Many belonging to Generation Z (those born between about 1997 and 2012) might still be too young to be employed and spend their own hard-earned money. However, they still have a huge impact on the buying decisions of their households. Forbes reports that almost a third of Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 are still living at home with their parents or other family members.
Considering the power they already sway, marketing teams have devoted a lot of time to get to know this younger generation better and identify the fundamental differences across generations. We’ve scoured the web and summed up some of the most interesting Gen Z statistics in this blog post.
Statistics on Gen Z Spending Habits :
- 1. A 5th of the US Population Belong to Generation Z
- 2. About a Third Identify as Democrat in the US
- 3. They Have $360 Billion in Disposable Income
- 4. Half Freelance
- 5. They Save About a Third of Their Income
- 6. About 45% Plan to Buy a Home Before 2026
- 7. Only 15% Are Avid Sports Fans
- 8. Social Media Has a Powerful Impact (Yet They’re Aware of the Dangers)
- 9. They View Newspapers as the Most Trustworthy
- 10. 90% Are Interested in AR
- 11. Gen Z Is Most Interested in Metaverse Activities
- 12. It’s Not All About Online Shopping
- 13. Online Presentation More Important Than How You Present Yourself In Person
- 14. Gen Zers Don't Shy Away from Reaching Out to Brands
- 15. 40% of Female Gen Zers Shop for Clothing Twice a Month
- 16. Gender Identity Less Likely to Impact Fashion Choices
- 17. Almost 25% Have at Least One Tattoo
- 18. Preferred Travel Accommodation Is Nothing Fancy
- 19. Gen Z Spend the Most on Their Pets
- 20. Gen Z's Prefer Brand Reaching Out to them via Emal
- 21. Gen Z Are More Willing to Buy Secondhand
- 22. About 7% Follow a Vegan Diet
- 23. Cost of Living is Their Top Concern
- 24. Netflix Is the Most Popular Among Gen Z
- 25. YouTube Is Their Favorite Brand
- 26. They Hold Brands to a Higher Standard
- 27. Female Gen Z Shoppers More Interested in Loyalty Programs
- 28. Gen Z Most Likely to Use BNPL
- 29. Stress and Anxiety are Very High Among this Generation
- Frequently Asked Questions
29 Stats on Gen Z and Their Spending Habits
1. A 5th of the US Population Belong to Generation Z
So, just how many Gen Zers are there? In 2022, there are 65 million Gen Zers in the United States. They’re currently the third biggest generational group and account for 20.7% of the US population. So, considering that they make up a big percentage, you’ll want to continue reading to get to know them and what makes them tick better.
2. About a Third Identify as Democrat in the US
Nearly a third (31%) of registered Gen Z voters in the United States identified as or leaned towards the Democrats. The majority, though, identified as independent, while fewer sided with the Republican party. While they might not have the biggest percentage of Democrats when compared to older generations, they do have the smallest group of Republicans.
3. They Have $360 Billion in Disposable Income
The spending power of Gen Z is on the increase. In 2022, Business Insider, estimated their spending power at over $360 billion in disposable income, more than double what was estimated three years ago.
Where does all this money come from?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and Gen Z Planet, they generate about $229 billion annually just in wages made via full-time employment. The hustle culture is very much alive among this group and with the help of side gigs they generate about $40 billion per year, while part-time employment accounts for about $70 billion per year and allowances for $57 billion per year.
4. Half Freelance
While many Gen Zs are still too young to be formally employed, according to Freelance Statistics 2022, 53% of the Gen Zers work on a freelance basis. This is the highest across all generational groups. To put this into perspective, only 44% of millennials freelance, while only about a third of Generation Xers freelance.
5. They Save About a Third of Their Income
While Gen Zers have billions in disposable income, it can be difficult to get them to spend their money as they’re regarded as thrifty consumers. One of the reasons why they’re known as thrifty spenders is because they save about a third of their income on average, according to a Bloomberg report.
What’s more, about 25% of them already own stocks thanks to a mobile app like Robinhood, while 14% are already busy investing in retirement accounts.
6. About 45% Plan to Buy a Home Before 2026
In addition to saving a significant chunk, 45% of Gen Zers are considering becoming homeowners before 2026. A survey completed among more than 13,000 US participants revealed that more or less 21% of the Gen Z generation had plans to buy a home before June 2022. So, compared to other adults, Gen Z is more keen to enter the housing market soon.
For the other 93% interested in becoming homeowners (eventually), the most popular type of home is a detached single-family home. At least 80% of Gen Zers (and millennials) that have purchased a home invested in this type of property.
The main reason for wanting to buy a home was to have a place for their family to grow in. Other reasons included to acquire more space (19%), to gain outdoor space (9%), and to save money on payments (17%).
7. Only 15% Are Avid Sports Fans
A survey completed in March 2022 revealed that only 15% of Gen Z participants identified as avid sports fans. To put this into perspective, 25% of millennials viewed themselves as avid sports fanatics, nearly double as many.
