Generation Z considers themselves the most creative generation yet, a new poll suggests.
But a new Harris Poll that surveyed all generations found that more than half of Gen Z – 56% – consider themselves creative, compared to 44% of those over the age of 24.
When asked about the activities, behaviors and conditions that help generations of people achieve peak creativity, this generation outmatched all others, the survey conducted on behalf of Adobe found, thus dubbing the Zers a nickname: Generation Create.
“What we found is that Gen Create are digital natives who are also more creatively inspired by family, friends and love more than any other generation,” Adobe said in its study. “And they are likelier than any other generation to say that both social media and social activism make them more creative.”
Gen Zers are those born after 1996 and combined with Millennials, ages 24 to 39, the two generations make up most of the U.S. population, according to a 2019 analysis by the Brookings Institution that showed 50.7% of U.S. residents were under age 40.
Growing up in the technology era, “Gen Create” is more inspired by music, social media and social connections, the survey found.
And they believe they are the most creative generation: Gen Zers surveyed said that 23 years old is the age for peak creativity in a person’s life. Other generations – Millennials (ages 24-39), Generation X (ages 40-55), Baby Boomers (ages 56-74) and the Silent Generation (ages 75-92) – believe 35 is the optimal age for creativity.
The 2020 poll surveyed 5,000 participants of all generations across five countries, including the U.S., the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany and Australia. Among the key findings:
- While the top 10 activities that make Gen Z feel creative are similar to other generations (listening to music, cooking, spending time alone), the survey found Gen Z replaced meditating with gaming in their top 10. Gaming has twice as strong an impact on Gen Z’s creativity than other generations at 29% versus 13%.
- Music is more likely to have an impact on Gen Z’s creativity than other generations: 67% of Gen Z say music is their primary mode of inspiration, compared to the 56% of all other generations.
- Cooking is the second highest ranked activitythat inspires creativity among all generations, but 62% of Gen Z said it makes them feel more inspired, compared to 56% in other generations.
- Gen Z are significantly more likely to do something creative every day by 63% compared to 57% among other generations and are also likelier to say that doing something creative daily benefits their work/academic studies by 78% versus 63%.
- Social media is an inspirational outlet among Gen Zers, 47% of whom say that checking social media makes them more creative, compared to only 30% of people ages 24 and up.
In the U.S., Gen Z is the most racially and ethnically diverse generation, according to the Pew Research Center. A slight majority of Gen Zers, 52%, are non-Hispanic white, while 25% are Hispanic, 14% Black, 6% Asian and 5% are another race or two or more races.
Generation Z is also known for political engagement and activism not seen since the 1960s, and they’re particularly concerned with climate change and its threat to the future. Gen Zers are responsible for having sparked protests globally, such as the Sunrise Movement, Zero Hour, Youth for Climate and #FridaysForFuture demonstrations.
The Harris Poll found that 56% of Gen Zers agree that social activism is the most important issue to them compared to 47% of people ages 24 and above.
But the oldest Gen Zers face uncertainty amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Unlike the Millennials – who came of age during the Great Recession – this new generation was in line to inherit a strong economy with record-low unemployment,” according to the Pew Research Center. “That has all changed now, as COVID-19 has reshaped the country’s social, political and economic landscape. Instead of looking ahead to a world of opportunities, Gen Z now peers into an uncertain future.”
In the midst of global coronavirus shutdowns, the Harris Poll found that Gen Z is significantly more likely to play an instrument, sing or take “brain breaks” while working (or studying) from home, with 23% of Gen Z, 15% of Millennials, 13% of Gen X and 9% of Baby Boomers reporting that music stimulates their creativity.
“We’re just starting to understand this next generation – 13 to 23 year-olds,” Adobe said in its report. “But we’ve seen that they use creativity in their daily life more than any other generation.”