Millennials tend to steal the spotlight—whether it be for blowing their savings on avocado toast or killing mayonnaise—but it won’t be a Millennial’s world much longer. As Bloomberg reports, the younger Generation Z is quietly on track to outnumber Millennials in 2019.
Using data from the United Nations, Bloomberg predicted that Gen Z will make up 32 percent of the global population in 2019, compared to an estimated 31.5 percent of Millennials. However, Millennials will still remain the largest group in the world's top four economies: the U.S., China, Japan, and Germany.
"Millennial" has incorrectly become a catch-all term for all young people, but the Pew Research Center defines the group as those born between 1981 and 1996 (22-37 years old). It also defined a "Post-Millennial" group as those who were born in 1997 or later, but not everyone agrees on that criteria.
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For its analysis, Bloomberg defined members of Gen Z as those who were born in 2001 or later. This is a population that has never known a world that isn't digitally connected, and many Americans in this age group probably don't remember a time when the country wasn't at war.
For some perspective: 2001 was the year that Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake wore their iconic (and matching) all-denim outfits, camera phones had just been made commercially available, and the first Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings movies had just been released. Most importantly, the oldest members of Gen Z will be turning 18 next year, making them eligible to vote.
This means they will also soon dominate the workforce, but there's some good news in it for employers. Gen Z is widely reported to be less self-centered than their Millennial counterparts; they're characterized by often trying to create their own solutions rather than looking to others for help, according to a report entitled "Rise of Gen Z: New Challenge for Retailers." They also tend to be more optimistic about the economy and social progress, and "anticipate being slightly happier than" Millennials, according to a survey by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd.