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: “Being famous is overrated. I would be more happy [sic] being locally known for the good I do in the world in a popular way but not for the wrong reasons.”—Female, 16, UT

Minecraft is being used to get kids interested in reading actual, real books. Litcraft recreates the world of a book as an interactive Minecraft map, adding “educational tasks” throughout. Treasure Island was the first completed world, followed by Kensuke's Kingdom, while The Lord of the Flies and Dante’s Inferno are in the works. Trials at U.K. schools are being met with “an enthusiastic response,” so Litcraft is eyeing a larger rollout. (The Guardian)

Nordstrom is stocking up on Instafamous brands like Allbirds, Everlane, and Reformation. The company announced that “strategic” brands account for about 40% of their current revenue and that’s expected to rise. While they benefit from indie brands’ popularity with young consumers, the direct-to-consumer brands are getting an expanded physical footprint, too. In the case of Reformation, Nordstrom explains that they “can bring sustainable fashion to a new (and much bigger) group of customers and closets.” (Business Insider)

A baseball team struck out with their “Millennial Night” promotion, putting Twitter in an uproar. We’ve warned brands that making fun of Millennials is not the way to get earn their spending power, and minor league baseball’s Montgomery Biscuits learned the lesson first-hand. Their “Millennial Night” offered participation ribbons, selfie stations, napping areas, and “lots of avocados,” while playing into stereotypes about Millennials being lazy. A Biscuits exec explains that “Something got lost in the sarcasm,” but instead of offering an apology, they doubled down with another cutting tweet. (AdweekInc.)

Nearly half of Millennials think that “their credit scores are holding them back.” OppLoans found that 27% of 18-34-year-olds haven’t been approved for a new car because of their credit while 25% have been declined for an apartment or house. Debt, a top financial concern for Millennials, is partly to blame: 15% said that their debt “is unmanageable.” Education could help dig them out of the hole, as 24% feel they’ve never learned how to build good credit. (Moneyish)

Baby Einstein is growing up for Millennial parents with a new mission and campaign. Their “Ignite a Curious Mind” effort goes after parents, not kids, with short spots that encourage curiosity. They’re also working on new toys, moving beyond their “sweet spot” of zero to 12 months for toddlers. Baby Einstein’s parent company, Kids II is also planning on reworking other brands, like Bright Starts and Ingenuity. (Ad Age)

Quote of the Day: “[American Eagle Outfitters’] clothes are generally what I wear and are my style. They're comfortable and affordable. They do not do a great deal of vanity sizing and offer something for guys and girls of every size.”—Female, 23, GA

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