If you’re not in your early teens or mid-20s, you might have some preconceived notions about those who are. This group, known as Generation Z, has grown up in a world dominated by social media, impacted by economic downturns, and fundamentally disrupted by a global pandemic.
So you might think they’d be pretty pessimistic about the way things are going. But you’d be wrong … at least according to a new Gallup poll.
Optimistic but unprepared
The results of this surprising survey were released this week to a mixture of fanfare and disbelief, finding that more than three-fourths of Gen Zers believe “they have a great future ahead of them.”
And a whopping 82% of those surveyed said they’re confident that they’ll achieve their goals.
These numbers are substantially higher than the percentages registered when older generations are asked about their outlook for the future.
Of course, like teens and young adults in previous generations, they aren’t convinced that they’re prepared for what the future might bring. Only 44% said they feel ready.
Breaking down the results
In broad terms, the poll offers a fairly encouraging overview of Gen Z, but not everyone is equally excited about their future prospects. One of the most notable disparities registered in this survey can be seen along racial lines. While 44% of Black respondents “strongly agree” that their future looks good, just 31% of Whites and 30% of Hispanics said the same.
And there’s one issue in particular that Gen Z believes it’ll have to conquer. Many respondents said that they believe their generation is missing a sufficient network of support to help them make the most of their future.
As Stanford Center on Adolescence's William Damon explained, this is a common concern for the age. “Kids need support. They need guidance.”