Generation Z

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Generation Z is one name used for the cohort of people born after the Millennial Generation. There is no agreement on the exact dates of the generation with some sources starting it at the mid or late 1990s[1] or from the mid 2000s[2] to the present day.



Historian and demographer Neil Howe, who co-authored several popular books with William Strauss on social generations and is widely credited with coining the term Millennials, has said that "No one knows who will name the next generation after the Millennials".[1] In 2005, Howe's company sponsored an online naming contest in which respondents voted overwhelmingly for the Homeland Generation, a reference to the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks.[1][3] Howe has described himself as "not totally wed" to the Homeland name and cautioned that "Names are being invented by people who have a great press release. Everyone is looking for a hook."[1]

In 2012, USA Today sponsored an online contest in an article for readers to choose the name of the next generation after the Millennials. In the article, Bruce Horovitz wrote that some might call the term "Generation Z" rather "off-putting" and a name that is "still in-the-running". Some alternate names were proposed including: iGeneration, Gen Tech, Gen Wii, Net Gen, Digital Natives, Gen Next, Post Gen, and Plurals.[1][4]

In 2013, Jeanine Poggi reported in Ad Age that Nickelodeon channel is looking to serve a new breed of kids born after 2005 whom it dubs "post-millennials".[2]

In 2014, Pew Research Center sponsored a contest to name the next generation after the Millennials. Names proposed include: the TwoKays or 2K's (born after 2000), the Conflict Generation (the generation that grew up during the time of the Iraq War and War in Afghanistan), Generation i (or iGeners and iGens), @generation, the Swipe Generation, the Tweennials, and Screeners.[5]


iGeneration (also abbreviated as iGen) is a name that several individuals claim to have coined. Psychology professor and generational writer Jean Twenge claims that the name iGen "just popped into her head" while she was driving near Silicon Valley, and that she had intended to use it as the title of her 2006 book Generation Me but was overridden by her publisher. Demographer Cheryl Russell claims to have first used the term in 2009.[1] Songwriter and producer John Mayer attributes it to rap artist MC Lars.[6]

In 2012, Advertising Age was described as "betting on the iGen name for the next generation," saying that "We think it's the name that best fits and will best lead to understanding of this generation."[1] By 2014, an NPR analysis of generation naming conventions noted that iGeneration "seems to be winning" as the name for the post-Millennial generation.[7] It has been described as "a wink and nod to Apple's iPod and iPhone",[1] while former Ad Age writer Matt Carmichael notes that the lowercase "i" in iGeneration "leaves room for interpretation" and "could be any number of things: It could be for interactive, it could be for international, it could be for something we haven't thought of yet."[7]

Pluralist Generation[edit]

The Pluralist Generation (also abbreviated as Plurals) is a name coined by marketing firm Frank N. Magid Associates.[1] According to Magid, the name "Plurals" reflects that they are the most diverse of any generation in the U.S.; Magid estimates that 55% are Caucasian, 24% are Hispanic, 14% are African-American, 4% are Asian, and 4% are mixed race or other. A Magid whitepaper stated that Plurals exhibit positive feelings about the increasing ethnic diversity in the U.S.,[8] and they are more likely than older generations to have social circles that include people from different ethnic groups, races and religions.[9] According to Magid, Plurals are "the least likely to believe that there is such a thing as the American Dream," while Boomers and their Millennial children are "more likely to believe it".[1][9][10]

Traits and trends[edit]

Many members of this generation are highly connected, having had lifelong use of communication and media technology like the World Wide Web, instant messaging, text messaging, MP3 players, and mobile phones,[11] earning them the nickname "digital natives".[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Horovitz, Bruce (4 May 2012). "After Gen X, Millennials, what should next generation be?". USA Today. Retrieved 24 November 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Jeanine Poggi (26 February 2013). "Nickelodeon Targets 'Post-Millennials' in Upfront". Advertising Age. Retrieved 21 April 2013. 
  3. ^ Howe, Neil; Strauss, William (2008). Millennials & K-12 Schools. LifeCourse Associates. pp. 109–111. ISBN 0971260656. 
  4. ^ Junco, Reynol; Mastrodicasa, Jeanna (2007). Connecting to the Net.Generation: What higher education professionals need to know about today’s students. NASPA. ISBN 9780931654480. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "MC Lars Loved Jay-Z, Knaan and Weird Al". MTV. 8 January 2010. 
  7. ^ a b Samantha Raphelson (6 October 2014). "From GIs To Gen Z (Or Is It iGen?): How Generations Get Nicknames". NPR. Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  8. ^ Frank N. Magid Associates. "The First Generation of the Twenty First Century." April 30, 2012
  9. ^ a b Hais, Michael and Morley Winograd. "A New Generation Debuts: Plurals." Huffington Post, May 7, 2012
  10. ^ DeBord, Mathew. "A new generation gets a name: Plurals." DeBord Report. April 30, 2012
  11. ^ Riedling, Ann Marlow (2007). An educator's guide to information literacy: what every high school senior needs to know. Libraries Unlimited. ISBN 1591584469. 
  12. ^ Schmidt, Lucinda; Hawkins, Peter (July 15, 2008). "Children of the tech revolution". Sydney Morning Herald. ,

Further reading[edit]