Gen Z's View on Their Future
5 minutes read
- Written by Yubo Team
As a teenager, the future can be the most daunting part of your life. Not just what you’re mom will be making for dinner, or if that one person will text you back or not. But, the big stuff. Where or if you’ll go to college. Whether you’ll live in a mansion, apartment, shack or house. Who will be in that future home with you, if anyone? What kind of job and financial status will you have? And of course, is there a possibility of a good future for you and will you be happy?
Gen Z, along with the rest of the generations, has had a tough few years facing the crashing job market, rising home costs, and utter isolation. But, they’re fighting history all over again. The global pandemic virtually erased some of their best and most developmental school years. And it’s worth mentioning that with the rise of social media, they’re the first generation to have such extensive first-hand witnesses of the hate occuring around the world. They’ve also seen the leaders of their countries lose their honor and costing this generation any trust they had in these types of positions. Given all this, how can Gen Z stay hopeful for their future?
Well, in a survey by Yubo of over seven thousand 13-25 year olds, it turns out that a majority of Yubo’s Gen Z users are in fact, optimistic about their future. Let’s break that down.
How does Gen Z view their financial future?
In 1980, the typical cost of a home in the US was $47,200. In the year 2,000, this number was $119,600. Given inflation rates of 2022, those amounts roughly equal to $170K and $205K, respectively. Today, the median home sales price is $428,700. It’s more difficult for a Gen Zer to buy a home than it was for their parents and their parent’s parents. Despite this, 93% of Yubo users surveyed in the US believe they will be able to afford to buy a home or an apartment in the future. The numbers may be against them, but Gen Z believes in their future.
These sentiments are shared by our UK and France survey takers as well, despite those regions, along with the US, having some of the highest costs of living in the world.
With nearly half of Gen Zers out of high school and facing real-world costs or looking to university, many have felt the impact of inflation. In Yubo’s survey, 80% of US users polled responded that inflation has personally affected them. In comparison, 69% of those in France and 75% of those in the UK answered they too felt the negative impacts of inflation.
And then there’s one of the next greatest financial and future forming decisions to make at a young age: higher education. In the poll, only 36% of surveyors felt that a college degree is necessary to “be successful and achieve the life [they] want.” With college degrees typically taking 4 years at an average cost of $35,551 per year in the US, it’s no surprise that many would not want to use the time or money to receive a college degree. Interestingly, older Gen Z users between the ages of 20 and 25 were more likely to say college degrees were necessary, as compared to surveyors under 20.
Why does Gen Z value online friendships?
Growing up with social media, Gen Z is used to forming friendships online and using social media as a tool for authentic interaction and socializing. They also found this incredibly helpful as they had to adapt to the time they spent in isolation during the pandemic years. In Yubo’s poll, 75% of US users said they made a close friend online. 59% of surveyors said they feel more comfortable making friends online rather than in person. As Yubo is a social discovery platform designed to bring people together from all around the world, it’s no surprise our users would have such high views of online friends. But, this still shows the potential of online friendships and how Gen Z is not as limited in their social lives as previous generations may have been without the option of social media.
Gen Z and current issues
Gen Z has been making their voices heard in the political realm, even with most not being old enough to run for office. In the 2022 midterm elections, Gen Z are even credited with determining results in battleground states. Gen Z’s loud emergence into American politics is likely due to the fact that they want to see change. 53% of US survey respondents said they don’t trust their government leaders to look out for their best interest.
With 76% of surveyors saying social justice movements are important to them and 81% of respondents naming climate change as a pressing issue, it’s clear Gen Z has a connected vision of what they wish their future to be and what they wish their future leaders would fight for. It may be a surprise that the majority of Gen Z survey respondents were hopeful about their future, but that’s likely because Gen Z will never give up on the future they wish to achieve.