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THE STATE OF GEN Z® 2016: TWO NATIONAL STUDIES into generation z

read our two gen z studies: technology disruption and gen z's political and civic outlook

Who is Generation Z? In the first annual State of Gen Z® research study, CGK’s team focused on important generational mindset areas including: Gen Z and their relationship with technology, how Gen Z is different from Millennials, and Gen Z’s views about politics. The dependence on technology that was uncovered, including its direct impact on Gen Z self-worth, led to significant conversations around the world. In addition, uncovering Gen Z’s emerging political viewpoints and who they trust as leaders helps to highlight the views of the generation as they are now able to vote in elections.

This study featured over 1,000 respondents with a margin of error of +/-3.1.


  • How does Gen Z say social media affects how they feel about themselves? 
  • How does Gen Z use their phone to comparison shop—showrooming—when physically present at a store? 
  • Does Gen Z trust elected officials more or less than older generations?
  • Does Generation Z feel that the US is headed in the right direction? 
  • And much more!


Download the complete State of Gen Z® 2019 Research Findings Report:

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Below are just a few of the many findings from the study:

42% OF GEN Z

say social media affects how they feel about themselves

18% OF GEN Z

said you should receive your first smart phone at age 13

50% OF GEN Z

would use their phone to look for a better price while they were physically shopping at a retail store

23% OF GEN Z

feel the U.S is headed in the right direction while 38% feel that it is not moving in the right direction

There are many more exciting findings in this year’s State of Gen Z® 2016 for leaders, marketers, journalists, and parents. This research is only available from The Center for Generational Kinetics. Fill out the short form on this page to receive your free copy of the entire report.

“Social media is not optional for brands that want to attract Gen Z as customers and advocates. A robust social media presence across key Gen Z platforms is an absolute must for brands.”

—Dr. Denise Villa, PHD, CEO, the Center for Generational Kinetics

The state of gen z 2016: two national studies into gen z

This national study builds on more than 65 generational studies we’ve led on four continents. Our work has been featured in hundreds of media outlets and our speaking, consulting, and research clients include many of the biggest brands and employers in the world.

In addition to our research studies, we infuse our annual State of Gen Z® report with our extensive global experience and leading custom research to solve challenges for more than 100 clients per year. This work gives us front line insights and extensive data into what works actually works across generations.

In this year’s study, we included 1,000 U.S respondents ages 14-69 with an oversample of 250 respondents ages 14-17 for comparison. Complete the short form on this page to instantly access the entire State of Gen Z® 2016 Research Reports.

For research, speaking, or media inquiries, please contact or  +1(512) 259-6877.

“Gen Z is driving technology adoption trends from the youngest consumers and employees up to the oldest. This is a major shift from prior periods where the oldest generations drove trends down to the youngest generations. This impacts everything from b2c sales to b2b marketing.”


About the 2016 State of Gen Z® Annual Research Study

For this flagship study, The Center for Generational Kinetics designed a survey that was administered to 1,000 U.S. respondents age 14–69, with an additional 250 oversample of ages 14-17. The sample was weighted to the current census data, and participants were screened for U.S. citizenship. The sample was weighted to the U.S. Census for age, region, gender, and ethnicity. The national study was conducted online from October 15, 2015, to October 21, 2015. Figures are statistically significant at the 95% confidence level. The margin of error is +/-3.1%.

Gen Z Research, Speaking and Consulting That Solves Challenges for Leaders

The Center for Generational Kinetics has led over 65 generational studies, spanning four continents and multiple languages. Each year, we work with clients from global financial services companies and banking leaders to rapidly-growing retailers and pioneering technology companies. We have helped financial service providers invent new products and offers, helped hospitals attract and retain the next generation of nurses, and launched new cars to a new generation of buyers.

We are passionate about helping you solve your generational challenges and drive measurable sales results through our customized keynote speaking and unique research. Contact us now to to schedule a conversation with our research or speaking teams. 

Want even more info on generation z? Check out zconomy

At CGK, we are passionate about unlocking the potential of Gen Z as they emerge as workforce, customer, and community trendsetters. Check out our bestselling book, Zconomy: How Gen Z Will Change the Future of Business, for all the insights and how-to strategies to unlock this exciting generation’s potential at this critical time.