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Generation Z—Birth Years and Characteristics

Generation Z will someday be known as the generation that came of age during the COVID-19 pandemic. With that said, the generation is still relatively young—so young that that sociologists sometimes disagree on what to call them. Homelanders? Post-Millennials? The iGeneration? Gen Wii?

For now, Generation Z is the most widely-used term. If you want to sound cool, you can shorten it to Gen Z. You can also call them zoomers, a play on the term baby boomers—which refers to the generation of people born immediately after World War II.

When Did Gen Z Begin?

Anyone born after the year 1996 or so belongs to Generation Z. People in the generation before Gen Z are called millennials, which is sometimes referred to as Generation Y (hence the “z” in Gen Z).

No one quite agrees yet on the ending year of Generation Z— perhaps sometime in the early 2010s. And who—or what—comes after Generation Z? That too is currently up for debate. But we will write an article about them when we know!

What Is Generation Z Known For?

Zoomers have limited memory and experience of the world before the internet, before Google Maps, or before Facebook or smart phones. With a touch, swipe, or tap of the finger, zoomers can communicate with almost anyone, almost anywhere in the world.

generation z teenage girl and young boy play on phone and ipad

Generation Z Characteristics

Some researchers claim that members of Generation Z have all the same characteristics as millennials, only that the characteristics are more extreme. Of course, this claim isn’t entirely true. Every generation has unique tendencies and perspectives. A typical description of zoomers includes the following characteristics:

  • Members of Gen Z are digital natives. When it comes to apps and devices, they don’t need instructions, and they don’t ask for them.  
  • Members of Gen Z are highly educated. According to Pew Research Center, zoomers are less likely to drop out of high school and more likely to enroll in college than previous generations. This characteristic could be because zoomers are also more likely to have parents who attended college.
  • Generation Z make good entrepreneurs. In today’s world, all it takes to start a business is a phone, an internet connection, and a good idea. Maybe just a funny idea. Zoomers aren’t afraid to try. 

Generation Z and Current Events

two generation z girls wearing a mask and touching elbows.

When COVID-19 first struck, some members of Generation Z were in elementary school. Some were in high school, and some were just starting jobs or trying to navigate their way through college. Month by month, the virus turned the world of Generation Z upside down. If young people had never heard the word “quarantine” before, now they were using it on a daily basis.

The full impact of COVID-19 on zoomers won’t be known for years, maybe even decades. But doctors trying to measure the effects of the pandemic on children and adolescents have unfortunately noted higher rates of anxiety and depression.

FamilySearch—An Easy Way to Document Your Life

Whatever your age now, you’re part of a unique generation. Time to start documenting it! The people who come after you will thank you. And, to be honest, you’ll enjoy reading and reliving your most important memories too.

With FamilySearch, building your family history is as easy as uploading a photo or recording yourself talking. Our tools are simple to use. You can start right now if you want to.  

Source: Family Search

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