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Raymond Morin
July 7, 2015

Generation C – Towards a New Baby Boom With Generation Z

According to the US Census Bureau, in 2015, the digital natives of Generation Y (75.3 million) will surpass the Baby Boomers (74.9 million) in number for the first time. In comparison, Generation X is only slightly more than 56 million people. Add to this, according to the latest estimates, over 65 million young generation Z will join the labor market by 2022. The digital generation (Y and Z) will account for over 140 million people.

The evolution of births since the World Wide Web

With the emergence of the World Wide Web in 1989 and the arrival of the youngest Millennials born in the 90s, the science of demographic sociology underwent a huge change. Now aged between 21 and 25, these young Millennials represent the last wave of births to baby boomers, with over 60% of births were coming from this generation.

Conversely, with Generation X, there had been a decline in births. Starting in 1965, the fertility rate fell news-graphics-2007-_653272afrom 3.1 children per couple, to 1.6 during the 90’s. Couples have expected later before starting a family. Between 1993 and 2006, births have dramatically decreased.

However, according to Statistics Canada, between 2006 and 2011, there was an increase of 11% in the number of children aged of 4 and under. This represents the highest fertility rate since 1956 – 1961 – the last years of baby boomers. A new baby boom is explained by a greater number of women aged between 20 and 35. Will we relive the same demographic situation as was the case with the boomers during the 60’s?

The current impact of new digital generations 

Already, worldwide, more than 50% of the population is under 35 years. In 2010, 68.5% of the Canadian population was of working age (15 to 65), and nearly a third over 50 years old. Baby boomers were occupying nearly 20% of executive positions, while executives of generations X held 54% of decision-making positions. However, with the massive arrival of the digital generation, the situation is expected to change drastically over the next few years. They will account for over 50% of the workforce, and more than 75% before 2030.

Today, the power of influence of digital generations (Y and Z) to other generations is undeniable. They are leading the new connected consumers generation: the Generation C, which is also include baby-boomers and generation X.

On the one hand, the power of peer-to-peer recommendations and word-of-mouth they adopt on Internet and social media has made traditional advertising and marketing obsolete, influencing all other connected consumers, forcing brands and organizations to reorganize. On the other hand, new technologies and the Web became established and integrated in all aspects of our lives, and changed our habits and behaviors. Even those who do not yet use the Internet daily have their lives transformed. Similarly, they are transposed into work environments as new generations arrive there, imposing a deep social transformation on enterprises and organizations.

It is in this framework that each of the current generations has had to adapt to in their own way and at their own pace with these new paradigms, both at work and in the family, and in all other levels of society. It is therefore important to try to understand what motivates each of them in the context of the new digital era.

A comprehensive picture of the generation Z

35857076_sIn 2014, Canada’s new generation expert, Dan Schawbel compiled various data, starting from the study of Sparks & Honey: Meet The Generation Z – Forget Everything You Learned About Millennials, and that can provide a more comprehensive picture the generation of Z.

The data it has collected show that unlike young Generation Y, Generation Z are focused on the future. They want to act now, and want to create more things to share. They communicate more by the visual rather than text. They are more pragmatic than their predecessors, and they want to work for the success of a business, more than promoting themselves. But these companies must also endorse their social vision. They show much more altruism, and are more aware of the social and environmental problems that Gen Y. Three out of four of the generation Z are concerned about the fate of the planet, and 60% want their work to have a positive impact.

Born long after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union, Western based generation Z believe that democracy is a value acquired, and hardly realize it does not exist everywhere in the world.

Even if they are just beginning to hit the labor market, nearly 60% are worried about their future. Over 77% are interested in volunteering and over a quarter (26%) are already involved in social ventures in order to gain experience. At school, Generation Z youth seem much more serious than those of the previous generation: 50% graduate, as against 33% of Gen Y and 25% for Generation X. This will make the most educated generation. To do their research, they use more YouTube and other social platforms that textbooks. After graduation, 72% are considering starting their own business.

Generation Z youth development is inextricably tied to new technologies. Nearly 80% of young people interviewed by Sparks & Honey admit they would feel lost if they were deprived of their smartphone. On average, they use ten apps on their device, while for 10%, that number is nearly forty. They therefore expect to find these new technologies in their work environment.

On the Internet, young generation Z belong to some popular social platforms like Facebook (23%) or Instagram (23%), while preferring private sites like Snapchat or Secret Whisper. When it comes to shopping online, young generation Z seek first on mobile applications, and rely primarily on recommendations from family (43%) and friends (35%). They consume more practical and everyday products such as laundry (55%), electronics (53%) and books or textbooks for studies (53%), than any other product.

Indeed, the generation which has grown up most profoundly affected by technology, will in turn be the generation which most profoundly changes it.

 

Note: This article was first published in French on my blog website: raymondmorin.com. Parts of this article are excerpts from my new book Generation C (onnectée) – Le marketing d’influence à l’ère numérique, published (in French) by Éditions Kawa, and available online on AmazonFr.

Other interesting links on the generation Z

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/29/jobs/make-way-for-generation-z.html

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/generation-z-makes-its-entry-into-the-workforce-1.3001606

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/generation-z-offers-unique-challenge-for-employers-1.3063249

 

Image attribution: http://cnx.org/contents/afe4332a-c97f-4fc4-be27-4e4d384a32d8@7.20:90/Introduction_to_Sociology

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1571762/One-in-every-64-babies-is-now-born-after-IVF.html

Copyright: ‘http://www.123rf.com/profile_sangoiri‘ / 123RF Stock Photo

 

 

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Raymond Morin

SMO Senior Consultant, Author/Blogger and Speaker at Virage 2.0
Raymond Morin is a francophone author and speaker, who has also acted as senior strategic consultant and coach for organizations, SMBs and independent professionals for over 20 years. An early adopter to the Web and social media, he shared his learning and knowledge, throughout those years, for the benefits of several funding and governmental organizations, before choosing to be a freelancer for entrepreneurs and professionals organizations. His focus is on establishing bridges between the different enterprises and consumers, to fill the gap between cultures and generations, for the benefits of each professional user. Author of the books "Culture Web à la portée des PME" (2001) and "Comment entreprendre le virage 2.0" (2010), he has also contributed to several magazines and bloggers platforms over the years. His upcoming new book in French, entitled "Generation C et l’influence des consommateurs branchés", is prefaced by Neal Schaffer, and will be also published in English and Spanish during the next year.