Generations FAQs: Info About Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, & More! (2023)

CGK's Research Informs Global Conversation

Generations FAQs: Info About Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, & More! (1)
Generations FAQs: Info About Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, & More! (2)
Generations FAQs: Info About Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, & More! (3)
Generations FAQs: Info About Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, & More! (4)
Generations FAQs: Info About Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, & More! (5)
(Video) Millennials vs Generation Z - How Do They Compare & What's the Difference?
Generations FAQs: Info About Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, & More! (6)
Generations FAQs: Info About Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, & More! (7)
Generations FAQs: Info About Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, & More! (8)
Generations FAQs: Info About Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, & More! (9)
Generations FAQs: Info About Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, & More! (10)
Generations FAQs: Info About Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, & More! (11)
Generations FAQs: Info About Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, & More! (12)

AN INTRO TO GENERATIONS

Generations can be confusing. This page is dedicated to answering common questions about generations and to give context to bigger generational conversations on topics such as differences, similarities, and trends in employment, shopping, voting, and more. If we don’t answer your question here, contact us and we’ll do our best to help! Just think of us as your go-to nerd for all things generations.

A generation is a group of people born around the same time and raised around the same place. People in this “birth cohort” exhibit similar characteristics, preferences, and values over their lifetimes. At The Center for Generational Kinetics, we believe that generations are not a box; instead, they are powerful clues showing where to begin connecting with and influencing people of different ages. There are big differences between the generations and it’s important to know the years when each generation begins and ends. We specialize in the relationship between geography and generations. Millennials, for example, are the most consistent generation globally. However, we still see important differences between Millennials raised in an urban environment versus those raised in a rural one or those who move to a new country.

Generations exhibit similar characteristics—such as communication, shopping, and motivation preferences—because they experienced similar trends at approximately the same life stage and through similar channels (e.g., online, TV, mobile, etc.). Generation-shaping trends are most influential as people come of age, which means that members of a particular generation will develop and share similar values, beliefs, and expectations. It is important to remember that at an individual level, everyone is different. But looking at people through a generational lens offers useful predictability for those trying to reach, inform, or persuade a large cross-section of a population.

(Video) Generations X, Y, and Z: Which One Are You?

At CGK, we study generations and their behaviors to identify the following:

  • What shaped each generation
  • The current characteristics, thought processes, expectations, and preferences for each generation
  • Where generations are heading in the near and long-term future

Creating an accurate snapshot of generations, where they come from, where they are now, and where they’re heading helps our team drive results for clients and inform larger conversations around the workforce, marketplace, and social norms. We help our clients with services that focus on the generations to create success and growth. Those services include custom generational research and keynote speaking.

The Center for Generational Kinetics gets to uncover all kinds of new generational trends and truths. It’s exciting stuff! We uncover these findings through original, primary research—now over 100 studies around the world— and by analyzing data provided to us by our client brands, employers, and industries across the globe. We analyze the findings in the context of our own database, publicly available data, and other research studies. Thanks to technology, generations are creating more data than ever before. We use all that information to provide rich insights, strategies, stories, and solutions.

Currently, five generations make up our society. Each of those five generations has an active role in the workforce, marketplace, and communities. Depending on the specific employer, the workforce includes four to five generations. Here are the birth years for each generation:

  • Gen Z, iGen, or Centennials: Born approximately 1996 – 2015
  • Millennials or Gen Y: Born approximately 1977 – 1995
  • Generation X: Born approximately 1965 – 1976
  • Baby Boomers: Born approximately 1946 – 1964
  • Traditionalists or Silent Generation: Born approximately 1945 and before

The reason you see different birth years is two-fold:

  • People who talk about generations have reached different conclusions—and, frankly, a lot of people don’t do actual research, so they’re just guessing.
  • Generation birth years vary by geography, and you’ll see varying characteristics in different parts of the world. The big events that affect a generation can be dramatically different across the globe or at least regionalized or national in scope, and trends can hit at different times.

For example, being a Millennial in Athens, Greece, with its current unemployment situation, can lead to different expectations and behaviors than being a Millennial in Austin, Texas at the exact same time, where the job market is fantastic. The more you focus on one geography and one set of birth years, the more accuracy you’ll find. Click here for how we determine when each generation starts and stops.

The end of the Millennial generation and the start of Gen Z in the United States are closely tied to September 11, 2001. That day marks the number-one generation-defining moment for Millennials. Members of Gen Z—born in 1996 and after—cannot process the significance of 9/11 and it’s always been a part of history for them. CGK is currently conducting research on this newest generation and we will be releasing interesting findings in the near future!

