christmas hills state ACF2017 Australia Day emerging generations geomapping sports social researchers social media faux-cilise keynote speaker hobart budget culturally diverse Northern Territory Hornsby Shire Council winter blues national private wealth trends of 2016 Queensland: QLD house price rise wealth distribution society trends work-life event 24 million couple property market home wealth and income distribution friendship faux-ciliser energy Australia street in the media ferry define TDE generational trends norwest safe global generations trend tuesday ACF 2016 healthy future proactive not for profit the great screenage church baby name trends meals leadership "know the times" presentation year 12 JOMO buildings housing market showreel tattoos house social researcher builders sydneysider bus presentations neutral bay house price trends analyst growth entrepreneurial TAS change supply and demand residents financial planning investing 2020 aussie culture wealth and income PSI Births story trends wage men New Zeland January 26th 2016 census results emerging trends debt census fail focus groups Adelaide EFF future proofing 2012 Charlotte teacher mother's day going out average sydneysider skills gen z future proof research pack February 16 Kiwi gen alpha baby boomers national wealth parents innovative hopes future storytelling urban community communities darwin media commentary the hills baby boom dreams NSW families responsive Work place schools dessert property price celebration keynote school students hornsby micro apartments parenting religion royal influence Generation X australian fears CPI generation alpha moderators guide SA purpose online shopping statistics micro TED talk The ABC of XYZ lifestyle school social commentary Australian communities social impact cultural diversity eliane miles innovation potts point jobs of the future 1975 research visualisation DIY Merry Christmas employment schools students infographics casual emerging technologies Geoff Brailey NEETs average Australian marrickville weather retirement financial engagement communications middle class debate professional services omnibus Australian Trends census data Real Estate Institute of Victoria etiquette focus group low density faux-cilising TEDx equip urban taskforce population growth brands Northern beaches Event teleworking results survey education research property Australian Home demographic trends Australians stats Kirsten Brewer cold public speaking university degree investment tea entrepreneur challenge goals Australian demographics social research sydney hills year 7 demographic engage Love sector wide grave decision volunteers shifts royal baby sustainable cost of living Social Trend events post rationalism winter Bathburst social analysis millenials choice workers train Aussie Channel Seven breakfast mccrindle in the media hills shire earnings housing growth speaker conference speaker goal Channel 7 housing affordability 2014 demography cars victoria rental stress report Education Future Forum Northern Beaches Christian School census 2016 VET identity huffington post Research Director social issues 2013 the hills shire high density living aged care outsourcing personal growth demographics infographic internet mining boom aged care puzzle local community Valentine’s Day optus my business awards ACT Australian Census experience Wodonga teach leader affordable Christmas lunch princess charlotte home owner Australia Day 2017 australian communities forum australian community trends report Do It Yourself case study tableau Australian schools insight sun VET sector the australian dream English alpha growing population toys rising house prices know the times World Water Day apartment balance social trends wages social life click Scouts Tasmania manly interactive crows nest career dreaming 2016 census population Australian Families shbc daily commute Christchurch GPO financial fears education sector office mobile SRE student IT Specialists work Christmas presents earning spend tuesday conference mateship rich living suburbs New Zealand learning organisational culture youth unemployment authenticity McCrindle Speakers list rain financial future forum social lives mccrindle royal family the average aussie educated workplace culture