Generation Z

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Generation Z (also iGen or Post-Millennials) are the cohort of people born after the Millennial Generation. There is disagreement on the name and exact range of birth dates. Some sources start this generation at the mid or late 1990s,[1][2] or from the mid 2000s[3][4] to the present day.


Authors William Strauss and Neil Howe wrote several books on the subject of generations and are widely credited with coining the term Millennials.[1] Howe has said "No one knows who will name the next generation after the Millennials".[1] In 2005, their company sponsored an online contest in which respondents voted overwhelmingly for the name Homeland Generation. That was not long after the September 11th terrorist attacks, and one fallout of the disaster was that Americans may have felt more safe staying at home.[5] Howe has described himself as "not totally wed" to the name and cautioned that "names are being invented by people who have a great press release. Everyone is looking for a hook."[1] Strauss and Howe defined the Homeland Generation as people born from the year 2005 onwards.[4]

In Australia, a 2005 report from the McCrindle Research Center used 2001 as the starting point of this generation's birth years.[6] A later McCrindle report in 2009 gave a range of 1995-2009, starting with a recorded rise in birth rates, and fitting their newer definition of a generational span as 15 years.[7] Under this definition McCrindle uses birth rates to determine when a new generation emerges rather than or in addition to sociological changes and trends.

In 2012, USA Today sponsored an online contest for readers to choose the name of the next generation after the Millennials. The name Generation Z was suggested, although journalist Bruce Horovitz thought that some might find the term "off-putting".[1][8] According to Horovitz, the generation begins roughly around 1995.[1] He also references the Strauss and Howe birth dates that begin in 2005.

In 2013, the Nickelodeon channel used the term post-millennials to describe its audience of "children born after 2005".[3]

iGeneration (or iGen) is a name that several individuals claim to have coined. Psychology professor and author 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 until it was overridden by her publisher. Demographer Cheryl Russell claims to have first used the term in 2009.[1]

Matt Carmichael, a past director of data strategy at Ad Age, said in 2012 "we think iGen is the name that best fits and will best lead to understanding of this generation".[1] In 2014, an NPR news intern noted that iGeneration "seems to be winning" as the name for the post-Millennials.[9] 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." [9] In response to naming a generation after a branded product, Randy Apuzzo, technologist and CEO of, published an article titled "Always Connected: Generation Z, the Digitarians",[10] in which he calls the new generation 'Digitarians[10]' because they are the first generation that has been "always connected to the internet" and were raised with touch devices.

Statistics Canada defines the generation as starting in 1993.[11]

Demographics in the United States[edit]

According to Forbes, in 2015 Generation Z made up 25% of the U.S. population, making them a larger cohort than the baby boomers or millennials.[12] Frank N. Magid Associates estimates that in the United States, 55% of Generation Z are Caucasian, 24% are Hispanic, 14% are African-American, 4% are Asian, and 4% are mixed race or other.[2]


A 2013 survey by Ameritrade found that 46% of Generation Z in the United States (considered as those between the ages of 14 and 23) were concerned about student debt, while 36% were worried about being able to afford a college education at all.[13]

Statistics Canada has noted that the cohort is sometimes referred to as "the Internet generation," as it is the first generation to have been born after the invention of the Internet.[14] Forbes magazine suggested that by the time Generation Z entered the workplace, digital technology would be an aspect of almost all career paths.[13]

A Frank N. Magid Associates whitepaper stated that the cohort exhibits positive feelings about the increasing ethnic diversity in the U.S.,[2] and they are more likely than older generations to have social circles that include people from different ethnic groups, races and religions.[15] According to Magid, Generation Z 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][15][16]

Speaking at an Australian marketing conference in 2009, Jeff Brookes of the teenage web forum Habbo thought that after growing up in a "digital playground", Generation Z were "completely used to advertising as part of life - and they like it". Habbo's research suggested that Generation Z were more altruistic and traditional than Millennials, and in Australia were proud of their country's multicultural status.[17]

Generation Z is known for their use of technology, which is why they are also given the nickname, "digital natives." Due to the advancements in technology, iGen is known for a lack of person-to-person communication; however, 53% of Generation Z prefers in-person communication over messaging or emailing.[18]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Horovitz, Bruce (May 4, 2012). "After Gen X, Millennials, what should next generation be?". USA Today. Retrieved November 24, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c Frank N. Magid Associates. "The First Generation of the Twenty First Century." April 30, 2012
  3. ^ a b Jeanine Poggi (26 February 2013). "Nickelodeon Targets 'Post-Millennials' in Upfront". Advertising Age. Retrieved 21 April 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Howe, Neil (October 27, 2014). "Introducing the Homeland Generation (Part 1 of 2)". Forbes. Retrieved 12 March 2015. 
  5. ^ Howe, Neil; Strauss, William (2008). Millennials & K-12 Schools. LifeCourse Associates. pp. 109–111. ISBN 0971260656. 
  6. ^ McCrindle, Mark (18 July 2005). "Superannuation and the Under 40s: Summary Report: Research Report on the Attitudes and Views of Generations X and Y on Superannuation" (PDF). McCrindle Research. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-09-21. Retrieved 6 April 2014. Generation X comprises those aged between 24 and 40... Generation Y 1982-2000...Generation Z 2001+ (page 5) 
  7. ^ Generations Defined. Mark McCrindle
  8. ^ Junco, Reynol; Mastrodicasa, Jeanna (2007). Connecting to the Net.Generation: What higher education professionals need to know about today’s students. NASPA. ISBN 9780931654480. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ a b Randy Apuzzo (1 August 2015). "Always Connected: Generation Z, the Digitarians". Randy Apuzzo. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  11. ^ "The Generation Z effect". The Globe and Mail. 
  12. ^ Dill, Kathryn (6 November 2015). "7 Things Employers Should Know About The Gen Z Workforce". Forbes. Retrieved 12 November 2015. 
  13. ^ a b Henderson, J Maureen (31 July 2013). "Move Over, Millennials: Why 20-Somethings Should Fear Teens". Forbes. Retrieved 5 November 2015. 
  14. ^ "Generations in Canada". 
  15. ^ a b Hais, Michael and Morley Winograd. "A New Generation Debuts: Plurals." Huffington Post, May 7, 2012
  16. ^ DeBord, Mathew. "A new generation gets a name: Plurals." DeBord Report. April 30, 2012
  17. ^ "Watch out for Generation Z". Campaign Brief Australia. Retrieved 2015-11-13. 
  18. ^ "15 Aspects That Highlight How Generation Z Is Different From Millennials". 

Further reading[edit]