The level of change seen in the past five years has been nothing short of unprecedented. Up front is the obvious: the global health pandemic and its economic effects, the acceleration of all things stay-at-home, the 2020 election and growing political division.

In what ways have these events and other societal and cultural changes shaped the happiness of the youngest generation, Gen Z? How do they compare to young adults five years ago, Millennials now aged 25-30, who entered into adulthood prior to the pandemic? Here’s what five years of ongoing polling has to say.

Going Deeper

Happiness levels average lower today for most adults under age 35 than they did in 2017. However, the data show that Gen Zers report the lowest levels of happiness on record in the past five-year timespan. The silver lining, perhaps, is that we know today’s Gen Z generation is the most likely to reach out for professional help and access mental health resources. Exercise and retail therapy may also serve as forms of self-care to cope with challenging times.

Stay tuned for additional insights this month as we dive deeper into how today’s young adults compare to yesterday’s in this ongoing series.

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