Who Are Millennials and Gen Z?

As this post discusses, Millennials, Generation Z differ greatly.

Millennials represent the largest U.S. population group. And that makes them attractive for business. According to Pew Research: “They have topped Baby Boomers. Now, Millennials, ages 18-34 in 2015, number 75+ million.” Marketers appeal to millennials through brands (led by Apple). And firms know multicultural millennials are important.

In contrast, Generation Z is younger. As Wikipedia reports: “Generation Z refers to those born after Millennials. There is no exact range of birth dates. And some sources start Gen Z at the mid or late 1990s. Or from the mid 2000s to today.”


Millennials, Generation Z Greatly Differ: So Should Marketing

Yes, the age gap may be narrow. Yet, Millennials and Gen Z differ in attitudes and behavior.

Thus, consider eight differences identified by Ryan Jenkins, writing for Inc.:

  1. “Realistic vs Optimistic. 77% of Gen Z expect to work harder than prior generations. Yet, Millennials became optimistic. They grew up during prosperity and opportunity.”
  2. Independent vs. Collaborative. 71% of Gen Z believe if you want it done right, do it yourself.’ In contrast, Millennials would opt for more collaboration.”
  3. Digital Natives vs Digital Pioneers. 40% of Gen Z say working Wi-Fi is more important to them than working bathrooms. Millennials were pioneers in the digital age.”
  4. Private vs Public. 70% of Gen Z would rather share personal data with their pet than their boss. As digital pioneers, Millennials used social media to express thoughts, opinions, and life events.”
  5. Face-to-Face vs Digital-Only. 74% of Gen Z prefer to communicate face-to-face. Millennials pioneered many digital communication tools that are less personable.
  6. On-Demand Learning vs Formally Educated. 77% of Gen Z say there are other ways to get a good education than going to college. And Millennials question if their large student debt was worth it.”
  7. Role-Hopping vs Job-Hopping. 75% of Gen Z would like multiple roles within one place of employment. Millennials have little patience for stagnation, especially with their careers.”
  8. Global Citizen vs Global Spectator. 58% of adults worldwide ages 35+ agree. ‘Kids today have more in common with global peers than with adults at home.’ Millennials were the first global generation. They shared similar traits and values across borders. And they viewed global events in real-time. However, Gen Z interacts with global peers more than any other generation.”

Click the image to read more from Jenkins.

Millennials, Generation Z differ greatly.


Millennials, Generation Z Greatly Differ: Further Resources

Because of the interest in these generations, here are more resources:


Generation Z


Let’s finish this topic with an infographic from Silver Door Apartments.

Millennials, Generation Z Greatly Differ. An infographic.


33 Replies to “Millennials, Generation Z Greatly Differ”

  1. The borderline between Millenials and Generation Z is definitely in question. Some believe that those born before 1999 are deemed millenials. Some say otherwise. This post made me consider the differences between millenials and generation z, specifically the ones mentioned above and others that I have conjured up myself. I believe this article is oriented to put generation z in a hopeful, positive light. However, I think millenials will think otherwise when seeing the things generation z will become.

  2. I think parenting may contribute to the contrasts with millenials and generatin Z. Family values shape the attitudes of kids, and perhaps those values shape the descriptions of the generations as a whole.

  3. Before reading this article I though Generation Z began with people born in the year 2000 or later. It is very interesting to see that there is such a big difference between the two generations since they are so close to each other. Most of the stuff listed above is saying how the Generation Z is better than Millennials so Im happy to be apart of Generation Z.

  4. I think it is a bit limiting to condense an entire population of people into
    two categories. In terms of Marketing, I guess it could work out better for companies. There is certainly a stigma relating to Millennials, and with Millennials being the derogatory term. I don’t know if that is a good way to market to people.

  5. I think this article is really interesting. Two generations so close to one another differ in great amounts. Before reading this I wasn’t exactly sure what defined someone to be part of Millennials and Generation Z. For companies, this defined separation and limitation of the groups helps for marketing purposes definitely. This article is putting positive thoughts toward Generation Z and kind of gives off stigmas toward the Millennial group. Overall it’s very interesting to see the differences in behavior between the very close age groups, but I do agree.

  6. The uncertainty of the age group of Generation Z is surprising as it overlaps with that of millennials (ages 18-34) if you consider Generation Z to include anyone born in the mid 1990’s. Millennials have grown up in the midst of a technological revolution with the innovation of Apple and Samsung. Both groups are essential to the marketing strategies of these technological firms and despite the uncertainty of the specific age group of Generation Z, companies will continue to tailor their marketing specifically to these two groups of individuals as they are the future of this country.

