Published 24 October 2022

10 min read

By 2025, Gen Z will represent a quarter of Asia-Pacific’s (APAC) population (The Next Billion, 2021). But coming of age amidst a pandemic, rampant inflation and record-setting unemployment means once-expected milestones – like starting a family and finding a high-paying job – feel increasingly inaccessible. Stylus surveys how young people in China, Japan and Singapore are challenging cultural norms, embracing independence and cultivating ‘softer’ lifestyles.

Remaking Relationship Conventions

Work in Troubled Times

Softer Leisure & Wellness

Generation Independence

East Asian Gen Zers are questioning the romantic and family goals they were brought up to desire. Rising costs mean fewer couples can afford to have children, despite government incentives to boost fertility rates. Romantic partnerships are also under the microscope, as some deprioritise marriage, while others push for widespread acceptance of non-traditional relationships.

East Asian Gen Zers are questioning the romantic and family goals they were brought up to desire. Rising costs mean fewer couples can afford to have children, despite government incentives to boost fertility rates. Romantic partnerships are also under the microscope, as some deprioritise marriage, while others push for widespread acceptance of non-traditional relationships.

Summary

Remaking Relationship Conventions

East Asian Gen Zers are questioning the romantic and family goals they were brought up to desire. Rising costs mean fewer couples can afford to have children, despite government incentives to boost fertility rates. Romantic partnerships are also under the microscope, as some deprioritise marriage, while others push for widespread acceptance of non-traditional relationships.

Work in Troubled Times

Record-setting youth unemployment is leading individuals to question conventional career paths. Once-aspirational roles have lost their lustre as many young people eschew jobs that entail long hours for little pay. For some, that means shunning overtime when it cuts into leisure, while others are building alternative careers outside of major cities.

Softer Leisure & Wellness

The ‘softer living’ promoted by movements like ‘lying flat’ is filtering into leisure and wellness trends. Young consumers are flocking to craft studios, experimenting with niche sports, and sprucing up their sleep hygiene. But behind these pursuits sits rising rates of anxiety – making a reprioritisation of mental health even more important.

Generation Independence

Young East Asians are choosing lifestyles that enable independence, even if they come at a cost. Gen Zers are paying premiums to leave the family home and live solo or with friends. Meanwhile, style subcultures – from Japan’s burgeoning acceptance of tattoos to China’s athleisure movement – defy outdated gender and class stereotypes for a generation accustomed to self-expression.

Meet East Asia’s Gen Z

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Offering access to over 350 consumer and cross-industry reports annually, Stylus Membership is your window to tomorrow’s most exciting opportunities.

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