8. Social Media Has a Powerful Impact (Yet They’re Aware of the Dangers)
When it comes to shopping, social media can have a very powerful impact. A survey revealed that nearly 80% of Gen Z and millennial shoppers have bought a product that they’ve seen in their social media feed. What’s more, about half of Gen Z shoppers in the US and across the world feel that social platforms are better for finding out about new products than online searches.
That said, they’re also the generation that’s more inclined to think that social media has a negative impact on social well-being. A global survey completed in 2021 revealed that the younger generations were more aware of the potential negative impact of social media on our well-being, with 36% of Gen Z feeling that it can be harmful. Yet, of all the generations, they spend the most time on social media, averaging three hours per day which is nearly double the global average.
9. They View Newspapers as the Most Trustworthy
A survey completed at the beginning of 2022 has revealed that nearly 60% of Gen Z participants trust newspapers, even though online news outlets were more popular. Social media was the news source that they trusted the least, followed by podcasts, and cable news networks. Yet, half still use social media as a news source daily. On the other hand, only 5% read the newspaper daily.
10. 90% Are Interested in AR
Of all the generations, Gen Z shoppers are the most interested in exploring augmented reality (AR) shopping experiences. A survey completed at the beginning of 2022 showed that more than 90% of Gen Z participants were interested in using AR to see what a furniture piece will look like in their home.
11. Gen Z Is Most Interested in Metaverse Activities
A global survey completed at the beginning of 2022 revealed that Gen Z (and millennials) were the age groups that were the most interested in metaverse activities. Socializing with friends and playing games were identified as the most popular experiences, while nearly 40% of Gen Z participants indicated that they would be interested in attending a virtual concert of one of their favorite musicians.
12. It’s Not All About Online Shopping
Surprisingly, Gen Z (and millennials) shopped about equal amounts online and offline each week, according to a McKinsey & Company study. So, if your target audience is Gen Z, it’s key that you promote across multiple channels and instead of concentrating solely on online shopping.
13. Online Presentation More Important Than How You Present Yourself In Person
While Gen Z still likes to shop in-store as well, a Squarespace survey revealed that most (60%) believe that how you present yourself online carries more weight than how you present yourself in person. In fact, nearly 60% of Gen Zers believe that it’s easier for them to remember the color of a website than what it is to recall the color of a person’s eyes. This means that it’s key that stores ensure they have a well-designed website and solid online presence.
14. Gen Zers Don't Shy Away from Reaching Out to Brands
Gen Z love all things digital, that we've already established. When it comes to reaching out to brands online, 62% claimed that they have reached out asking for information or assistance. According to Statista, 25% have contacted brands over the internet, just for fun.
15. 40% of Female Gen Zers Shop for Clothing Twice a Month
A survey completed in 2022 revealed that 40% of female Gen Z shoppers shopped for clothing once or twice per month. Considering that most US females from this group preferred to buy clothing online, it makes sense why they can shop for apparel so frequently.
That said, while they might shop more often, Gen Z (and millennial men) spend more on clothing and shoes than females.
16. Gender Identity Less Likely to Impact Fashion Choices
Younger generations are more likely to buy gender-neutral clothing, according to a survey completed in 2022 among US consumers. In fact, the vast majority (85%) of Gen Zers that participated in this survey indicated that they were thinking about buying more gender-fluid fashion items. Of all the generations, they were also the most likely to have bought apparel that didn't fall into their gender identity category. And, no, the main reason wasn’t to make a social statement. Instead, their purchase choices were driven by comfort, with more than 60% revealing that this motivated them to buy clothing outside their gender identity.
17. Almost 25% Have at Least One Tattoo
Recent surveys completed in the US revealed that 23% of Gen Z had one or more tattoos as of 2021. Of this 23%, 4% had only one while 19% had multiple tattoos. To put this into perspective, 41% of millennials had at least one tattoo, while 32% of Generation X had one or more.
18. Preferred Travel Accommodation Is Nothing Fancy
Somewhat surprisingly is that the preferred travel accommodation of Gen Z users across the globe is nothing to write home about. A global survey completed in July 2022 revealed that most travelers from this age group (35%) preferred to stay in a three-star standard hotel, motel, or condominium. A quarter indicated that they preferred staying with friends or relatives.
19. Gen Z Spend the Most on Their Pets
A survey completed in the United States has revealed, Gen Z pet owners spent the most on their pets, $1,885 annually, on average. While millennials are the group that spent the second most on their pets, they represented the biggest share of pet owners in the US (32%).
One thing, though, that Gen Zers are the least likely to buy for their pets is a CBD product. While recreational cannabis use was high among this generation, they were far less likely than millennials to give their pets CBD products.
20. Gen Z's Prefer Brand Reaching Out to them via Emal
A survey conducted in 2022, showed that 57% of Gen Z will opt in for email when it comes to brands reaching out to them. Their second preferred channel of communication is social media. (44%).
21. Gen Z Are More Willing to Buy Secondhand
Seeing that Generation Z consumers are more aware of the impact that their buying behavior has on the environment, they’re also the generation that’s more willing to purchase secondhand apparel. In 2022, 80% of Gen Z consumers indicated that they were likely to shop for secondhand items.
