15 Interesting Facts About Generation Z (1997-2012)

Lizzie Robinson
7 Minutes Read

Generation Z grew up alongside social media. The first social media site, Six Degrees, was launched in 1997, the year Gen Z began.

    Have you ever wondered what Generation Z really means or when it was? Maybe you’re curious about whether you fall into this category or what it says about you and your friends.

    There are plenty of unknown facts to discover about this diverse and defining era. It’s time to put your curiosity to rest and find out everything you want to know about Gen Z!

    Generation Z is used to describe people born between the late 1990s and early 2010s.

    A woman holding up a sign saying "# GEN Z"

    In general, people born between 1997 and 2012 are considered to be part of Generation Z, or “Gen Z.” Each generation typically covers around 15-20 years.

    However, boundaries between generations are difficult to draw, and there may be some overlap. People born slightly before or after this time frame might share the same interests and worldviews.

    For this reason, a looser definition of Generation Z covers the late 1990s to the early 2010s.

    Generation Z comes between Generation Y and Generation Alpha.

    A group of young children looking at their smartphones

    People born in the generation immediately before Generation Z are called Millennials, or Generation Y. These people were born between 1981 and 1996 and are sometimes parents of Generation Z-ers.

    Generation Alpha, on the other hand, is the term used for people born between 2010 and 2024. Some of these may be the children of the older Generation Z.

    Those who are born on the cusp of another generation might feel like they belong to more than one era!

    They were the first generation to be born into a world of social media.

    A smartphone with social media icons popping up

    It might be difficult to imagine a world without social media and hashtags now. This is certainly true for many Generation Z-ers, who never knew a life without it!

    The first social media site, Six Degrees, was launched in 1997 – the same year Generation Z began. It allowed people to create a profile, upload and share content, and make friends with others.

    This was the beginning of the popular model we use today on platforms like X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram.

    Generation Z came after Generation X and Y.

    A notebook with different generations written in it

    If you’re wondering why Generation Z has this name, there is a simple explanation. Generation Z came after Generation Y and Generation X before it, making it an obvious choice.

    Millennials are sometimes known as Generation Y, and the generation before – in the 1970s and 1980s – is known as Generation X. However, there were no other letters used before this.

    “X” was adopted to indicate the undefined and alienated nature of children growing up in that particular generation.

    They are sometimes known as “zoomers”.

    A girl on her phone leaning against a wall

    You’d be forgiven for thinking that the term “zoomers” comes from the video platform Zoom. But this colloquial name for Generation Z takes its inspiration from “boomers” – people born from the late 1940s to the early 1960s.

    Because of the decades-long gap between boomers and zoomers, these people are often at opposite ends of their working lives. When boomers are leaving the workplace, zoomers are only just beginning.

    Gen Z slang has become part of day-to-day language.

    The word "slang" made out of letters on wooden blocks

    Every generation has words and terms that originate with them. Generation Z is no different, and many of the words we use today have come from this era.

    The rising popularity of social media has led to slang terms gaining traction across the internet and wider communications.

    The term “cancel culture” – where popular figures are shunned because of behavior deemed to be unacceptable – is considered a legacy of Gen Z. Another example of Gen Z slang includes the word “yeet,” meaning to throw something with force and carelessness.

    Kylie Jenner is one of the famous Gen Z-ers.

    Kylie Jenner's face in portrait

    Popular influencer and entrepreneur Kylie Jenner was born in 1997, making her one of the many famous people who belong to Generation Z.

    Being born in 1997, at the start of this generation, makes her one of the older Gen Z-ers. Had she been born just a year earlier, some may have argued she was a Millennial instead.

    Hundreds of famous people were born during this generation, including Lil Nas X, Florence Pugh, and Timothée Chalamet. You can probably think of a few of your favorite celebrities who belong to Generation Z!

    The tragic 9/11 attack happened during this time.

    A view of the Twin Towers from a distance

    Even children growing up in the early 2000s might remember hearing the harrowing news of the 9/11 attack in New York. It happened on the morning of September 11, 2001, when some of the oldest Gen Z-ers were just four years old.

