Chicago — Comparing Gen Z to Millennials at the same age, members of the younger generation are less likely to describe their mental health as “excellent.”
A recent survey from Gallup and the Walton Family Foundation, which surveyed more than 3,000 people aged 12 to 26, around 47% of Gen Z said they are thriving in their lives, a figure that’s much lower than Millennials at the same age (60%) and the lowest across all generations in the country today, according to CNN Health.
When asked to describe their current mental or well-being, only 15% of Gen Z aged 18 to 26 said it was excellent. That’s compared a decade ago, when 52% of Millennials in that same age range said their mental health was excellent. In 2004, 55% of people aged 18-26, including both Millennials and Gen X, reported excellent mental health too.
According to the survey, the report comes as a way to raise the voices of Gen Z on issues and challenges the generation faces.
“Decisions affecting public policy, learning environments and workplaces should consider the perspectives of — not about — Gen Z, the challenges they face and the solutions that best suit their unique needs,” an excerpt from the report reads.
While generational research is controversial, some researchers say there’s evidence that Gen Z’s mental health struggles are different. Compared to other generations, Gen Z is more likely to report experiencing things like anxiety, loneliness and stress. It could partially be attributed to an overall decline in mental health over the past decade, with the study finding that both Millennials and Gen Z reported lower mental health ratings today than in the past.
Other key findings in the report include:
- About half (53%) of Gen Z students who want to pursue higher education believe they’ll be able to afford it.
- 40% of Gen Z students said they worried a lot or some about gun violence at their school.
- Making “enough money to live comfortably” is Gen Z’s “most frequently cited hope for the future,” with 69% of those surveyed ranking it among their top wishes.
Noah Johnson (he/him/his) is a Chicago-based journalist. Follow him on Twitter: @noahwritestoo.
Edited by NaTyshca Pickett