Gen Z (born between 1994-2014) is now the single largest population segment and comprises 26% of the total media audience. But perhaps more relevant than the increased viewership they represent is the dramatic shift in the way they view the world when compared to previous generations. As mentioned in our first blog post about Generation Z, we surveyed 500 Gen Z members (18-24), from across the United States, to understand just what they think about the state of the world, and their place in it, as they emerge into full adulthood.
In this second installment in our Gen Z Revealed series, we look at how this demographic cohort views the classic milestones of their adulthood—buying a house, getting married, etc.—with some unexpected results.
A wave of married entrepreneurs?
We wanted to know if, like Millennials, Gen Z members were more likely than the general population to eschew classic rites of passage like purchasing a house, and two results stood out. While Gen Z’ers are on trend with the rest of the U.S. as far as homeownership and college degrees, they are 16% more likely to plan to get married than the overall adult population today.
The biggest disparity, however, is in the number Gen Z members who report having entrepreneurial aspirations. More than 33% of our respondents indicated they would start a business at some point in their life. That is a 100 fold greater than the general population. What we can’t know from the survey, as posed, is whether they are indicating a desire to start a business, or that they simply inherited the Millennials’ skepticism of institutions and believe it will be necessary to survive.
An alternative interpretation is that this generation has internalized how the definition of a business has also changed in recent years. As members of the gig economy, Uber drivers and crafters on Etsy identify as business owners.
Which of the following have you done or plan to do someday?
The harbingers of a declining population?
Also notable is that only 43% of respondents indicated they intended to have children at some point. For decades, Gallup has been tracking the desire for children among the US population, which has run historically in the low 70% range. This 43% result among our respondents represents a dramatic change in that statistic.
Coming into focus
So far, through our results, we’ve seen the image of a seemingly pragmatic generation emerging—valuing stability (home ownership and marriage) and independence (childless entrepreneurs).