How COVID-19 Influenced Gen Z

May 2020

Report summary

For Americans who came of age during the Great Depression, habits that formed
during that period never fully left them, even decades after the economy had
recovered and the world had shifted gears. New Deal voters formed one of the most
lasting political coalitions in American history, transforming expectations of the role
government could play in people’s lives. Consumers who had experienced destitution remained financially vigilant, saving and squirreling away goods, always aware that the good times might not last. These enduring impacts were pivotal in shaping a generation and the contours of the nation.

It is with that kind of era-defining and generation-altering moment in mind that Morning Consult is launching a new multiyear survey research project aimed at understanding how the coronavirus outbreak will influence Generation Z (those Americans born after 1997). While the crisis is still in its early stages, all signs point to this being a profoundly impactful event, with the potential to reorient younger Americans’ habits, values, and outlook on the world.


The research will cover a range of topics, including politics, consumer habits, trust in institutions, career expectations and more. The results are based on a tracking survey of 1,000 Americans ages 13-23, conducted May 1-3, 2020. The margin of error for Gen Z is +/-3%. The same survey was also conducted among 2,200 U.S.adults (18+) with a margin of error of +/-2%.

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