  7. It is very interesting to see the differences between Millennials and Generation Z and how marketers observe their characteristics in order to appeal to both groups. It seems that there is a very fine line between the two, yet they also have several differences. For instances, since those a part of Generation Z are supposedly more frugal than Millennials, marketers can set different prices for items depending on the generation they are trying to market to. Additionally, marketers can try to incorporate aspects of a product that would appeal to both groups. By really studying these two generations, marketers can properly generate sales while satisfying both groups needs.

  8. To this day, there is a controversy when generation z starts, I feel that this list is accurate when it comes to when generation z starts. For starters, I feel that communicating face to face is the best so that there’s no discrepancies whatsoever. I am a big believer in trying ti get things done by yourself because group work can be too complex and ends up having a work imbalance between partners. I also try to get the best value from products as much as possible whether that would be discounts, free shipping, etc. These statistics seem to be very accurate.

  9. It’s interesting to see the differences between Millenials and Generation Z. Although the two generations are quite close to each other, and the generational divide is not solid, but a gradient, the infographic paints a picture that the two generations are quite different. However, one red flag which stands out to me when reading the infographic is that none of the claims are supported by numbers. For example, while it may be true that Generation Z may be more entrepreneurial than Millenials, I think it is equally important to understand by how much. Comparing the ratio of entrepreneurs versus total population for each generation would help put the difference into perspective.

  10. I think this new generation z and millennials are going to cause a lot of problems in the work force. People growing up in households where they have everything handed to them and are taught political ideologies in school. These new generations don’t want to work, they want things handed to them, and they will have great difficulty understanding the value of money because of how they grew up. Marketing to these groups will be a challenge, but it can be done. The term millennial is somewhat offensive, and being called a millennial definitely comes with a negative stigma in today’s society.

  11. The statistics on Generation Z surprised me. I thought, with Generation Z growing up with more technology accessible to them from birth, they would be more anti-social and prefer to interact through a screen than face-to-face, yet they seem more social than millennials. Another interesting point is the difference between the two generations. I was born in 1998 and have always thought of myself as a millennial but perhaps I fall into the category of Generation Z. Given all the resources with which the new generation has been born, I believe more research is required to further determine how to market to this new generation.

  12. It is interesting to note the differences between millennials and generation Z. Many don’t know what the difference is. However, it seems that generation Z doesn’t have an exact age range. Considering there is an overlap of ages between generation Z and millennials, it seems confusing for companies to know who to target.

  13. Millennial are very different when it comes to their experience of the world. All marketers should take notice. And I don’t mean this strictly within the marketing department of Pepsi, coke, Apple, etc. Every brand that takes in millennials should have marketing geared toward the demographic. This includes universities, libraries, etc. For example having old fashion technology, or old fashion learning techniques with chalk board and lecture might not be what millennials crave. Millennials crave more movement, more experience, more entrepreneurship, and more fast pace technology. Not only is it desired among the demographic, it is usually desired on the marketplace too. I think many industries are having difficulties of adoption of the new ways of thinking of millennials and generation z. In many instances schools have the same set ups as they did back in the 1800s. I think this is unacceptable, and provides an advantage to those school who can appeal to their own demographic. Not listening to your demographic is poor marketing, it is incredibly straight forward. Many companies fall victim to this: car companies, schools, traditional minded employers, etc. I would even go as far to say that generally millennials more fast pace desires match today’s faster pace reality (with internet and technology) of today.

  14. It is true and good for companies to realize these differences between Millennials and Generation Z people. They grew up in different points in time. So even though Millennials pioneered a more digitalized lifestyle, Gen Z has lived in that world their whole life. So how can we then expect Gen Z or Millennials to appreciate the same things. Learning about these differences can help companies market in a way that Millennials and Gen Z can both appreciate it. Although they are both different, I believe that by looking at this data and understanding them more, companies will be able to find a way to effectively target both generations. I don’t know why people would think that these two generations are the same. Just look at the differences between Millennials and Baby Boomers. I think that the main thing that companies have to focus on is understanding these differences and finding common ground between both the Millennials and Generation Z.

  15. It’s definitely beneficial to marketing as a whole, in regard to companies, to define each part of the population into sections such as the Millennial’s and Generation Z. It helps firms better tailor pitches and appeals to each group much better which in turn brings in more consumers. Millennial’s are much harder to appeal too in my opinion.

  16. It’s interesting to see the differences between Millennials and Generation Z, especially in regards to schooling, 77% of Gen Z said there are other ways besides formal schooling to get an education. Which might hint a change in the future regarding college and higher education. I also was not aware that the millennial time frame was so large 18-34.

  17. I always figured that I was a millennial since I was born in 1996. I didn’t realize I was more of a generation Z than a millennial. I agree with the majority of the statistics provided, such as I prefer face-to-face communication and I expect to have to work harder in my occupation.

