Generation Years Chart | 20th to 21st Century Generations

The generation years chart and timeline describe the 7 recent demographic cohorts stretching from way back in the 20th century, and straight into the 21st century.

Updated Jan 24, 2024
old and young generations

The generation years chart and timeline describe the 20th and 21st century generations based on birth years and demographic profiles. The timeline begins with the Greatest Generation in the 20th century, and ends with Generation Alpha in the 21st century.

The collective birth years for these generations range between 13 and 23. To illustrate, the birth years for the Greatest Generation span 23 years (1901 to 1924), and 15 years (2010 and 2024) for Generation Alpha.

While age is an important yardstick in classifying these demographic cohorts, additional factors illustrate the similarities and differences in cohort behavior and life preferences.

In particular, the cohorts share unique characteristics and experiences in parenting, cultural leanings, religious belief, political viewpoints, and social – economic wellbeing. These ideals and values are shaped by existing trends in politics, wars, globalization, and advances in technology.

Technology actually became an important factor of reference, starting with the Millennial generation.

NOTE:

The United States, Western Europe, and the rest of the developed world have documented demographic cohorts for many decades. The developing world only began collecting its data due to the reach of technology and globalization.

The generations chart below shows the generation names and corresponding birth years. Note that the age brackets mentioned here may not necessarily reflect universal cut-off dates. Different countries and sources will quote varying generational timelines for scholarly and other reasons.

The differences are however minimal and do not alter the overall structure of the cohorts.

Generation years and chart

This section describes the 7 generation cohorts, their birth years, and characteristics. It is important to note that the characteristics of the cohorts are not entirely universal.

There is a great deal of diversity within each generation, and individuals within each generation may not share all the characteristics associated with their cohort.

Additionally, the boundaries between generations are not always universal. For example, some individuals born in the early 1990s may identify more with Generation Z, while others may identify more with millenials.

Despite these limitations, generational labeling can be a useful tool for scholarly reasons, and understanding how differently people from select generations think, feel, and behave.

1. The Greatest Generation: (1901 – 1924)

The Greatest Generation is the first cohort in our list. It was born between 1901 and 1924. The G.I Generation and the WWII Generation are the other names for the cohort, while Australians call it the Federation Generation.

This generation was considered GREAT due to its remarkable determination and resilience during WW1, WW2, and the Great Depression.

This generation fought willingly and sacrificed everything for their country. They were vigilant during the two wars, because they believed it was the right thing to do. Just as well, they stayed calm during the tough years of the depression.

The iconic journalist, Tom Brokaw, coined the name for this cohort. The name became popular after he published a book titled The Greatest Generation.

In the book, he credits the cohort for staying vigilant at a time when the world faced extreme challenges. By all means, everyone at the time gave true meaning to the words courage, sacrifice, and honor.

He lauded individuals such as Charles Van Gorder (a medical doctor), Senator Daniel Inouye, and Martha Settle Putney. The latter was a black member of Women’s Army Corps – WAC. He also praised George H. W. Bush (pilot), as part of the many people who served their country with honor and courage.

Tom Brokaw lauded the following traits in the cohort:

  • Integrity
  • Humility
  • Work ethics
  • Financial ethics
  • A big sense of responsibility

Ronald Reagan (1911), John F Kennedy (1917), and Jimmy Carter (1924) are three other famous Americans from the Greatest Generation years.

2. The Silent Generation: (1925 – 1945)

The Silent Generation is the second cohort in our list. The age bracket for this generation spanned 20 years, from 1925 to 1945. The generation was also known as Traditionalists because of their loyalty, humility, and reverence towards authority.

They said very little and worked hard to get by. This probably contributed to their civic approach to work & lifestyle. The effects of the two world wars greatly shaped their characters and preferences in life. The Great Depression (1929 – 1939) and the Dust Bowl, which devastated farmlands in the 30s, also influenced their general wellbeing.

They also grew up under firm parenting, given that they were children of fighters. They were nurtured to be seen rather than heard!

Time Magazine coined the term “Silent Generation” in a 1951 article titled The Younger Generation. Time slammed this group for lacking ambition and drive.

It was perhaps harshly labeled unimaginative, cautious, and withdrawn – perhaps too harshly.

