Ever wondered which generation are you? A youthful, digital-native Generation Z child, a 20-30 something Millennial who clearly remembers 9/11, or an older member of the Silent Generation? Researchers and demographers have grouped people together and labelled them with generation names so they can talk about generational trends in general terms. It’s like a periodic table of generational types… Still don’t get it?… Dig in…

It’s easy to see the confusion about different generations. How old is each generation? Are they really that different? How are they different? What are each generation’s characteristics? What separates Generation X from Y and is Generation Z a thing? What is a millennial or a baby boomer? People born at the same time, in the same locality, that have lived through similar life experiences are grouped into a “generation” and tend to have similar prospects, outlooks, preferences, attributes and value systems. Depending your birth years, the lifestyle, the habits, your age or certain characteristics one may fall in a particular type of  ‘generation’. Each generation depending on the circumstances it has its own traits like behaviour, ideology, communication, motivation, preference, likes, dislikes, work-life balance strategy or financial needs. There are big differences between the generations and it’s important to know the years when each generation begins and ends. Here it is:

Generation Name Births
Start
Births
End
Youngest
Age Today*
Oldest Age
Today*
The Lost Generation
The Generation of 1914
1890 1915 103 128
The Interbellum Generation 1901 1913 105 117
The Greatest Generation 1910 1924 94 108
The Silent Generation 1925 1945 73 93
Baby Boomer Generation 1946 1964 54 72
Generation X (Baby Bust) 1965 1979 39 53
Xennials 1975 1985 33 43
Millennials
Generation Y, Gen Next
1980 1994 24 38
iGen / Gen Z 1995 2012 6 23
Gen Alpha 2013 2025 1 5

The various living generations that make up western populations today are:

  • The Greatest Generation
  • The Silent Generation
  • Baby Boomers
  • Generation X
  • Generation Y or Millennials
  • Generation Z

Let’s dig in

The Greatest Generation

An sculpture of World War II
The name greatest generation is apt | Aspioneer

Also called the G.I generation. Were born between 1910 – 1924. They  experienced the Great Depression and fought in World War II. They saved the world and then built a nation. They are our great-grandfathers who grew up without modern conveniences like refrigerators, electricity, TV, radio, airplane and air conditioning. They are the generation that believes in teamwork to progress. Marriage for them was for life, divorce and having children out-of-wedlock were an unacceptable sin.

The Silent Generation

A person standing at sunset
The silent generation worked with their dignity intact | Aspioneer

Also known as Builders or Lucy few, born in between 1925 – 1945. They saw the post-war happiness. The generation where women stayed at home and took care of kids while men focused on their career. A period where parents were very strict as children were seen and not heard. This was the generation that saw civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X and Robert F. Kennedy or  Gone With The Wind and Mickey Mouse. They were disciplined, self-sacrificing and cautious. It also include some who saw Korean and Vietnam war.

Baby Boomers

A baby boomer at a beach
Baby boomers prospered more than any generation | Aspioneer

It started when the greatest generation came home and everyone became very casual about relationships. Individuals got high, dropped out and became hippies. The generation can be divided into two: The Leading-Edge Baby Boomers and Trailing-Edge baby Boomer.  These are individuals born between 1946 to 1956 and 1956 to 1964 respectively. They formed the ‘me’ generation who became optimistic, team-oriented, self-righteous and self-centred. It is the Rock and Roll, Elvis, Beatles, Woodstock, Miniskirts, Barbie generation. Both men and women became the bread winners, the world saw the uproar of feminism, having a divorce became less dramatic. It is also this generation that saw invention of  TV. It grew as the largest generations in history with 77 million people.

Generation X

Pictures of Generation X | Aspioneer
Generation X are not the lost generation | Aspioneer

It is the generation born between 1965 and 1979. Also called the ‘baby bust’ generation as it was the time that saw decrease in the birth rate. The kids of this generation grew up it an age where computers got introduced in their school curriculum. They were the kids who saw divorced as well carrier-oriented parents. They thus grew up to sparse technology exposure, open to entrepreneurship, late to get married, casual at divorce and believed in work-life balance sort of generation. They desire a chance to learn, explore and make a contribution. This generation got little bit into brands and labels. They knew what they wanted but struggled to pay for it. They experienced the emergence of music videos, new wave music, electronic, glam rock, heavy metal, punk, grunge and hip hop. It is the Nirvana, U2, Madonna, torn jeans, Friends, Beverly Hills 90210, PC generation.  

Generation Y (Millennial)

A millennial standing in an alley
Millennial were greatly affected by the 2008 recession | Aspioneer

It is the generation from early 1980 to 1994. This generation is less immune to brands or labels instead conceives fashion as an ever changing trend. This generation is self-conscience, has active lifestyle, eats healthy and loves being fit. This generation is open to relationships, late to marriage and accepts sexuality in many ways. They feel enormous academic pressure. Envision the world as a 24/7 place, believes in fast and immediate processing. They are the Yahoo, mobile phones, Google, Facebook, iPhone generation. With unlimited access to information, they prefer digital literacy, they tend to be assertive, with strong views.

Generation Z

A person checking his phone at an intersection
Gen Z is always connected | Aspioneer

It is the generation born after 1995. It is the generation that has always seen a world with computers and phones. Their life is interwoven with technology and referred to as ‘technoholics’. With the advent of computers and web-based learning, children leave behind toys at younger and younger age. It’s called KGOY generation – kids growing older younger’. They become less interested in toys and begin to desire electronics such as cell phones and video games. They are tired of hearing about the environment and the many ways we have to save it. They are over saturated with brands. It is the generation that will experiment Google glass, nano-computing, 3-D printing and see driverless cars.

Businesses must keep these details in mind while targeting these generations…

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