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This week Pope Francis made some controversial statements about the next generation and their family plans. During a general audience at the Vatican he was quoted as saying that not having children is “selfish and diminishes us” and that people are replacing them with cats and dogs. A bold statement to make and many have called this view ‘outdated’ and ‘out of touch’.

While his comments have sparked much debate, the timing aligns (almost freakishly well) with the launch of our very own annual Imagen Insights Brutally Honest Gen Z report for 2022 which did find that Gen Z have more aspirations to own pets, than to start a family. Within our report you will find plenty more shocking and surprising facts all with topical links to the goings on in the world.

Last week we welcomed the start of the New Year with the warmest New Year’s Day on record in the UK sparking further concern around climate change and environmental worries amongst experts. We asked our Gen Z community if climate change was one of their primary concerns for the year ahead, and contrary to many reports and research voicing the thoughts of this demographic, our own research found that finances and education are in fact top of the list, with only 5% reporting climate change as a priority for them.

As many return back to education and work following the festive break, will 2022 continue on the path of the previous year with regards to the ‘great resignation’ as it’s been coined? Adverts from recruitment sites are plastered on public transport tempting commuters to act on seeking out new roles, and latest research from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and labour market analysts Emsi Burning Glass show that 25% of jobs advertised in December last year mentioned hybrid or flexible working. What do Gen Z value in the workplace? Happiness and work/life balance over earnings, and 64% reported that working in one sector is out the window, with two thirds claiming they want to work in multiple careers over the next 10 years.

New research from online dating app, Happn found that more than a third (37%) of Gen Z and millennials are looking for a relationship in 2022. Our findings delve into just how Gen Z plan to seek out their partners, and *spoiler alert* Social media is up there, in platforms of choice, ahead of dating apps.

Interested in what you have read in the above?

Within our Brutally Honest Gen Z report for 2022 we also covered finance and spending, social media use more broadly, views on sex and relationships and made our predictions for how Gen Z will shape the year ahead.

You can request a copy of the report here.