Where Young People Stand On Religion, In 5 Stats

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketing

After years of stories about Millennials “turning their backs on religion,” we’ve got the truth about the religious beliefs of 13-35-year-olds today…

Millennials have been called the least religious generation to date for about as long as they’ve been able to pick up a bible, and it’s been expected that Gen Z will join the older gen’s atheist ranks—recent articles have claimed that “Atheism Doubles Among Generation Z” and offered to explain “Why Generation Z is less Christian than ever.” And while the story has long been that all these young consumers are flocking away from organized religion and into the more amorphous moniker of “spirituality,” that line of thinking seemed to reach a fever pitch this year as new headlines about Millennials stirred up the idea that they have begun to devote themselves to psychics, horoscopes, and star charts en masse. MarketWatch’s piece, “Why Millennials Are Ditching Religion For Witchcraft And Astrology,” made the case that the generation is interested in more spiritual practices, including the occult and strong beliefs in birth signs, in lieu of religion. Inc.’s “Millennials Are Giving Up On God. This is What They're Reaching For Instead” and more articles of the same nature soon followed. But these catchy headlines don’t necessarily capture the full story of the increasing interest in the mystical—as we explored in our recent trend Practical Magic—nor does it capture their true feelings about religion. As in years past, the idea that Millennials and Gen Z are “turning their backs” on religion is an oversimplification of their beliefs. In fact, just four in 10 13-35-year-olds agree that organized religion is a thing of the past.

To get a better understanding of the generation’s relationship with religion and spirituality, our recent survey asked…


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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “A lot of people stay in jobs they hate. They feel stuck or need the money. I refuse to do this. I just gave up a Nursing career to be a CSR and I have never been happier.”—Female, 27, IN

YouTube is cracking down on creators that participate in dangerous viral challenges. The media giant updated their community guidelines to take a stronger stance against stunts that spin out of control—like the Tide Pod Challenge. Any creator that performs “pranks that make victims believe they’re in serious physical danger” will earn a strike—three and they’re out. What could constitute a strike? Just ask Jake Paul, who recently drove blindfolded for the #BirdBoxChallenge. (The Verge)

The inner five-year-old of Millennials everywhere is jumping up and down for Hot Topic’s Polly Pocket collab. In partnership with Mattel, the brand that wins at delivering unique styles is dropping a 17-piece collection of nostalgic merch. (The line looks a lot like another throwback collection we called out last year.) In celebration of the iconic toy’s 30th birthday (feel old yet?), ‘90s kids can cop everything from bags to hats to mini makeup palettes that feature shades like “Made in the 90s.” (Nylon)

YouTubers Life OMG! is like The Sims for a generation of aspiring social media stars. Players can pretend to be a video game streamer, a passionate creative, or another influencer. But the game is just as realistic as the kids who play it, making them do chores and deliver newspapers when they’re off the air. Similarly, most kids seem to know the dream is not a full-time gig; just take it from nine-year-old Oliver, who explains, “Of course I will have a good job as well, not just YouTube." (Vice)

Big brands are swooping in to save young shoppers from 2018’s oat milk shortage. The buzzy beverage has become the environmentally friendly alternative to almond milk for Millennial & Gen Z shoppers seeking dairy-free and vegan options. It became a barista favorite this year, mainly thanks to industry upstart, Oatly, which is opening a new factory to up their production. But they better hurry: big brands like Pepsi Co.’s Quaker Oats, Danone’s Silk, and Califia Farms are all getting in on this grain-based trend. (Bloomberg)

The most old-fashioned form of TV is experiencing a surge: over-the-air. While the Post-TV Gen continue to cut the cord, more are buying physical antennas to tap free networks and watch live events. Nielsen data found that this kind of old-school appointment viewing jumped from 9% of all homes in 2010 to 14% last year. Diving deeper into that 14%, about three in five also subscribe to streaming services like Netflix, and their median age is 36. (Fortune)

Quote of the Day: “I’d rather do a job I'm passionate about for a lower salary than do a high-paying but low-rewarding job.”—Male, 18, MA

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