The three key trends that shape generations are parenting, technology, and economics. For example, many Baby Boomers have the parenting philosophy, “We want it to be easier for our kids than it was for us.” This philosophy, in turn, helped create and reinforce Millennials’ sense of entitlement, which is now a hotly debated topic.

In the last two years, Millennials have become the largest generation in the U.S. workforce. Millennials are also the fastest-growing generation of customers in the marketplace, bringing the greatest lifetime value. In addition, Millennials exhibit different attitudes toward employment, sales, and marketing, which are challenging many conventional strategies and approaches. No wonder everyone’s talking about Millennials—but are they really different? How and why are they different? What can employers, marketers, politicians, educators, and parents do?Now Millennials have something to look out for, too: the next generation. Known as Gen Z, Generation Z, iGen, or Centennials, this new group of people is making big waves in all the ways a generation possibly could—including parenting, education, employment, entrepreneurship, sales, marketing, politics, religion, and more.Now Millennials have something to look out for, too: the next generation. Known as Gen Z, Generation Z, iGen, or Centennials, this new group of people is making big waves in all the ways a generation possibly could—including parenting, education, employment, entrepreneurship, sales, marketing, politics, religion, and more.

Subscribe to our e-newsletter, and you’ll get our latest findings in addition to other findings we think are important. You can also read the stories on the State of Gen Zor contact us. We are here to help!

1. What is the definition of a generation?

A generation is a group of people born around the same time and raised around the same place. People in this “birth cohort” exhibit similar characteristics, preferences, and values over their lifetimes. At The Center for Generational Kinetics, we believe that generations are not a box; instead, they are powerful clues showing where to begin connecting with and influencing people of different ages. There are big differences between the generations and it’s important to know the years when each generation begins and ends. We specialize in the relationship between geography and generations. Millennials, for example, are the most consistent generation globally. However, we still see important differences between Millennials raised in an urban environment versus those raised in a rural one or those who move to a new country.

2. What makes generations consistent at a high level?

Generations exhibit similar characteristics—such as communication, shopping, and motivation preferences—because they experienced similar trends at approximately the same life stage and through similar channels (e.g., online, TV, mobile, etc.). Generation-shaping trends are most influential as people come of age, which means that members of a particular generation will develop and share similar values, beliefs, and expectations. It is important to remember that at an individual level, everyone is different. But looking at people through a generational lens offers useful predictability for those trying to reach, inform, or persuade a large cross-section of a population.

3. What does The Center For Generational Kinetics do?

At CGK, we study generations and their behaviors to identify the following:

  • What shaped each generation
  • The current characteristics, thought processes, expectations, and preferences for each generation
  • Where generations are heading in the near and long-term future

Creating an accurate snapshot of generations, where they come from, where they are now, and where they’re heading helps our team drive results for clients and inform larger conversations around the workforce, marketplace, and social norms. We help our clients with services that focus on the generations to create success and growth. Those services include custom generational research and keynote speaking.

The Center for Generational Kinetics gets to uncover all kinds of new generational trends and truths. It’s exciting stuff! We uncover these findings through original, primary research—now over 100 studies around the world— and by analyzing data provided to us by our client brands, employers, and industries across the globe. We analyze the findings in the context of our own database, publicly available data, and other research studies. Thanks to technology, generations are creating more data than ever before. We use all that information to provide rich insights, strategies, stories, and solutions.

5. What are the primary generations today?

Currently, five generations make up our society. Each of those five generations has an active role in the workforce, marketplace, and communities. Depending on the specific employer, the workforce includes four to five generations. Here are the birth years for each generation:

  • Gen Z, iGen, or Centennials: Born approximately 1996 – 2015
  • Millennials or Gen Y: Born approximately 1977 – 1995
  • Generation X: Born approximately 1965 – 1976
  • Baby Boomers: Born approximately 1946 – 1964
  • Traditionalists or Silent Generation: Born approximately 1945 and before

(Video) The Truth About Generation X

6. Why do I see different birth years in different places?

The reason you see different birth years is two-fold:

  • People who talk about generations have reached different conclusions—and, frankly, a lot of people don’t do actual research, so they’re just guessing.
  • Generation birth years vary by geography, and you’ll see varying characteristics in different parts of the world. The big events that affect a generation can be dramatically different across the globe or at least regionalized or national in scope, and trends can hit at different times.

For example, being a Millennial in Athens, Greece, with its current unemployment situation, can lead to different expectations and behaviors than being a Millennial in Austin, Texas at the exact same time, where the job market is fantastic. The more you focus on one geography and one set of birth years, the more accuracy you’ll find. Click here for how we determine when each generation starts and stops.

