Edging In: Introducing the Newest Kids on the Block

Just as the workplace and marketplace were getting their heads around Millennials, a new generation has emerged.

Generation Edge (born after 1995) is still in the midst of their formative years, therefore, research is not conclusive, but early studies are already tracking exciting new trends. Every generation comes in, makes noise, challenges the status quo, and redefines aspects of our current culture and societal norms. Gen Edge is no exception. Here we will explore the numbers and trends of a generation that is sure to shake things up.

Gen Edge by the numbers:
  • 26% of America’s population is under the age of 18.
  • 361,000 babies are born around the world every single day.
  • On average, Gen Edgers receive $16.90 per week in allowance which translates to $44 billion a year.
  • 26% of 16–19 year-olds are currently volunteering.
  • +50% increase in the multiracial youth population since 2000.
Gen Edge Trends:

#1 - A participation award is NOT a real award.
How could this be? As a Millennial myself, I was nearly certain that I was guaranteed at least “an A for effort.” These Gen Edgers are more competitive than their Millennial predecessors. Many Gen Edgers have Gen X parents (born between 1965–1979). Gen X parenting trends have proven to be dramatically different than those of the Baby Boomers. While Baby Boomers parented their Millennial children during the self-esteem movement of the '80s, Gen Xers are using honest and unfiltered communication to prepare their children for the realities of the world. Fragile economies, declining resources, and global competition are just a few of the realisms that Gen Edgers have grown up with. Gen X parents are encouraging their children to get real world work experience at a young age. In fact, 55% of high school students feel pressured by their parents to gain early professional experience. There is a keen sense among Gen Edgers that they are growing up in an environment where they will need to compete and win for the best grades, the best schools, and the best jobs. My sixth place gymnastics trophy seems a bit pathetic now…

#2 - DIY entrepreneurs are in.
DIY (do-it-yourself) is a movement that has been pushed into mainstream culture, largely due to its popularity among the teenage demographic. There has been a resurgence of teenage interest in activities such as baking and building. It would appear that a generation that has grown up with screens is now hungry for tangible experiences. Even when Gen Edgers are using screens, they are using technology to learn how to do things for themselves. Whether it’s fixing a bike, planting a garden, or coding, this resourceful generation is finding their own ways to build and create. This hunger for creation and building has spurred a highly entrepreneurial spirit. A recent report by Millennial Branding found that 72% of high school students and 64% of college students want to start a business someday. After watching their Millennial siblings suffer from the Recession and move back home in droves after college, Gen Edgers are on the hunt to find unconventional ways to pave their own paths and secure a different fate.

#3 - Friendship unbound.
Gen Edgers are far and away the most connected generation. They have a unique ability to make and maintain relationships solely online, both on local and global levels. They are forging relationships with peers all over the world and therefore building global communities that redefine the way we traditionally view “community.” In fact, according to the JWT Gen Z Study, 26% of Gen Edgers would have to get on an airplane in order to see all of their Facebook friends. With global camaraderie and seamless integration between their virtual worlds and their real worlds, Gen Edgers are giving friendship a new meaning.

Each generation leaves an integral mark on our society and culture. Gen Edgers are proving to be a resilient and resourceful group that will surely redefine our world.