Generation Z

Generation Z (or Gen Z for short), colloquially also known as zoomers,[1][2] is the demographic cohort succeeding Millennials and preceding Generation Alpha. Researchers and popular media use the mid-to-late 1990s as starting birth years and the early 2010s as ending birth years.[3] Most members of Generation Z are children of Generation X.

As the first social generation to have grown up with access to the Internet and portable digital technology from a young age, members of Generation Z have been dubbed "digital natives",[4][5] even though they are not necessarily digitally literate.[6] Moreover, the negative effects of screen time are most pronounced on adolescents compared to younger children.[7] Compared to previous generations, members of Generation Z in some developed nations tend to be well-behaved, abstemious, and risk-averse.[8] They tend to live more slowly than their predecessors when they were their age,[9][10] have lower rates of teenage pregnancies, and consume alcohol less often,[11][12] but not necessarily other psychoactive drugs.[13][14] Generation Z teenagers are more concerned than older generations with academic performance and job prospects,[8][9] and are better at delaying gratification than their counterparts from the 1960s, despite concerns to the contrary.[15] On the other hand, sexting among adolescents has grown in prevalence though the consequences of this remain poorly understood.[16] Meanwhile, youth subcultures have been quieter, though have not necessarily disappeared.[17][18]

Globally, there is evidence that the average age of pubertal onset among girls has decreased considerably compared to the 20th century,[19][20] with implications for their welfare and their future.[19][21][22][23] In addition, adolescents and young adults in Generation Z have higher rates of allergies,[24][25] higher awareness and diagnoses of mental health problems,[8][11][26][27] and are more likely to be sleep-deprived.[5][28][29] In many countries, Gen Z youth is more likely to have diagnosed intellectual disabilities and psychiatric disorders than older generations.[30][31]

Around the world, members of Generation Z are spending more time on electronic devices and less time reading books than before,[32][33][34] with implications for their attention span,[35][36] their vocabulary[37][38] and thus their school grades,[39] as well as their future in the modern economy.[32] At the same time, reading and writing fan fiction is of vogue worldwide, especially among teenage girls and young women.[40][41] In Asia, educators in the 2000s and 2010s typically sought out and nourished top students whereas in Western Europe and the United States, the emphasis was on low-performers.[42] In addition, East Asian students consistently earned the top spots in international standardized tests during the 2010s.[43][44][45][46]