Gen Z continues Millennial progressive streak; most diverse generation in U.S.

Members of Generation Z, including those pictured during a recent gun protest in Missoula, are the most diverse generation in the U.S., and just as progressive as their Millennial predecessors, research has found. (Martin Kidston/Missoula Current file photo)

(CN) – Generation Z, the moniker given to people born after 1996, is the most ethnically and racially diverse generation in the U.S. and is shaping up to be just as progressive as the millennial generation, if not more, the Pew Research Center reported Thursday.

The oldest millennials are turning 38 this year, but they share many of the same views as Gen Zers. Both generations believe that increasing racial and ethnic diversity is good for society, and both are more likely to have a positive view of interracial and same-sex marriages than older generations of Americans, according to the Pew report.

Sixty-two percent of Gen Zers and 61 percent of millennials believe that increasing diversity is good for society, while 52 percent of Gen Xers and 48 percent of baby boomers believe that increasing diversity is good.

Gen Zers (48 percent) are just as likely as millennials (47 percent) to say that allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry is a good thing for society. Only 15 percent of either generation says that same-sex marriage is a bad thing for society, compared to 25 percent of Gen Xers and 32 percent of baby boomers who say the same.

Pew’s analysis of a survey of 920 teens conducted in the fall — in addition to data gleaned from its American Trends Panel — also found some significant, if modest, differences between the country’s two youngest generations.

Gen Z is more familiar with gender-neutral pronouns like “they” and most likely to say that official documents or other forms should offer gender options other than “man” or “woman.”

Thirty-five percent of Gen Zers say they personally know someone who prefers to be referred to with gender-neutral pronouns, compared to 25 percent of millennials, 16 percent of Gen Xers, and 12 percent of baby boomers who say the same.

Fifty-nine percent of Gen Zers say forms or online profiles should include gender options other than “man” or “woman,” while 50 percent of millennials, 40 percent of Gen Xers and 37 percent of boomers say the same.

The Pew report also found that Gen Zers stand out among Republicans on key issues such as racial equality and climate change.

Gen Zers who currently identify as Republicans are more likely than older Republicans to say that black people are not treated fairly. Forty-three percent of Gen Z Republicans say that black people are treated less fairly than white people, compared to 30 percent of millennial Republicans, 23 percent of Gen X Republicans, and 20 percent of Republican boomers who say the same.

Gen Z Republicans are less likely than their older counterparts to say that the earth is getting warmer because of natural patterns as opposed to human activity. Only 18 percent of Republican Gen Zers say this, compared to 30 percent of millennial, 36 percent of Gen X, and 42 percent of boomer Republicans.

The youngest generation of Republicans also differs from older Republicans on views of President Donald Trump.

Fifty-nine percent of Gen Z Republicans believe Trump is doing a good job as president. Sixty-five percent of millennial, 76 percent of Gen X, and 85 percent of boomer Republicans believe Trump is doing a good job, according to the survey.