7. What do we know about the newest generation, Gen Z (also known as Generation Z, iGen, and the Centennials)?

The end of the Millennial generation and the start of Gen Z in the United States are closely tied to September 11, 2001. That day marks the number-one generation-defining moment for Millennials. Members of Gen Z—born in 1996 and after—cannot process the significance of 9/11 and it’s always been a part of history for them. CGK is currently conducting research on this newest generation and we will be releasing interesting findings in the near future!

8. What are three key trends that shape generations?

The three key trends that shape generations are parenting, technology, and economics. For example, many Baby Boomers have the parenting philosophy, “We want it to be easier for our kids than it was for us.” This philosophy, in turn, helped create and reinforce Millennials’ sense of entitlement, which is now a hotly debated topic.

9. Why are Millennials getting so much attention now?

In the last two years, Millennials have become the largest generation in the U.S. workforce. Millennials are also the fastest-growing generation of customers in the marketplace, bringing the greatest lifetime value. In addition, Millennials exhibit different attitudes toward employment, sales, and marketing, which are challenging many conventional strategies and approaches. No wonder everyone’s talking about Millennials—but are they really different? How and why are they different? What can employers, marketers, politicians, educators, and parents do?Now Millennials have something to look out for, too: the next generation. Known as Gen Z, Generation Z, iGen, or Centennials, this new group of people is making big waves in all the ways a generation possibly could—including parenting, education, employment, entrepreneurship, sales, marketing, politics, religion, and more.Now Millennials have something to look out for, too: the next generation. Known as Gen Z, Generation Z, iGen, or Centennials, this new group of people is making big waves in all the ways a generation possibly could—including parenting, education, employment, entrepreneurship, sales, marketing, politics, religion, and more.

10. Where can I get the latest generational research?

Subscribe to our e-newsletter, and you’ll get our latest findings in addition to other findings we think are important. You can also read the stories on the State of Gen Zor contact us. We are here to help!

FAQs

What is the difference between millennials and Gen Z and Gen X? ›

Generation X is anyone born from 1965 to 1980. Baby boomers are anyone born from 1946 to 1964. Millennials are anyone born from 1981 to 1996. Generation Z is anyone born from 1997 to 2012.

What are all the generations called? ›

Generations defined by name, birth year, and ages in 2022
GenerationsBornCurrent Ages
Millennials1981 – 199626 – 41
Gen X1965 – 198042 – 57
Boomers II (a/k/a Generation Jones)*1955 – 196458 – 67
Boomers I*1946 – 195468 – 76
3 more rows
26 Oct 2022

What is the greatest generation of all time? ›

The Greatest Generation refers to those Americans born between 1900 and 1925, many of whom fought during World War II. These individuals grew up during WWI and lived through the Great Depression and are often the parents of the Baby Boomer generation.

Why is it called the Silent Generation? ›

Unlike the previous generation who had fought for "changing the system," the Silent Generation were about "working within the system." They did this by keeping their heads down and working hard, thus earning themselves the "silent" label.

What generation is being born right now? ›

Generation Alpha (or Gen Alpha for short) is the demographic cohort succeeding Generation Z. Researchers and popular media use the early to mid 2010s as starting birth years and the mid 2020s as ending birth years.

Why are generations named? ›

A “generation” is defined as a group of people born in the same time period, and generation names exemplify our human tendency to categorize ourselves. Over time, sociologists and generation researchers usually deem titles for the different age groups based on historical social trends.

Why is it called the greatest generation? ›

This generation lived through the Great Depression, World War II, and then on into one of the most the prosperous eras in the history of our nation. The newfound prosperity contrasted sharply with previous decades of austerity.

When did generations start being named? ›

Historians generally agree that generational naming began in the 20th century. It was deceased American writer Gertrude Stein who coined the term "Lost Generation" in her work. She bestowed this title on those born around the turn of the 20th century who devoted their lives to service during World War I.

How old is Gen Alpha? ›

Gen Alpha is the generation following Gen Z and currently includes all children born in or after 2010—the same year the iPad was born. The majority of this demographic is under 12 years of age, but the oldest of them will become teens in 2022.

Who came before the Lost generation? ›

Key to Generations
Generation¹Birth Years
Silent1925-1942
G.I.1901-1924
Lost1883-1900
Missionary1860–1882
12 more rows
19 Jul 2012

How long is a generation? ›

A generation refers to all of the people born and living at about the same time, regarded collectively. It can also be described as, "the average period, generally considered to be about 20–⁠30 years, during which children are born and grow up, become adults, and begin to have children."

