Reports and Webinars are limited to the Region terms of your Pro and Prime subscription, as shown in “Purchased Regions”.

  • To filter all content types to individual Region(s) you have purchased, apply your Region(s) under “Purchased Regions.”

Articles, Video Updates, and News across all Regions are open to all Pro and Prime subscribers.

  • To see this content for any Region, use the “Content Filter”.

What Are Gen Z’s Biggest Hobbies?

These are the activities filling up young peoples’ free time…


  • Gen Z once again says sports is their biggest hobby
  • Meanwhile, Millennials have become bigger readers
  • Creative hobbies are popular for helping them to express their emotions

When brands are looking to connect with Gen Z and Millennials, it’s key to know what interests these gens are engaging with most. While everyone knows they fill up a decent amount of their free time scrolling on social media, YPulse data shows they’re passionate about far more than that. In fact, they’re taking time for lots of offline hobbies alongside their online ones.

In YPulse’s Hobbies and Passions report, we explore all of the things that young people love, and how they engage in these activities. Our data shows that while many of their hobbies, and the communities surrounding them, are both online and off, Gen Z’s biggest hobby is one they often do IRL with friends. We ask 13-39-year-olds “What is your biggest hobby?” as an open-ended question, and this is how their top responses rank: 

Table showing Gen Z and Millennials' top 15 biggest hobbies, split by generation

Sports are still Gen Z’s number one hobby 

Gen Z and Millennials are both sports lovers, but when it comes to their hobbies, sports are number one for the younger gen (again). In their answers, Gen Z lists everything from cycling to basketball to hiking and skateboarding as the sports they consider their biggest hobby. YPulse’s Sports and Athletics report shows that this gen is both avidly watching and playing themselves: 66% of Gen Z consider themselves sports fans, and 88% have played sports in some way in the past year. One 21-year-old female says their biggest hobby is “Soccer [because] I really enjoy being active and both participate and watch the sport.”  

One reason that playing sports, more than just watching as a fan, is such a big hobby is because of the connection it brings with their friends, as 58% of Gen Z who play sports say they participate in them with their friends, making it their top answer even over participating through school. One 15-year-old male tells YPulse, “My biggest hobby is playing sports [because] It helps me relax and meet people.” And, sports are also a way for them to let off some steam. A 17-year-old male says their biggest hobby is “Playing soccer [because] I’ve loved the sport ever since I was young and I love how much of a stress reliever it is.”  

Reading is climbing Millennials’ list of top hobbies 

Like Gen Z, Millennials also name sports as their biggest hobby. But this year, reading is second on their list, whereas last year it ranked fifth. This is not a new hobby for many, as one 26-year-old female tells us they chose reading because “It’s been my favorite hobby from childhood and never changed.” But we’ve also seen young people’s interest in reading grow as online communities like #BookTok become more popular. The hashtag #BookTok alone has 133B views, with sub-communities for different genres falling into it—like the fantasy subculture we recently explored in our Subculture Series. Many tell YPulse reading is a fun escape: one 23-year-old female says reading is their biggest hobby because “I feel like reading takes you into another place and time for a little and I like that.” 

One 30-year-old male also cites that in addition to being a relief from the real world, reading is an accessible (read: affordable) hobby: “I’ve always enjoyed reading, it’s healthy for your mind and is both a distraction/escape. Plus, I don’t have a ton of money right now and reading can be free (libraries).” YPulse data shows that inflation has changed nearly all of young people’s budgets in some way, and non-necessary expenses are a top category they cut back on, so anyway to engage in a hobby for free can help them out.  

Both gens are looking for creative outlets 

Both Gen Z and Millennials rank hobbies like arts and crafts and music high on their list of favorite activities. Both of these are strongly tied to taking care of themselves by being creative; one 25-year-old female speaks for the many when they tell YPulse “I would say drawing [is my biggest hobby] because I find that to be very therapeutic.” The mediums they enjoy are wide ranging, too, as one 14-year-old male says “Clay modeling [is my biggest hobby because] It is an interesting and engaging hobby that lets me express who I really am.” Another hobby that has newly entered the list (at number nine) for Gen Z is a more specific interest in crocheting / knitting / sewing—one which is so popular at the moment that it’s even fueling a top fashion trend for the year. 

Music has always been important to young people, and our data shows it’s not only one of the top things they do in their free time, but also something they do to take care of their mental health. One 18-year-old female says music is their biggest hobby because “I play music that soothes me whenever I’m feeling stress or sad or emotions [are] running high.”  Another 17-year-old male says they both make and listen to music as a hobby because “it just gives me a really good way to escape all the bad things I’m feeling or to express them in a healthier than normal way.” These emotionally conscious and creative generations are making time for hobbies that help them express themselves, and our data shows young people are self-teachers, so there is no end to the new hobbies they can pick up—especially thanks to social media.