22. About 7% Follow a Vegan Diet
A survey completed between July 2021 and June 2022 found that about 7% of US citizens aged between 18 and 19 identified as vegans. To put this into perspective, only about 4% of participants in their 40s were following vegan diets. In the US, beef-style alternative burgers are the most popular plant-based meats by far.
Somewhat surprisingly is that the most popular source of meal inspiration among Gen Z (and millennial) consumers was family recipes. While they might be tech-driven, it looks like they can still make sense of handwritten notes. After family recipes, 38% get their inspiration from recipe websites or apps and if that fails it’s back to hardcopy notes, but this time recipe books.
23. Cost of Living is Their Top Concern
According to the Deloitte Global 2022 Millennials and Gen Z Survey, number one concern of Generation Z is the cost of living. Right after having concerns about the instability of their financial existence (29%), 24% of Gen Z stated that climate change is the other thing that they are mostly worried about.
24. Netflix Is the Most Popular Among Gen Z
Generation Z is the most likely to have a Netflix subscription in the US. Nearly 70% stated that they subscribed to Netflix. To put this into perspective, only 39% of baby boomers were subscribers.
25. YouTube Is Their Favorite Brand
In a study completed in 2022 about favorite brands, products, and services, about 86% of Generation Z indicated that YouTube was their overall favorite. In second spot was Google, while Amazon was in third place.
Nike, Apple, and Amazon were the top three favorite brands for millennials.
Other brands that are loved by Gen Zers are SHEIN, Zara, and Urban Outfitters.
26. They Hold Brands to a Higher Standard
There’s a much bigger emphasis on sustainability and value, among Generation Z. At the end of the day, they really analyze their spending habits. For example, the Deloitte Global 2022 Millennials and Gen Z Survey found that over 64% of Gen Zers admitted that they are willing to pay more for sustainable alternatives. Only 36% of them would opt for cheaper products that are not sustainable.
While green practices play a key role in their purchasing decisions, they still place an importance on customer service. According to TalkDesk report, poor customer service was one of the main reasons why Gen Zers lost trust in a brand and stopped buying.
27. Female Gen Z Shoppers More Interested in Loyalty Programs
In Great Britain, female shoppers are more likely to belong to a type of loyalty program. Only 41% of Generation Z men in Great Britain are part of a loyalty program.
28. Gen Z Most Likely to Use BNPL
29. Stress and Anxiety are Very High Among this Generation
Generation Z claim that they are regularly stressed and/or anxious. Millennials are also know to be stressed and anxious, but luckily their stress level in 2022 are down slightly from the levels in 2022, according to Deloitte Global 2022 Millennials and Gen Z Survey. Almost half of Gen Z (46%) feel burned out due to the demands of their working environment. It doesn't come surprisingly that 44% of them claimed that they have left their organization due to workload pressure.
Frequently Asked Questions
How big is Generation Z in the US?
According to data shared by Statista, in 2022 there were 68.6 million Gen Zers in the United States. They accounted for 20.35% of the US population. As of 2020, Generation Z was the third biggest generational group. Millennials were the biggest (21.93%), while the baby boomers (21.45%) were the second biggest generation group
Do Gen Zers still shop at traditional stores?
Yes, it might come as a bit of a surprise but Generation Z is actually shifting more toward brick-and-mortar stores, especially for clothing. From Instagram to department stores to pop-up shops to convenience store chains to specialty stores, they actually shop via multiple formats, a podcast episode of the McKinsey Podcast revealed. Basically, Gen Zers will often browse online, but go to the physical store to purchase the products as they want to enjoy the in-person customer experience too.
Does Generation Z listen to influencers?
A survey revealed that about 80% of Gen Z shoppers have bought a product that they’ve seen in their social media feed. What’s more, about 54% of Gen Z shoppers in the US feel that social platforms are better for finding out about new products than online searches, while in the UK specifically, Gen Zers were more than twice as likely to purchase an item because of influencer marketing. So, influencer marketing can be very powerful, especially to advertise apparel, beauty and make-up products.
Which eCommerce retail website does Gen Z prefer: Amazon, eBay or Walmart?
Amazon is the most-used eCommerce retail website. The vast majority (about 75%) of Generation Z preferred Amazon over other sites like eBay and Walmart.
What is Generation Z’s favorite brand?
A study completed in 2022 about favorite brands, products, and services, revealed that YouTube was Generation Z’s top brand. Other popular brands included Google and Amazon. They also liked SHEIN, Zara, Vans, Gucci, and Nike. In fact, 60% of Gucci’s sales were generated by Gen Zers, according to Interbrand.
All in all, they were more likely to buy apparel, beauty and make-up products because of brands’ posts or influencers’ content on social media.
In fact, a survey revealed that in the UK specifically, Gen Zers were more than twice as likely to purchase an item because of influencer marketing. Also, advertising doesn’t bother them as much as other generations as long as they’re getting something free in return.
As of 2022, YouTube was the most popular social media platform among them, followed by TikTok in second spot.