Which Gen is the smartest? ›

Gen Z is also the smartest and best educated generation. Having an unlimited wealth of information at our disposal has not gone to waste. In America, 57 percent of Gen Z is reported to have enrolled in a two-year or four-year college, compared to 52 percent of Millenials and 43 percent of Gen X.

What generation is the easiest? ›

According to many baby boomers (those born in the early 1940's to the mid 1960's) millennials have it the easiest!
...
Average age that each generation started saving regularly
Baby Boomers31 years old
Generation X29 years old
Millennials/Generation Y27 years old (4 years difference)
8 Mar 2018

Who is alive from the Greatest Generation? ›

Bush (1989-1993), and as of 2022 the last surviving president from this generation is Jimmy Carter (1977-1981).

Which generation is the lonely generation? ›

Seventy-three percent of Gen Z report feeling alone either sometimes or always—the highest level of any generation. The mental health challenges experienced by Gen Z are like nothing any other generation has faced.

When was the lost generation born? ›

Authors William Strauss and Neil Howe define the Lost Generation as the cohort born from 1883 to 1900, who came of age during World War I and the Roaring Twenties.

What are 70s babies called? ›

Generation X includes anyone born between 1965 and 1980.

What are 1986 babies called? ›

Anyone born between 1981 and 1996 (ages 23 to 38 in 2019) is considered a Millennial, and anyone born from 1997 onward is part of a new generation.

What will GEN Alpha be like? ›

They're passionate about inclusivity. According to the US Census, Gen Alpha will be the most diverse generation in history, and it's shaping kids' expectations. They're looking for representation and inclusivity, and helping people is the number 1 priority for 12-15s in the States.

What is someone born in 2010 called? ›

If you have a child born 2010 or later, you're parenting a Generation Alpha.

Why are generations so different? ›

There are many studies conducted on this topic. There will always be different generations, simply because people are born at different times. Similarly, the world and society are always changing, which will inadvertently change the perception of individuals depending on the period they grew up in.

Do generations go by letters? ›

Why are generations named after letters? Up until 1970 or so, generations didn't even have names. After the 70s, generations were given names: Greatest Generation, Baby Boomers and Millennials were the most recent. Then we started using letters of the alphabet.

Can a name skip a generation? ›

For example, Quentin Roosevelt II was named for his late uncle, Quentin I. Similarly, a grandson of Henry Ford I was named Henry II (the name again skipped a generation with the birth of Henry II's grandson, Henry Ford III).

What is the hero generation? ›

Hero generations have produced America's greatest statesmen (James Madison, Thomas Jefferson) and societal builders (William Levitt). Throughout American history there have been three Hero Generations: the Glorious Generation (1648–1673), the Republican Generation (1742–1766), and the G.I. Generation (1901–1924).

What did the Greatest Generation value? ›

The Greatest Generation
  • Personal responsibility.
  • Integrity.
  • Humility.
  • Work ethic.
  • Service.
  • Commitment.
31 Mar 2020

Who called first generation? ›

being the first generation of a family to be born in a particular country. being a naturalized citizen of a particular country; immigrant: the child of first-generation Americans.

Who is the founder of generations? ›

Generations was a South African soap opera which first premiered on SABC 1 in 1993. It was created and produced by Mfundi Vundla and aired weekdays at 20:00 UTC+2 (South African Standard Time) on SABC 1.

Who gets to name a generation? ›

No official commission or group decides what each generation is called and when it starts and ends. Instead, different names and birth year cutoffs are proposed, and through a somewhat haphazard process a consensus slowly develops in the media and popular parlance.

What is the youngest generation called? ›

The cutoff for being born into Generation X was about 1980, the cutoff for Generation Y (a.k.a. the Millennials) was about 1996, and the cutoff for Generation Z was about 2010. What should the next batch of babies be called—what comes after Z? Alpha, apparently.

Who is the oldest person in Gen Alpha? ›

How old is Gen Alpha? The youngest generation on the planet, Generation Alphas are born between 2010 and 2025. That means that some of them have yet to even be born – and puts the oldest at around 10 years old.

What is the next generation called? ›

Generation Alpha describes the current generation of children who began being born in the year 2010. They are the children of the Millennials, and often the younger siblings of Generation Z.

Where did the lost generation go? ›

In literature, the "Lost Generation" refers to a group of writers and poets who were men and women of this period. All were American, but several members emigrated to Europe. The most famous members were Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and T. S.

What are babies born in 1967 called? ›

Generation X, or Gen X, refers to the generation of Americans born between the mid-1960s and the early-1980s. Gen Xers, which fall between baby boomers and millennials, number around 65 million.

