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


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