Income: Fewer teens expect to earn middle income wages
Using US Census and Pew Research Center data of lower, middle, and upper household income levels, we asked teens what they expected their household income to be in ten years. For context, according to Pew’s 2018 study, 52% of adults lived in middle-income households, 29% in lower-income households and 19% in upper-income households. So, what does Gen Z expect to be earning in ten years?
26% said they expect to be earning a salary equal to today’s lower-income household
49% said they expect to be earning a salary equal to today’s middle-income household
25% said they expect to be earning a salary equal to today’s upper-income household
The raw numbers are not substantially different than today’s actual income levels. In other words, Gen Z expects their future economic circumstances to be similar to their current household income.
Youthful optimism and a belief in the American Dream have been supplanted by a pragmatic, if not pessimistic view about upward mobility.
Social Issues: Teens show a unified voice around a singular issue in 2030
Understanding the social issues that are most important to teens provides insight into today’s youth culture and indicates areas for brands to focus their cause marketing. In our social activism study about a year ago, 68% of teens said companies had an obligation to solve social issues.
In 2018, ranked in order, the top 5 key social concerns of teens were Education, Jobs and Unemployment, Prejudice and Racism, the Environment, and Terrorism. Because our study this month focused on expectations about 2030, and not their concerns today, we anticipated a few difference. Ranked in order, teens believe that the main social issues in 2030 will be:
Climate change 41%
Gun Violence 22%
Income Inequality 7%
Immigration makes its first appearance on this list, while Education drops off for the first time. But the biggest surprise might be Climate Change – with teens more unified and galvanized around a single issue than ever before.
Climate Change is ranked #1 on our list of social issues of concern for 2030 and garnered nearly twice as many votes as the second-ranked issue.
Tech: Wearable tech seems poised to break through to young consumers
From laptops to gaming consoles, tech is a central part of nearly every aspect of Gen Z’s lives. When it comes to tech teens “use every day,” smartphones are the dominant device with nearly 95% saying they have a smartphone or access to one. What tech does Gen Z think they will be using every day ten years from now?
Nearly 90% say that the smartphone will still be the most important daily-use device. But one-third of teens say that wearable tech will be critical to them by 2030. This is a bit of a surprise, because despite the mass media buzz about wearables, teens have been slow to adopt it. Last year only 2% said wearable tech was their favorite kind of technology. Our study supports the findings in a new report published by GlobalData last month, that says the wearable tech market will increase at a rate of 19% in the coming years.
Young people expect to be using the following technology every day by 2030:
Mobile Phone or Tablet 88%
Desktop or Laptop Computer 58%
Wearable Technology 33%
Wearable tech ranked third behind only smartphones and computers as tech that young people think they will be using every day in the next decade.
Be on the lookout for Part 2 of “2030 Consumers” next month for Gen Z’s expectations about marriage & family, politics, religion, diet & exercise, and more.
Contact us to learn more about Gen Z or to discuss how we can help your brand reach teen and young adult consumers.