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Nickelodeon Study Highlights Gen Z

With roughly 50 million kids under the age of 11 in the U.S., Nickelodeon has conducted a study, titled The Story of Me 2, to better understand this growing group, commonly referred to as Generation Z.

April 6, 2018

3 Min Read

Data shows that today’s children are more accepting, have a better relationship with their parents and more.

With roughly 50 million kids under the age of 11 in the U.S., Nickelodeon has conducted a study, titled The Story of Me 2, to better understand this growing group, commonly referred to as Generation Z.

The Story of Me 2 includes a blend of nationally representative proprietary Nickelodeon quantitative and qualitative data as well as external data available to the public domain. Findings included in the study range from 2012-2016.

As part of Generation Z, these children represent 15.4 percent of the overall population as well as the most racially diverse group in U.S. history. According to the study, bi-racial children represent almost 17 percent of the population and by 2019 the majority of kids ages 0-11 will be non-white.

Other key findings from the study include:

  • The idea of “traditional” family has changed. “Traditional” families used to be two parents in their first marriage, which in 1960 was 73 percent of all marriages, according to the study. By 2014, this figure dropped to 50 percent. Additionally, 7 percent of children today are from “cohabitating” non-married parents and 26 percent of kids live with a single parent.

  • In the past 15 years, there has been an increase in kids living in multigenerational homes with 10 percent of kids living with their grandparents. Thirty percent of boomer grandparents are funding kids’ educations, vacations and afterschool activities. In addition to grandparents moving in, another factor is millennial siblings moving back home.

  • Thirty percent of millennials are now parents and dads are taking a more active role with their children. According to Nickelodeon, millennial dads spend three times more time with their kids than fathers did in the 1960s. There is also an increase in stay-at-home dads, currently at 16 percent, up from 10 percent 15 years ago.

  • This generation is closer to their parents than the previous generation. Nickelodeon found that 83 percent of parents say kids should have a say in family decisions. Meanwhile, mom (78 percent) and dad (58 percent) are kids’ top two chosen role models, with a grandparent (26 percent), YouTube star (19 percent) and teacher (18 percent) rounding out the top five.

  • Generation Z is confident in their own abilities, with 90 percent believing that they can find answers to any question on their own and 60 percent saying they do not need to memorize anything.

  • Primarily, kids worry about school and getting good grands. However, the group is also focused on their parents’ safety, parents losing their jobs and the family’s financial situation. Cyber popularity, appearance and bullying are also among top kids’ stressors as well as school safety.

  • The definition of a “friend” has evolved. Today, kids consider digital friends whom they have never met as part of their social circle and, on average, kids have not met 60 percent of their Facebook friends.

  • Unlike previous generations, Generation Z is more tolerant and accepting to inclusion with 93 percent of kids saying they would like to have a friend from a different group and 81 percent saying they would like to have a friend with a different religious affiliation.

  • Nickelodeon found a rise in mobile device ownership among children, with 40 percent of 3- to 11-year-olds owning their own tablet and 17 percent owning their own smartphone.

  • Finally, 89 percent of kids spend their free time building new skills. Many of these skills are technology-focused with 48 percent of kids saying they’ve coded, which is now considered a critical skill for kids.

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