The Most Entrepreneurial Generation Yet
It's 2014. The Millennials are nearly all grownups. And in terms of sheer numbers, they've been overtaken in America by kids born after 1995. Members of this new generation are almost all under 18, but they make up 25.9 percent of the population.
They're called Generation Z, and mini-Millennials, they are not. These are kids who grew up in a post-9/11 world, during a recession, and during a time in which 1 in 4 American children lived in poverty. They've seen their parents and older siblings struggle, and "they've learned that traditional choices don't guarantee success," says a new report compiled from various research by New York City advertising firm Sparks & Honey.
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- They are hugely, hugely entrepreneurial. Seventy-two percent of high school students say they want to start a business someday. Nearly 40 percent agreed with this statement: "I will invent something that changes the world."
- Gen Z-ers are motivated--and maybe still as self-centered as Millennials. "Four in five high school students believe they are more driven than their peers," the research by Sparks & Honey asserts.
- They are responsible. The majority of kids surveyed said they would rather save money than spend it. They've made the teen birth rate plummet, and the percentage of teenagers using illicit substances has dropped significantly as well.
- They're influential within their families. Sixty-five percent of parents of Gen-Z children surveyed said their child is influential regarding vacation choices; and 32 percent said their child's opinion matters when it comes to buying home furnishings.
- They shop online more than they shop offline, for items as diverse as clothes, sports equipment, and electronics.
- They are informed. More than half of Gen-Z-ers of both genders surveyed say they are concerned about the economy and terrorism. Also on their radars: wars around the world and cybercrime. More than 75 percent say they are "concerned" about world hunger and man's impact on the planet.
- The downside? They have short attention spans. And a whopping 11 percent have been diagnosed with ADHD.
CHRISTINE LAGORIO-CHAFKIN | Staff Writer | Senior Writer
Christine Lagorio-Chafkin is a writer, editor, and reporter whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Village Voice, and The Believer, among other publications. She is a senior writer at Inc.