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Upageing

The Zeds are the ‘up-ageing’ generation because they are growing up faster. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that children are beginning puberty three months earlier every decade.73 They are also in education earlier and are exposed to marketing younger. Despite the environ­mentally conscientious times, the Zeds are the most mar­keted-to children of all time and the biggest consumers of any generation of children.

With parents facing increasing life complexity and pres­sures, adult worries have filtered down to children. Home affordability ranks as a top-five worry among young teens. ‘Getting a job’, ‘being successful’ and ‘needing to make money’ also top the list of teen concerns. Gen Z children are also serious because of the extra pressures. Being part of a small family has also made them less carefree, as siblings no longer outnumber parents.

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