When we think about generations, we typically think of the traditional “Millennial” and “Gen X” generations. But what about Generation Z? What about the generation that is born after 2010? In this blog post, we will explore Generations at a glance and what you can expect from each generation. We will also discuss some of the challenges and opportunities that each generation poses for businesses and consumers.
Millennials (born 1980-2000) Generation Xers (born 1965-1980) Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964)
The chart below identifies the three most prevalent generations in America. Millennials are the youngest generation, consisting of those born between 1980 and 2000. Generation Xers are the middle generation and include those born between 1965 and 1980. Baby Boomers are the oldest generation and include those born between 1946 and 1964.
Baby Boomers have reached adulthood and will soon be passing away. They have had a profound impact on America, bothpositively and negatively. On one hand, they helped to create a more tolerant society by breaking down barriers between different groups. On the other hand, they were responsible for many of the problems that millennials face today, such as excessive debt and expensive housing.
Gen Xers are the generation that follows Generation Y. They come after millennials and before baby boomers. Gen X is made up of individuals born from 1964-1980.
As a whole, Gen Xers are generally optimistic and believe in taking risks. They’re independent, self-reliant and often have strong work ethic. They value diversity and are often vocal about their political views.
Some common traits of Gen Xers include a strong focus on personal relationships, a preference for technology over traditional forms of communication, and a willingness to try new things.
Millennials are the largest generation in the United States. They make up about one-third of the population, and are ages 18 to 34 as of 2016. They came of age during a time of huge change and upheaval, including the Great Recession and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Millennials have seen their parents' marriages break down, their parents' jobs disappear, and their homes values decline. At the same time, they’ve experienced unprecedented levels of access to technology and education. This has created a generation that is both optimistic and nervous about its future.
The chart below shows some key findings about millennials from a recent study by Nielsen:
They are more likely than any other generation to say that they believe in reincarnation or spirits living after death
They are also more likely than any other generation to say that they feel connected with nature
They are less likely than any other generation to say that they want children within marriage (only 47% do)
Despite these challenges, millennials report high levels of satisfaction with their lives overall. Nearly three-quarters (72%) rate their life satisfaction as “very high” or “high.” This compares with 64% of Gen Xers, 63% of Baby Boomers, and 60% of Matures who say the same thing.
If you’re looking for a snapshot of the world as it exists today, Generations at a glance from the Pew Research Center is an excellent resource.
Generations Z (born after 1995) and millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) are two of the most commonly recognized generations. And while there may be some minor differences between them, on the whole they share many common experiences and attitudes.
In fact, when it comes to overall traits, Generation Z and millennials are pretty similar. According to Pew:
Both groups are more likely than older generations to say that they have strong religious beliefs; they’re also more likely to identify as “progressives.” But there are also some major differences. For example, while 58% of millennials believe that being successful in life requires working hard, only 45% of Generation Z agrees. And while nearly half (47%) of millennials say they enjoy spending time with friends and family, only 38% of Generation Z agrees.
The infographic below offers more detail on some key generational trends:
-Millennials are more interested in social causes than any previous generation: 56% mention helping others as one of their top reasons for activism, compared with 37% for Baby Boomers and 31% for Gen Xers. In terms of what matters to them personally, 74% list making a difference in the world as one criterion – higher than any other generation except for those born before 1945 (80%).
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Generations at a glance There is no one right answer when it comes to understanding generational differences, as everyone experiences life differently. That said, here are four generalizations about generational differences that can be useful when trying to understand why some people act the way they do: - Millennials are more collaborative and open than older generations. They value collaboration and networking more than ever before. - Gen Xers grew up in an era of technological change and independence. As a result, they are skeptical of authority figures and want to take control of their own lives. - Baby Boomers were raised during the Cold War era, which taught them how to adapt to change. They’re generally more flexible than previous generations with regards to workplace norms and expectations. - Elders grew up during a time where there was less social mobility; consequently, they’re more homogeneous in their views on many topics than younger generations are.