In scathing words, the article notes,

The most startling fact about the younger generation is its silence. With some rare exceptions, youth is nowhere near the rostrum. By comparison with the Flaming Youth of their fathers & mothers, today’s younger generation is a still, small flame. It does not issue manifestoes, make speeches or carry posters.

People: THE YOUNGER GENERATION

To be honest, the Silent Generation was stuck between two influential generations: the Greatest and the Baby Boomers. The Baby Boomer generation, which succeeded them, lived through a fairy tale lifestyle because of their hard work.

To top it all, the Boomers took over the world as the Silent Generation looked on.

In the US alone, the Silent Generation has had to witness the Boomers monopolize the presidency for decades. While they have only one to their name – Joe Bidden, Boomer presidents include George W Bush, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump.

General traits of the Silent Generation:

  • Loyal
  • Determined
  • Respectful
  • Thrifty

Warren Buffet (1930), Joe Bidden (1942), Malcolm X (1925), Marilyn Monroe (1926), Harry Belafonte (1927), and Mohammed Ali (1941), are of the Silent Generation. These lived to show the world they were not necessarily silent!

3. The Baby Boomer Generation: (1946 – 1964)

The Baby Boomer birth years lasted between 1946 and 1964, spanning a period of 18 years. Baby boomers were born soon after WWII, at a time of revived hope in the US, in particular.

Coupled with the hard work put in by the two previous generations, Boomers had peaceful and ample time to figure out what to do in the future.

The post-war years allowed them to do what the previous generations had failed to do. They saw a future of prosperity, which also encouraged young couples to give birth to many children.

The boom lasted approximately 20 years.

The bumper birth rate created a new era of consumerism that helped drive the US economy. This also created a new breed of rich and mindless individuals.

According to Forbes, the Baby Boomer cohort

became especially well-known for its cultivation of self and its carelessness about material wealth.

The Boom Generation

The name Baby Boomer became popular in 1977, thanks to a Washington Post publication about the future of the world economy.

The phrase referenced to the boom in childbirth following the return of American fighters from war. It eclipsed other titles such as Rock and Roll Generation and Generation Jones.

The Baby Boomer phrase became widely accepted around the world to denote varying opinions and emotions:

  • The Chinese through Chairman Mao Zedong used it in the 1960s to encourage conception.
  • The Germans used ‘babyboomers’ to refer to the upsurge of babies in the 1960s.
  • The Dutch used ‘de baby boomers’ to point out the beneficiaries of wealth through the 1960s.
  • The French used ‘les baby-boomers’ to refer to a student generation that rioted in 1968.
  • The Italians view the birth years of the 1960s as byproducts of the economic boom at the time.

A few notable characteristics of Baby Boomers:

  • Ambitious, goal-oriented, and competitive
  • Focused and believe in more hours at work
  • Some times careless about wealth
  • Resourceful and team players
  • Bureaucratic

… other notable events:

  • Apart from bumper births, other notable events during these years included the Vietnam War and the enactment of the Civil Rights Act in 1964.
  • In the US alone, African Americans make up 10 percent, and 8 percent Hispanic of this demographic group. Baby Boomers will account for 20 percent of the American population as they age.

Popular personalities in these generation years are George W Bush (1946), Steve Jobs (1955), Tony Blair (1953), Princess Diana (1961), Jeff Bezos (1964), Nicholas Cage (1964), Johnny Depp (63), Bill Clinton (1946), Barack Obama (1961), Donald Trump (1946), Bill Gates (1955) and George Clooney (1961).

4. Generation X: (1965 – 1979)

The age bracket for Generation X spanned only 14 years, stretching from 1965 to 1979. Also called Baby Buster or Gen X, the cohort reversed the baby boom trend by registering low birth rates!

Gen X just like the Silent Generation, is unfortunately sandwiched between Baby Boomers and Millennials. That is why they are often referred to as the Forgotten Generation!

Photographer Robert Capa came up with the name Generation X, which initially meant ‘unknown’. Generation Xers desired and still prefer not to be defined in any manner.

The name for the generation was made popular by Douglas Coupland, in his book titled Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture. He used the book to tell a story of a group of young men (Gen X) living in their own lost world.

Gen X is also defined by its love for music and art, and actually pioneered pop culture as we know it today. Xers grew up watching lots of TV soaps, and for this, have fond memories of ‘Friends‘ and other popular TV series.

