The Youth of the Nations: Global Trends Among Gen Z

An analysis conducted by GlobalWebIndex and Snap Inc.

We’ve been talking a lot about millennials for the last decade: we’ve heard that millennials are disrupting the retail industry, taking longer to buy homes, and killing cereal. And throughout the past decade, we’ve been simultaneously making predictions and projections about the next generation: Gen Z. Finally, Gen Z is at an age where they can influence and make meaningful purchases, an age where they can tell us directly about their generation.

Gen Z have been characterized as the “millennial+” generation – behaving much like their slightly older predecessors while being even more mobile-centric and more digitally oriented. However, once we move beyond these widely accepted generalizations, how do today’s youngest adults really think and behave? What are the differences which make them unique, even from millennials? What are the key trends and issues that all of us need to know beyond the realms of digital and social? And, if we take a truly global perspective, how do Gen Z differ across the world’s regions?

To celebrate the year that Gen Z will become the largest generation around the globe, Snap Inc. partnered with GlobalWebIndex to understand Gen Z at a deeper, global level. We drew upon GlobalWebIndex’s Core research among a sample of nearly 79,000 16-22 year-olds across 45 markets. Read on to explore some of our key findings and download the full report below.

Gen Z is Mobile-Centric and Digitally Oriented 

Gen Z are the first generation to be considered true digital natives, born into a high-tech world with the internet an integral part of their day to day. For this cohort, their smartphones are absolutely central to their lives. They have a 97% smartphone penetration, globally. More than any other generation, Gen Z say mobile is the most important device to get online (78%). By the end of 2018, Gen Z spent an average of 4 hours and 15 minutes per day on their mobiles — the longest of all generations.

Busting Common Stereotypes: Are Gen Z More Entrepreneurial Than Other Generations?

They’re entrepreneurial, but not necessarily more so than millennials. When looking at their self-perceptions, we can see that 74% of Gen Z say they want to always strive to achieve more in life (73% for millennials). A further 72% of both Gen Z and millennials say they like to challenge and push themselves to be the best they can be in life. Additionally, 65% of both cohorts say they’re very career oriented. These audiences are both clearly ambitious and willing to challenge themselves. In general, both cohorts show greater enthusiasm for entrepreneurship compared to older generations.

Busting Common Stereotypes: Do They Have a Negative Outlook on The Future of The Environment?

It’s debatable. When we look at their attitudes toward the environment, we see that Gen Zs are typically in line with the global average for agreeing that they feel positive about the environment. But when we flip it on its head, our data reveals that Gen Zs are most likely to disagree that they feel positive about the future of the environment (27%) compared to all other generations. It seems that this group are the most disillusioned when it comes to environmental matters. Disagreement rates vary greatly by region, jumping to 47% in Europe and 46% in North America compared to just 20% in APAC. This may be because news about environmental crises have been amplified over the past few years in these regions. It makes sense why Gen Zs feel this way — this generation is going to face the full impact of environmental issues much more than the ones  before them.

The Youth of the Nations: Global Trends Among Gen Z

Download the full report to learn more

Julia Berk from Team Snapchat
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