THE STATE OF GEN Z® 2021-2022: Gen Z as Trendsetters Impacting the Future of All Generations

Gen Z’s Must-Know Emerging Trends, Attitudes, and Expectations About Their Future

SOGZ Series

Generation Z is here and rapidly driving disruptive trends across institutions, industries, and geographies. Much has happened with Gen Z in the last 12 months including a global pandemic, remote learning, cryptocurrency, the metaverse, social justice, the Great Resignation, and many more key events and experiences. At Gen Z’s current age and life stage, this should be a transformative, defining period—but what the generation has experienced has gone far beyond what would be expected. In this 2021-2022 State of Gen Z® research study findings report, we dive deeply into what you as an employer, marketer, leader, community member, or parent need to know about this rapidly emerging and influential generation who are now up to age 26!

This year’s national study included more than 1,000 members of Gen Z and compared them to more than 1,000 Millennials in key topics, trends, challenges, expectations, and behaviors. The side-by-side generational comparison is extremely informative as leaders will quickly recognize that Gen Z is not “Millennials 2.0”, but a very different generation that has come of age with different norms, experiences, technology usage, parenting styles, and much more—including the impact of COVID-19 at a defining life stage.

Here are a few of the questions answered in The 2021-2022 State of Gen Z® study on Emerging Trends:

  • Where does the COVID-19 pandemic rank for Gen Z as an impactful event or experience in their lives?
  • What are Gen Z’s expectations on how the COVID-19 pandemic will shape their future?
  • What are Gen Z’s thoughts on the responsibility of government in today’s world?
  • What emerging trends are impacting Gen Z’s purchase decisions and brand loyalty?

For research, speaking, or media inquiries, please contact our friendly team at The Center for Generational Kinetics at or +1 (512) 259-6877.

The State of Gen Z® 2021-2022 Report: Gen Z as Trendsetters Impacting the Future of all Generations

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“At The Center for Generational Kinetics, we are passionate about separating generational myth from truth through data. In this year’s State of Gen Z® research study on Gen Z as trendsetters shaping the future, we separate myth from truth about their attitudes, expectations, and beliefs about the future at a critical period in time for Gen Z. It’s my belief that it has never been more important to study this generation and uncover their views about the future and how they are shaping their actions, perspective, and planning in the present. This year’s report has many unexpected insights that I’m very excited to uncover and share!”
—Denise Villa, PhD, CEO, CGK, co-author of The State of Gen Z® Research Series and co-author of the bestselling book, Zconomy: How Gen Z Will Change the Future of Business and What to Do About it

Below are just a few of the findings from The 2021-2022 State of Gen Z® Emerging Trends and Gen Z's Attitude about Their Future national research study:

64% of Gen Z

identified the pandemic as the single most impactful event in their generation.

63% of Gen Z

believe the government should provide a universal monthly basic income.

56% of Gen Z

still view the U.S. as the land of opportunity.

65% of Gen Z

believe that current student loan debt should be forgiven.

59% of Gen Z

will start using a product they’ve never tried before if the company takes a stance on a social issue they are passionate about.

60% of Gen Z

say a company’s reputation as an employer influences their decision to buy a product or service from them.

There are many more exciting findings in this year’s State of Gen Z® 2021-2022 national study for leaders, innovators, journalists, and parents. This research is only available from The Center for Generational Kinetics, LLC. Enter your info in the short form on this page to receive your free copy of the entire 23-page research study report.
“Gen Z is the generation that best represents the future in the present. This rapidly-emerging, connected, diverse generation is transforming industries new and old while making their own mark on the world at large. Leaders, founders, parents, journalists, and community members need to understand Gen Z now to connect with and unlock the potential of this incredibly exciting generation that is determined to have an impact. In The State of Gen Z® 2021-2022 report on Gen Z as Trendsetters, you’ll gain unexpected and new insights into Gen Z’s views about their future and key forward-looking expectations that are shaping their behaviors daily.”
—Jason Dorsey, President, CGK, co-author of The State of Gen Z® Research Series and co-author of the bestselling book, Zconomy: How Gen Z Will Change the Future of Business and What to Do About it

About The State of Gen Z® 2021-2022 Annual Research Study Series

Each year, The Center for Generational Kinetics leads The State of Gen Z® Annual Research Study to dive deep into new and emerging trends, solutions, and insights as Gen Z emerges further into adulthood and gains more urgency and influence as trendsetters, consumers, and employees. This year’s annual Gen Z study uncovered so many exciting findings that we are releasing it as a series of three research reports: Gen Z as Employees and Workforce Trendsetters, Gen Z as Consumers, Savers, and Influencing Personal Finance, and Gen Z as Trendsetters Impacting the Future of All Generations. The State of Gen Z® research study was designed and conducted by the PhD-led research team at The Center for Generational Kinetics. To lead this research, The Center for Generational Kinetics (CGK) designed a custom Gen Z and Millennial national study. The quantitative study was administered to 2,088 U.S. respondents ages 13-35, including 1,070 Gen Z (ages 13-25) and 1,018 Millennials (ages 26-35). The sample was weighted to the 2020 U.S. Census for age, region, gender, and ethnicity. The national study was conducted online from October 1, 2021, to October 21, 2021. Figures are statistically significant at the 95% confidence level. The margin of error is +/-3.1%.

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The Center for Generational Kinetics has led almost 100 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 schedule a conversation with our research or speaking teams. You can also reach our friendly team by phone, email, or our contact page: