Aug 8, 2019

Meet Generation Alpha, the 9-year-olds shaping our future

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

They're tech heavy, extremely connected and the most senior among them is about 9 years old. Say hello to Generation Alpha.

Why it matters: Millennials are reaching universal adulthood, and Generation Z is coming of age. Generation Alpha is falling in line as the next group to shape our future.

By the numbers: According to McCrindle, a social research agency in Australia, Generation Alpha got its start in 2010 at a rate of 2.5 million births per week. They are primarily the children of Gen Y — Millennials born between 1980 and 1995.

What to watch: Here's where Generation Alpha is coming from and where they're likely going.

  • Technology: They've been wired all their lives. McCrindle's Ashley Fell says this
    generation is part of an "unintentional global experiment," in which screens are placed in front of children at the same time as pacifiers.
    • Alphas are accustomed to and reliant on instant information and communication.
  • Diversity is a standard for Alphas, with women in the workplace, the value of inclusion and a focus on equality as overwhelming norms.
  • Life markers such as marriage, children and retirement are expected to be delayed, much like previous generations.
  • Education is a strength for the group. Alphas are expected to surpass their predecessors, Generation Z, as the most formally educated generation in history.
  • Labor and tax dollars are expected to be in high demand from Alphas, with a boom in aging populations just around their adulthood.

Of note: Generation Alpha is still young, and much of what will come to define it remains unclear, Fell says.

1 fun thing: The name "Generation Alpha" is meant to define the group as a first: Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet. The demographic is the first to be born entirely in the 21st century.

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