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Spirituality of low importance to Generation Z, but they love Chick-fil-A

Spirituality of low importance to Generation Z, but they love Chick-fil-A

New research reveals that the youngest generation in America, Generation Z, ranks spirituality as their lowest value but ranks Chick-fil-A with the highest of marks.

According to The Morning Consult's latest study, called "Understanding Gen-Z," these young people born between 1997 and 2012, some of whom are now entering the workforce, assign a particularly high value on honesty.

When surveyed, 81 percent Generation Z respondents said the most important value as it relates to their identity is "honesty."

"Responsibility" and "commitment" also received high rankings, with 72 and 71 percent of respondents saying those values were most central.

Only 39 percent said "spirituality" was important to them.

The survey was based on approximately 1,000 interviews with young men and women ages 18 to 21, and was conducted in May.

As a result of what is known as the growth of "influencer culture" including popular social media stars and YouTubers — which Generation Z is more likely to relate to — 23 percent of Generation Z said that being famous is important to them.

The report asserts Gen Z is "on track to be the largest, most ethically-diverse, best-educated, and most financially-powerful generation ever" whose "distinctive habits will play an outsized role in shaping American culture and commerce."

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Sixty-four percent of respondents indicated that the election of Donald Trump as president in 2016 shaped the way they see the world in a profound way. Slightly less than that, 60 percent, said the same about the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Regarding the future, 23 percent of Gen Z adults think older generations have made the world a better place. Thirty-six percent said older generations have made the world a worse place.

The survey explains that a trend that sets this "digitally native" generation apart is the way they consume media.

"A 49 percent plurality get their news from social media, and a majority are on YouTube daily," the study notes.

Twenty-three percent of Gen Z men and women read or watch ABC News on a weekly basis, a significant drop from older generations, 37 percent who do likewise. The news sources Gen Z most prefers are Fox News and BuzzFeed, the findings show.

Yet despite the relative unimportance of spirituality in the lives of Generation Z, among their favorite brands is food chain Chick-fil-A, which is famous for its practice of being closed on Sunday to honor the Sabbath and its history of making financial contributions to Christian groups dedicated to helping the needy. The restaurant known for its signature chicken sandwich and waffle fries was ranked #11 out of the top 25 brands, the top rated restaurant, Gen Z adults are most likely to use on a daily basis.

The top four brands, respectively, were Google, Netflix, YouTube and Amazon. The second highest ranked restaurant was Pizza Hut at 16. 

The Morning Consult survey data appears to coincide with other current polls on the attitudes of Americans, and the generational split in values is notable.

The most current NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found a deep divide between older and younger generations when it comes to what they consider important such as belief in God, patriotism, and having children.

By contrast, virtually no gap exists regarding such things as valuing hard work, financial security, tolerance for others, and self-fulfillment.

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