Who is older than millennials? ›

Generation Z (or more commonly Gen Z for short), colloquially known as zoomers, is the demographic cohort succeeding Millennials and preceding Generation Alpha. Researchers and popular media use the mid to late 1990s as starting birth years and the early 2010s as ending birth years.

How many generations are there in human history? ›

Between the dawn of civilization and now, there have been just 400 generations. Let's call each generation a "grandma" ("great-grandma" would be more accurate of course).

How is generation calculated? ›

Generations are typically defined by the years it takes for children to be born and grow up. For example, your grandparents had your parents, and it likely took between 20-40 years for them to “grow up” and have children of their own. This time frame is usually the way to define generations within families.

Which generation works hardest? ›

People ages 16 to 25, commonly known as Generation Z, consider themselves the hardest-working generation yet won't tolerate being forced to work when they don't want to, according to a new study.

Which generation is the most sensitive? ›

Baby boomers are the most sensitive generation according to a recent study published in the Journal of Psychology and Aging. Baby boomers, or people between the ages of 55 to 73, are more likely to be narcissistic and hypersensitive. The study examined nearly 750 people ranging from the ages of 13 to 77.

What do Gen Z think is cool? ›

“Teens feel that being cool is about just being yourself, embracing what you love, rejecting what you don't, and being kind to others.”

What's the smallest generation? ›

Generation X is the smallest of the three groups, representing roughly 16 percent of the workforce population. These people were born between 1965 and 1980. The smallness of this group magnifies the Baby Boomers' impact as they march toward retirement.

What is Gen Z life expectancy? ›

Having survived to age 60, men can expect to live another 23 years and women another 26 years.

What are the 7 living generations? ›

By the numbers
  • Baby Boomers: born 1946 to 1964. ...
  • Generation Jones: born 1955 to 1965. ...
  • Generation X: born 1965 to 1980. ...
  • Xennials: born 1977 to 1983. ...
  • Millennials: born 1981 to 1996. ...
  • Generation Z: born 1997 or after. ...
  • Generation Alpha: born 2010 or after.
22 Jul 2020

Why are Millennials different from other generations? ›

The Millennial Generation can accept novel things. Hence, Millennials are able to work with other people easily and accept diverse cultures. Unlike previous generations, the Millennial Generation is more tolerant of different races, religions, and cultures (Sa'aban et al., 2013).

What makes Gen Z different from other generations? ›

Gen Z are not 'coddled. ' They are highly collaborative, self-reliant and pragmatic, according to new Stanford-affiliated research. Generation Z, the first generation never to know the world without the internet, value diversity and finding their own unique identities, says Stanford scholar Roberta Katz.

Who named the generations? ›

Generational theorists Neil Howe and William Strauss are usually credited with identifying and naming U.S. 20th-century generations in their 1991 book titled "Generations." Most of these labels stuck, though the dates that define them are somewhat flexible.

How many generations can be alive at once? ›

While 6 generations is rare, the Guinness Book of World Records states the most generations alive in a single family is seven. Maxson says her huge family has always been a blessing. "Anytime I need advice , I'm able to get you know from 107 year old generation down to my grandmother and my father," said Janeva Maxson.

Why are generation differences important? ›

Each generation has its own unique perspective, challenges, and contributions, and we can all grow by listening to and learning from people who are different than us. Generational diversity is one way to strengthen your team.

Why are millennials not having kids? ›

For about 61% of millennials, one of the main reasons they cite for not having kids is that they simply can't afford to. That's the top reason among 44% of the overall U.S. population, by comparison.

What does Gen Z want most? ›

Clarity into career paths and internal mobility opportunities. Gen Z is known as entrepreneurial and looking for a sense of ownership. They want to tackle exclusive projects that help them develop their skills, with nearly 1 in 5 Gen Zers stating they would stay at an employer that offers upskilling/reskilling.

What does Gen Z value most? ›

Core Brand Values That Attract Gen Z

To attract Gen Z, brands must highlight their commitment to societal challenges such as diversity, environmentalism, sustainability, climate change and world hunger.

Videos

1. Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z - Bridging The Gap Between Generations
(Jeff Lerner)
2. The Generation Guide-- Millennials, Gen X, Y, Z and Baby Boomers
(Michelle Hernandez)
3. What is a Millennial Generation ?
(Let's TEACH)
4. We Learn Surprising Facts About Millennials and Gen Z
(As/Is)
5. What Makes "Generation Z" So Different? | Harry Beard | TEDxAstonUniversity
(TEDx Talks)
6. 6 Things To Know About Generation Z
(Newsweek)
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