Born between 1997 and 2007

There is no defined end date for Gen Z, yet we believe that those born after 2007 will experience a very different world.

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    While Gen Z, those born between 1997 and 2007, represent just 14% of the US population, it outpunches its weight in influence — setting the pace of change for prior generations, but also dictating what generations that follow will come to expect. Together, Gen Z and those who follow represent 28% of the US population, and their influence and spending power will far exceed even that high percentage.

    In this report, “Gen Z” refers to those born between 1997 and 2007, unless otherwise noted.

    46.4 million

    Gen Zs born between 1997 and 2007 live in the U.S.

These digital natives have had access to real-time, unlimited and unfiltered content practically since birth.

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    Born into digital, Gen Zs have known only instant and unfettered access to friends, news and entertainment all through a single device. They are connected and growing up with people all across the globe through social media. While this has helped shape and accelerate their worldview, it has also created a new set of expectations to which businesses need to adhere.

Gen Z instantly experiences it all — for better or worse.

Against this backdrop, how did Gen Z cope with the powerful realities of a global pandemic?

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    As the global pandemic raged, Gen Zs experienced the realities of economic, health and social crises. Their response will define their generation.

The global pandemic brought fundamental changes to this generation.

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    As they tried to come to grips with home schooling, lockdowns and social injustice:

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    It activated their activism.

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    It challenged their mental health.

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    It redefined how they find meaning.

Trying to define Gen Z defies the reality of Gen Z.

It is, by far, the most diverse generation yet.

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    As we've seen with millennials, and every generation that preceded them, there is no single perspective that defines Gen Z. Instead, it's a generation full of plans, passions and paradoxes. Its diverse experiences and strong opinions will have a profound impact on society. And its time is now.

    This study focused on engaging and recruiting an audience as diverse as the generation itself.

The 5 Gen Z segments

In the EY 2020 Gen Z Segmentation Study — published just before COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic — we identified five unique segments within Gen Z.

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    Just one year later, the pandemic has created measurable change among this generation’s segments. There is no longer tolerance for indifference and stress levels are rising across the board.

    Related content

    Explore more details about each segment in our pre-pandemic report published in April 2020.

    Gen Z - A generation of contradiction


Every generation has a defining moment.

For Gen Z, that moment came in 2020 as it faced the worst health crisis the world has ever seen. Just as it was Gen Z's time to take on the world, the world changed.

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    The global pandemic challenged every single one of the GenZs' assumptions. They grappled with mental health challenges, tried to become better allies in the name of social justice and sifted through uncertainty to reimagine their purpose.

    So, how did this moment define Gen Z? It didn’t. Gen Z redefined the moment. Learn how in the next section: Gen Z activism

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