WHO’S THAT JAWN?
Updated: Jul 22, 2022
By Gemma Hong
A GenZ Breakdown
One thing about our generation is that we hate to be generalized. We don’t think the same, look the same, or talk the same. Generation Z is varied in endless, wide-ranging ways.
But let’s generalize a little. We’re GenZ because there’s something that we share, and that’s a whole generation of people who share a label: the letter Z. Who are the faces behind that letter? Who are we, and why do our voices matter?
HOW OLD ARE THESE JAWNS?
Our generation comes after the Millennials, and before Gen Alpha. Our generation has the general parameters of being born between 1997-2012; that means that our oldest zoomers are around 25, and our youngest zoomers are around 10. That’s a pretty big range — some of us are at a Roblox-playing age, and some of us are at a tax-paying age. Weird.
Most importantly, a lot of us are at the voting age. 53% to 55% of registered 18 to 29-year-olds voted in the 2020 election, a record breaker. However, we can get those numbers up — 1-in-10 of eligible voters in the 2020 electorate were GenZ. If every one of us showed out, we could change the country.
HOW DIVERSE ARE THESE JAWNS?
We are the most racially diverse American generation in history. A win for GenZ! 52% of us are white, 25% are Hispanic, 14% of us are Black, 6% of us are Asian/Pacific Islanders, and 5% of us identify as other. Our cultures and backgrounds span continents, literally — 22% of Gen Zers have at least one immigrant parent, compared with 14% of Millennials.
WE'RE MENTALLY ILL. (sorry, placeholder title; I’m sure that many GenZers would like this)
Okay, less of a win on this one — we report the most mental illness out of any previous generation. Only 45% of Gen Zers report that their mental health is very good or excellent according to the American Psychological Association, a big dip from 56% of Millennials, 51% of Gen Xers, and 70% Boomers.
But this isn’t a totally negative statistic. What this shows is that we are well-educated on mental health issues. We’re the most likely generation to seek out therapy. 37% of Gen Zers — a higher rate than any previous generation — report having worked with a mental health professional.
HOW DO THESE JAWNS IDENTIFY?
According to a Gallup survey, nearly 1 in 6 GenZ adults (or 15.9%) are queer or transgender. That’s a huge difference compared to the general US population, where 5.6% of U.S. adults said they are LGBTQ+. This shows that we’re more comfortable in our skin, and unafraid to express who we are. Woohoo!
HOW SMART ARE THESE JAWNS?
We’re smart. In fact, we’re on-track to become the most educated generation in history — we’re less likely to drop out of school, and more likely to be in college. We’re booksmart and street savvy, thanks to the wealth of information we received from growing up on the internet.
WHO IS THAT JAWN?
Even after all of these statistics, we can’t truly define our generation. We’re educated, we’re diverse, and we’re young. Perhaps the most important takeaway is that our voices matter — we are definitely a unique, standout generation, and it is so important for us to express our unique individual voices as we grow. Let’s let the people know who we are!
Proposals for making this info pretty and entertaining:
An animated Canva presentation (most partial to this one)
Sort of like an Insta infographic series, but with more room for creativity and memes; just litter it with cursed reaction images and the like, similar to a Twitter thread
A Youtuber-style video that sprinkles in related Tik-Tok videos/memes with the info
A BuzzFeed-style quiz to challenge their knowledge
Keep it as a conversational listicle
With extra pizzazz in the voice and more graphics
Gemma Hong is an undergraduate Communication major with an interest in writing creative nonfiction and uplifting marginalized voices in media. She is a managing editor for The Penn Review, the premier literary magazine at the University of Pennsylvania, and is currently working in film production in Philly.