Understanding Gen Z Report 2019

June 2019

Report summary

A superlative generation in many regards, Gen Z is on track to be the largest, most ethnically-diverse, best-educated, and most financially-powerful generation ever. In the coming years, their distinctive habits will play an outsized role in shaping American culture and commerce. Gen Z is composed of those Americans born between 1997 and 2012.

Research on this generation is still in its nascent stage, and many of the conceptions about Gen Z are premised on a shaky foundation of speculation and conjecture. In this report, we employ Morning Consult’s survey research technology to let Gen Z adults speak for themselves. Based on nearly 1,000 survey interviews with 18-21 year-olds, this report will dig into their values, habits, aspirations, politics, and concerns, offering a detailed overview of the ideas that are shaping Gen Z adults, and the ways they differ from the generations that came before them.

Key Takeaways

  • Reversing a trend of declining generational trust, Gen Z adults put slightly more faith in capitalism than millennials. Gen Z adults also have the most positive view of socialism of any generation.
  • Collectively, Google and Apple’s suite of products make up 11 out of the top 25 brands that Gen Z adults are most likely to use on a daily basis.
  • Gen Z is widely distrustful of institutions and powerful interests, from Wall Street to the news media. Seventy-eight percent say there is a lot of corruption in America.
  • Gen Z liberals are more likely to boycott a brand for political reasons: 39 percent say they’ve done so in the past year.
  • The first digitally native generation has a starkly different media diet. A 49 percent plurality get their news from social media, and a majority are on YouTube daily.
  • Gen Z Republicans are far more comfortable with “large government” and socialism than elder Republicans. They also hold more socially liberal views.
  • Gen Z adults are far less America-centric than older adults. They are less likely to say that being an American is important to their identity, and more skeptical that the U.S. sets a good example for the rest of the world.


This report is primarily based on a survey of 3,022 U.S. adults, including an oversample of 999 adults aged 18-21. The survey was conducted May 23-26, 2019. The margin of error for Gen Z adults is +/- 3 percentage points, and the margin of error for Gen Z adult sub-demographics range from 4 - 8 percentage points. The “all older adults” demographic — all Americans 22 or older — has a margin of errorof +/- 2 percentage points.

The interviews were conducted online and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, educational attainment, and region.

Additional brand-tracking data in this report comes from Morning Consult Brand Intelligence. BrandIntelligence is the most comprehensive brand tracking platform available, using thousands of daily surveys on over 3,000+ brands to help marketing and communications executives measure brand reputation in real-time. Date ranges and sample sizes for Brand Intelligence data vary and are specified on pages where this data appears.

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