    The Twin Towers were the main target of the 9/11 attacks, which resulted in the loss of 2,977 lives. This pivotal event was life-changing for many people and became a defining moment for this generation.

    Not all Gen Z-ers experienced the turn of the millennium.

    Several hands hold up sparklers at night

    The turn of a millennium only comes around every 1,000 years, making it a special occasion to witness. People all over the world celebrated this at the beginning of 2000.

    At the White House in Washington D.C., Millennium programs encouraged local communities to plan activities reflecting on the past and looking to the future. They ran from 1997 to 2001 to make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime event.

    However, while those born before 2000 were alive to see the transition from 1999 to 2000, many Gen Z-ers were born in the years after this.

    This shows how people born during the same period can experience a vastly different set of events.

    Some of the most popular blockbuster movies were produced during this period.

    Green numbers forming a scene reminiscent of "The Matrix"

    Many of the movies we know and love today, such as Saving Private Ryan (1998), The Matrix (1999), and The Dark Knight (2008) were all released during this time. These are some of the most highly-rated movies of the generation.

    Gen Z-ers often enjoy a wide range of genres and styles due to the diverse nature of their generation.

    Part of this is due to growing up at a time when technology was advancing in the world of cinema. People could now watch their favorite movies and new special effects in high definition like never before.

    Generation Z saw the release of the first iPhone.

    The first iphone

    Generation Z can claim the iPhone as a key part of their era. The hotly anticipated smartphone had been under development for several years before its release in 2007.

    For many Gen Z-ers, this was the first smartphone they knew.

    Fast forward to today, and the iPhone remains one of the best-selling smartphones in the world. Dozens of models have been released since they first began during Generation Z.

    Bluetooth was introduced during this era.

    The Bluetooth logo on a blue circle

    Bluetooth was introduced in 1998 and quickly became one of the most popular technologies for exchanging data between devices. Many Gen Z-ers have never known a time when this useful technology did not exist.

    The first Bluetooth mobile phone also made its way to the shelves during Generation Z; the Bluetooth-equipped Ericsson T39 phone hit the stores in 2001.

    Chart-topping pop star Shawn Mendes belongs to Generation Z.

    Shawn Mendes on stage with a guitar

    Canadian singer Shawn Mendes was born in 1998, putting him firmly into the Gen Z category. Mendes has scooped more than 100 awards during his career, making him one of the many successful Gen Z-ers.

    Shawn Mendes is seen as an icon of this era and has even been described as the “Gen Z Bruce Springsteen.”

    Generation Z saw Amazon expand beyond books.

    A woman holding an Amazon delivery box

    Before 1998, Amazon was merely a website where you could buy books. After it expanded to include other products, the company significantly increased its profits. It was during Generation Z, around 2003, that Amazon really began to grow exponentially.

    Popular delivery service Amazon Prime was also launched during this generation. The well-known subscription service, launched in 2005, has grown from strength to strength.

    U.S. workers earned around $30k at the start of Gen Z.

    An extended arm offering a large amount of money

    At the beginning of 1997, workers in the United States earned an average annual salary of $30,336. This might seem like a small amount in today’s world, but it’s important to remember the cost of living was lower. For example, a gallon of milk cost around $2.67 in 1997.

    By the end of Generation Z in 2012, the average annual salary of U.S. workers was $55,300. This reflects the economic inflation and increase in living costs during this era.


    People born in Generation Z share their era with new inventions, outstanding movies, and celebrities that have made their way into popular culture. It is considered to be one of the most diverse generations in terms of interests, values, and lifestyles.

    Whether or not you’re lucky enough to be part of this fascinating generation, you probably know a lot more about Gen Z now than you did before!

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About The Author

Lizzie Robinson
Lizzie Robinson

Lizzie Robinson has been a freelance writer since 2011. She studied English Literature at university and enjoys sailing & playing the piano in her free time. Lizzie enjoys writing about current issues & business.

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