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: “I actively avoid discussions of TV shows.”—Male, 31, MI

Networks are launching an onslaught of new streaming services to compete with the likes of Netflix and Hulu. CBS, Disney, and now Warner Media are hopping on the bandwagon to compete for young cord-cutters' viewing time. The digital switch makes sense, considering 74% of 13-36-year-olds told Ypulse they watch Netflix weekly, versus 33% who watch cable weekly. But one eMarketer analyst predicts this over-saturation in the streaming wars will lead to “a shakeout," in which companies will be weeded out unless they consolidate their offerings. (THR)

Macy’s is putting virtual reality in 90 stores, with the “largest VR rollout in retail history.” Shoppers can don HTC Vive VR headsets to create 3D floor plans, design their living spaces, deck them out with Macy’s furniture, and then take a step inside of the room. The retail tech enables smaller Macy’s stores to offer a lot more inventory to shoppers, and follows in the footsteps of other reality-bending home décor brands. And, according to Macy’s, VR sales were 60% higher than regular sales in their three pilot stores. (MediaPost)

Prada is plotting a comeback among young consumers. They’ve been slow to adapt to digital, but now the luxury company is emphasizing Instagram and aiming to grow their online sales, which were just 5% in early 2018. While investors applaud Prada’s dive into digital, they also believe the brand needs to shutter several stores—not just to increase “profitability” but to create “the illusion of scarcity.” Prada also has to recover from being late to the luxury streetwear game. (Bloomberg)

Some teens are opting for technical school over four-year universities. At Queens Tech, high schoolers are trained to take on non-desk jobs, like being an electrical engineer or working for public transit companies. Earning a high paycheck that isn’t chipped away by student debt is helping to overcome the societal stigma of skipping college. According to one Queens Tech student, “If you’re a construction worker, you may get paid the same as a doctor, but you don’t look as good.” (Vice)

Don't expect to see macho men and swooning women in grooming brands' latest ads. Instead, companies across the industry are toning down the machismo for Millennial & Gen Z males. Some are blurring gender lines, like Dollar Shave Club, whose “Get Ready” spots debunked stereotypes by not just casting straight, cis males. Other brands are betting modern men are more in touch with their emotions, like Gillette, who shared the touching story of a man’s son becoming an NFL linebacker, despite missing one hand.
(Ad Age)

Quote of the Day: “[Zendaya] is such a beautiful human being and I grew up watching her on the Disney Channel.”—Female, 18, TX

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