Generation Alpha...Get to Know Them

Move over Gen Z, the next generation after you has arrived.

They are called Generation Alpha.  At the time of this writing, they represent kids born between 2010 up to 2025.  Presently there are 9,000 Gen Alpha babies born every day.  The oldest are 9 years old and the youngest have yet to be born.

They are the first generation entirely born within the 21st century.

Gen Alpha is growing up in a variety of living arrangements.  A large percentage of Alphas are spending at least part of their early formative years in living arrangements that do not include both of their biological parents.  It is higher than any generation observed in the previous century,” said Elwood Carlson, a demographer and professor of sociology at Florida State University. “When you look at a child in this generation, you never know what kind of family life they have experienced.”

This generation of children will be shaped in households that move more frequently, change careers more often and increasingly live in urban, not just suburban, environments.      -Mark McCrindle, social researcher

Mark goes on to say,  "Generation Alpha will be the most formally educated generation ever, the most technology-supplied generation ever, and globally the wealthiest generation ever."  He goes on to note that more than 2.5 million Alphas are born every week around the world and by 2025 they are estimated to number two billion.

By 2025, Generation Alpha will number 2 billion globally. It will be the wealthiest, most educated, and technologically literate in history." - Robert Hannah, Chief Operating Officer at Grant Thornton U.K.

Generation Alpha is the first generation to spend their entire life immersed in technology.  They are being shaped by their experiences with Artificial Intelligence.  Some AI devices and toys are already specifically aimed at Generation Alpha.  A couple examples are Hello Barbie and Hatchimals.

These advancements mean that technology for Generation Alpha is not something separate from themselves, but rather, an extension of their own consciousness and identity.   Natalie Franke, head of community at the business management platform HoneyBook

They hold in their hands the power to persuade their parents into making purchases for them.  When it comes to spending and making buying choices, they are the decision makers or at the least a powerful influencer with their parents.  It has been reported children under 12 and teens influence parental purchases totaling between $130 to 670 billion a year.  81% of millennial parents say their children influence what they spend their money on. 

The most popular boys' names for Alphas are Oliver, William, Jack, Noah and Jackson.  The most popular girls names are Charlotte, Olivia, Ava, Emily and Mia. 

Who is already influencing Gen Alpha?

A big influence is their favorite Instagram or YouTube star.  55% say they would purchase a product if they saw their favorite Instagram or YouTube star wearing it.

We've heard how much data younger generations consume on mobile devices.  But an interesting stat is that televisions are still the most common way for kids ages 6 to 12 watch their favorite shows.  And as televisions continue to get "smarter" and more interactive - large screen televisions are as relevant as they have ever been.  The TV in the living room (and kitchen, den and bedroom) is as much a family entertainment platform as ever.

4-in-5 kids watch content on TV every day.  69% watch tv programming several times a day.  And influncers know this.  An example is eight-year-old Ryan Kaji who has made the leap from YouTube to television. His millions of Ryan’s World subscribers, billions of views, and supposed $26-million pre-tax income in 2019 led right back to kids TV - more specifically, a show on Nick Jr.

What about Alpha kids and their smartphones?  53% of Alpha kids have their own smartphone by the age of 11.  Gaming is the number-one smartphone activity, followed by watching videos and texting.

They expect on demand.  They are being wired to have access to all content anywhere and at any time.  They expect instant gratification.

Alpha kids prefer communication via images and voice control over typing and texting.  Typing is out for them - talking is in.  Typing is being replaced by voice-activated devices.  Smart devices are becoming part of family life.  Using devices like the Amazon Dot is growing daily.  39% of Alpha kids use this type of device every week.  They are growing up with the familiar voice of Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant in their home.

They are diverse. "This newest American generation displays unprecedented diversity in almost every dimension one can examine - ethnicity, nativity, income, family arrangements" says Elwood Carlson, demographer and professor of sociology.

Stay tuned for more information and insight about Gen Alpha.  It is important to be aware of the unique characteristics of this new generation.  As I have said many times, we are missionaries to today's kids.  If we are going to reach them we need to understand them and how they are being shaped by the world they live in.