The generation also groomed an increase of single-parents and continues to record higher divorce rates than other generations, right into the 21st Century.

Xers are independent-minded, educated, informal, casual, and entrepreneurial. They have also passed on the same traits to their children, – the Z cohort.

X is also regarded as the last generation to hold dear to its culture and education. It is the last to understand a different culture that reigned before technology became the norm. It is living in a totally new culture and environment in the 21st century!

According to Vanity Fair,

Generation X, the last Americans schooled in the old manner, the last Americans that know how to fold a newspaper, take a joke, and listen to a dirty story without losing their minds.

Following the innovation and distribution of the first lots of microcomputers in the 80s and 90s, Generation X somehow became one of the first to interact with technology.

Finally, Gen Xers, who are well into their 40s and 50s and defined by many cultural identities, such as Parental Advisory, is also touted as the last chance society has to preserve traditional values that are fast becoming extinct.

General characteristics of the Xers:

  • Work hard
  • Believe in work-life balance
  • Independent-minded
  • Flexible and direct
  • Self-reliant
  • Thinkers and embrace feedback
  • In debt
  • Cynical?

Famous personalities from these generation years: Jay Z (1969), Tiger Woods (1975), Halle Berry (1966), Julia Roberts (1967), Celine Dione (1968), and Will Smith (1968).

5. Generation Y: (1980 – 1994)

Also called Millenials, the Generation Y cohort was born between 1980 and 1994, stretching for 15 years. The Millennial cohort was born at a time when technology was taking true shape, majorly for productivity.

The use of the internet helped them consolidate their grip on technology, and embrace the wide-ranging possibilities in the 21st Century.

The Baby Boom generation happens to be their parents. They called are millenials because they hold the responsibility and opportunity to fully harness the experiences of technology, at the start of the new millennium.

Technology remains critical for driving productivity and has become the tool of choice even at home.

This correlation with the initial years of digital evolution explains why Millenials use technology to extend their reach and venture into global markets. They have used these to drive and shape economies around the world.

Millennials have grown up in a time of rapid change, giving them a set of priorities and expectations sharply different from previous generations.

Who are they?

Many millennial parents are champions of a new age of parenting, way beyond Baby Boomers and Generation X. Apart from being ethnically and racially diverse, they are more likely to entertain their children donning wearable gadgets. They also allow their kids to try out different AI innovations.

In a 2018 survey carried out by Go Daddy, 48% of millennial parents deemed it fine for their Alpha children to have an online experience, compared to only 27% of Gen Xers.

The general traits of Millennials:

  • Socially driven
  • Ethically diverse
  • Tech-driven and curious
  • Educated and multi-career based
  • Financially conscious and therefore stable
  • Poor at interpersonal skills
  • Less religious

Popular figures from this era: Mark Zuckerberg (1984), Taylor Swift (1989), Christina Aguilera (1980), Nicki Minaj (1982), Rihanna (1988), and Beyoncé (1981).

6. Generation Z: (1995 – 2009)

The Generation Z birth years lasted only 13 years, stretching from 1995 to 2009. The Zs are also known as the children of Generation X.

As of 2024, when the last Alpha will be born, they will total close to 27 percent of the workforce, according to McCrindle.

The Z or iGen, just like the previous generation Y, has immersed itself deep in the world of the internet and technology. Unlike their predecessors, they exhibit a sense of euphoria and hope to avoid past mistakes by earlier generations.

They also approach fancy lifestyles rather passively in comparison to Millennials. For example, they learn to drive late and become sexually active much later in life. They also indulge in alcoholic beverages a little later than the previous generations.

Instead, they spend most of the time planning for their future amidst the tight work conditions around the world.

Their concentration levels have been greatly influenced by the amount of information at their disposal. Hence, they are always multi-tasking and have developed short attention spans.

They may seem not to have time for serious stuff at school and at work, but experts predict they will be more goal-oriented and pragmatic.

These traits have led experts to somehow liken them to the Silent generation of the 1920s to 1940s.

Characteristics of Z:

  • Tech-savvy and ‘always on
  • Poor at interpersonal skills
  • Reduced attention span
  • Indoor generation
  • Ethnically diverse
  • Set for online social interactions
  • Less religious
  • Personalized learning

Popular iGens: Baby Ariel (2000), Zendaya (1996), and Baby Kaely (2004).