  18. I think this post has a lot of truth behind it. The statistic that stood out to me the most was that Generation Z prefers to job hop as opposed to having one job for a long time. I find that very interesting because even when you apply to college the faculty always tell you how you will change your major up to seven or so times. It’s indicative of how this generation changes their mind and interests very frequently throughout their life. Another statistic that stood out to me was about how Generation Z prefers to do everything independently. I think this is extremely accurate because of how competitive people are now. Since school and the job market are so competitive, people prefer to do tasks them selves to avoid other people potentially hindering their ability to complete tasks.

  19. I feel like these statistics seem to be very accurate coming from my perspective. When it comes to the idea of “independent vs. collaborative” I agree with “if you want it done right, do it yourself”. I feel that the generation z group thinks more independently. I think my age group (about 19 years old) falls in between the generation z and millennial beliefs. It was the transitioning time period I feel like, and we will receive characteristics of both generations.

  20. I like this point, because they not only shows the difference between Millennials and Generation Z, also state the times are improving, like the digital culture, Millennials used social media to express thoughts, opinions, and life events. It’s a digital age which represent the fast growth of society. These differences are due to the age of birth, the difference in contact, which is a good phenomenon I think.

  21. As soon as I saw the title of the blog, I couldn’t wait to click and find out if the differences listed are the same differences I feel that my little sister and I have. My little sister was born in 2000, so our family have a representative for both Millennials and Generation Z. However, from my prospective, for at least half of the points listed, I look more like a Generation Z and my sister looks more like a Millennials. For example, I am more realistic and she is more optimistic; I don’t share too many thoughts on social media while she post almost everyday; I prefer face to face but she prefers digital-only. Since she doesn’t have any working experience, I can’t tell the difference for that. I don’t know why my sister and I looks like the opposite way as the list shows. I think maybe it’s a culture difference or maybe it is because we are not from typical single child family in China.

  22. I actually found this post very informative because my entire life I have been called a millennial and felt that I did not fit the stereotype. After reading this post I have realized that I am not a millennial at all and I am actually a part of Generation Z. After reading the characteristics of Generation Z and how this group differs from millennials I can see that I fit most of the characteristics of a typical Generation Z individual. My brother who is a few years older than me is a millennial and fits into a decent amount of those characteristics. Its really amazing the difference a few years can make.

  23. It’s interesting to talk about who exactly falls into the millennial category especially now that we can see the many differences in personality traits. However, I would like to see what the percentages for were for millennials for the first half of the post. While we saw the percentages of those in Gen Z, we don’t know if there is a massive difference of opinions or just a slight one. Did those few years completely change the mindset of its people or was it a trend that just continued?

  24. There is no doubt in my mind that parenting shows how different millennial are from generatin Z. In my opinion, you are who you are because of your parents. Also, i think a major different is our society in general, because the world changes everyday, new technologies have played a major role for the younger generations. It amazes me how many 3 year olds I know who have either an iPhone, tablet or even an iPad. I didn’t even get my first phone until I was 13 because my parents would rather be play outside and hang with friends then be sitting in my room on my phone. I think that we need to be the generation that changes the future because i don’t believe this is how some kids should be raised, having an iPad at 3 years old.

  25. There are lots of difference Millenials and Generation Z. It is very interesting that to know those difference. Although these two generations have many difference in different ways. But in today’s market, we still have to find the balance of those different, and they are common goal to get improve.

  26. For me, i think it is interesting to read this post. Actually, i have a twin sister back in China. Although we are the same age, still there are a lot of difference. According to this blog, i think i might look more like a Generation Z and my sister looks more like a Millennials. We both perform different attitudes towards a lot of things such as social media, personality and etc. Several factor could explain this situation: different education background, sex difference and ….

  27. I entirely believe that the evolution of technology is a key factor in these differences between the millennial generation and generation Z. I see differences between myself and my younger brother – and the only change in our upbringing has been his access to technology. He got a phone at a much younger age, as well as an iPad. He uses snapchat and instagram and has a hard time just sitting and spending a few minutes alone, not looking at a screen. I think the biggest difference is the lack of patience and shortened attention spans, that many kids from generation z have due to growing up aided by smartphones to entertain them.

  28. I think that the difference between the two generations is definitely apparent however, some of these statements especially about Gen Z seem hard to back up because that generation has not yet reached adulthood. I guess I would be considered Gen Z, being born in 98 but I tend to consider myself more a millenial because I still grew up on VHS tapes, not modern technology. However, I think technology could potentially harm gen z with the reliance on smart phones and constant distraction.

  29. So I looked it up and most say that Gen Z is 1995 birth dates and I really relate to Gen Z more because we grew up as young adults in the after math of 2008 and had see our parents lose a lot but work harder to get it back and I believe those lessons made us harder working and more fearful knowing that at any second it could happen again.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.