There are currently over 50 million kids under the age of 11 living in the United States. They are known as Generation Z. The latest research reveals unique characteristics of this upcoming, new generation.
Gen Z considers digital friends as being part of their social circle. Studies show that even though they have never met 60% of their social media connections face-to-face, they consider them friends.
Speaking of friends. Friendliness is a big characteristic of Generation Z. 93% say they would like to have a friend from a different group and 81% would like to have a friend from a different religious affiliation.
This characteristic also contributes to Generation Z's overall feeling that social causes are very important and we should do good for others.
Generation Z is intuitively tolerant. Whereas previous generations were taught to be tolerant, with this generation it's almost part of who they are. They naturally have an authentic response of acceptance and tolerance.
Generation Z is very diverse. Bi-racial children ages 0 to 11 new represent 17% of the total US population. By 2019, the majority of kids 11 and under will be non-white.
Generation Z is closely tied to their grandparents. 10% of Generation Z is living with their grandparents. Grandparents play a significant role in supporting them emotionally and financially. 30% of Boomer grandparents are funding their grandchildren's education, vacations and after-school lessons.
Household status. 26% of kids live with just one parent and 7% live with co-habiting, non-married parents. 30% of Millennials are now parents, which has ushered in a sharp increase in stay-at-home dads (16% versus 10% 15 years ago).
Generation Z has a close connection to their parents. Their parents view them as their best friends. Generation Z strongly influences their parents.
Who are their role models?
- 78% say mom
- 58% say dad
- 26% say grandparents
- 19% say YouTube stars
- 18% say teachers
- school and getting good grades
- their parent's safety
- parents losing their job and family financial situation
- online popularity
- school safety
- safety issues in the world (terrorism, war, etc.)
- 40% of 3 to 11-year-olds own their own tablet
- 17% have their own smartphone
- maker mentality - they are not just content consumers, they are content creators (48% have done their own coding)
This insight has major implications for those who are ministering to Generation Z. I would encourage you to talk through these findings as a children's ministry and think about how you can best reach and disciple this new generation of kids.