7. Generation Alpha: (2010 – 2024)

Generation Alpha is the latest in the chart of generation cohorts, and one that best suits the digital native description.

The Alpha cohort brings together people born between 2010 and 2024, spanning a period of 15 years. The cohort replaced Generation Z whose birth years fall between 1996 and 2009.

Estimates show that 2 million Alphas are born every week. And they will total 2 billion by the year 2024. As of 2023, the eldest Alpha child is 13 years old.

… Alpha and technology

The year the first Alpha child was born (2010) is the same year the first iPad was released. The iPad and other digital gadgets immediately became part of their lives.

The iPad and similar tools are now used for collaborative learning and have shaped both Alpha and Gen Z lives.

Alphas will probably be the most transformative generation yet, at least until the Beta generation arrives. Alphas are born in a world saturated with gadgets and are experiencing the implementation of new technology innovations as years go by.

As much as they are immersed deep in touchscreens, their interaction with technology and the bigger picture of life is changing and will evolve drastically in the next decades.

The rapid advancements in artificial intelligence mean that interaction with the digital ecosystem will have to be responsive enough to suit their imagination.

Teen and adult Alphas will probably not use apps and cell phones the way we use them today. With the onset of the Metaverse, they will likely spend a lot of time exploring the virtual world and spaces.

They will bury themselves in games, go shopping, travel the world, chat with friends while hidden behind virtual reality (VR) headsets and glasses.

The first movers of the Metaverse just might be Generation Alpha – the most technologically integrated generation of our lifetime.

Mccrindle

Lastly, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 impacted Alpha childhood development in many ways. They spent more time at home, missed out on school, and had their social lives impacted due to social distancing.

On a positive note, the Alpha diet, hygiene and overall health got better: they were fed better meals and slept more and better.


General traits of Generation Alpha:

  • Tech-savvy and ‘always on
  • Will need 21st century skills in the classroom
  • Will readily embrace metaverse devices such as VR and AR
  • Poor at interpersonal skills
  • Will probably have reduced attention span
  • Less religious
  • Ethnically diverse & aware
  • Largely an indoor generation

While the timeline above provides a snapshot of distinct generations, the reality is far more complex and interconnected. Each individual is shaped by unique experiences beyond generational labels.

Perhaps the most valuable insight here is the understanding that every generation has something to offer, and true progress lies in bridging the gaps and learning from each other.

As we look back at the legacies of past generations and the horizon of Generation Alpha’s future, a compelling question remains: what will define our own generation? What values will we uphold, what challenges will we overcome, and what stories will we leave behind? The answer lies in the choices we make today, and the ripples they create in the generations to come.

Responses to “Generation Years Chart | 20th to 21st Century Generations”

  1. George Avatar
    George

    Interesting stuff

  2. Bettie Avatar
    Bettie

    This is an educative discussion of generations. Thanks alot

  3. Eileen Avatar
    Eileen

    The fallacies of these broad groupings can be seen in your examples of the “silent” generation: Harry Belafonte? Malcom X? Muhammad Ali? These are examples of people who were far from silent by your description. Also? To group together people born 20 years apart is problematic. Someone born in 1925 lived thru the Depression; some one born
    I’m 1945 had the same influences as someone born in 1946-1955. I wouldn’t put too much stock in this other to separate people by age rather than bring them together. By the way, Trump has as short an attention span as anyone born in the 21st century.

    1. Alfred Amuno Avatar

      I partly agree with you Eileen that generational groupings sometimes don’t make conclusive meaning but many times they do.

      A closer look at my family clearly shows how different I am from my parents and grandparents, for example. My outlook of work, play and even social life is quite different in comparison to my predecessors. The same is true when it comes to my children who seem to have a totally different outlook on life, work, and play.

      Looking around them, their perception of life rhymes with that of their peers.
      You are right about Trump and there should be a reason for his behavior, or else it is an exception which is a fact of life and science. Who knows, his children will probably propagate the same attention span to the next generation.

      However, a closer look at Trump and his ‘complete lifestyle’ is explained in the apparent boom in both wealth and children during the Boomer years.

    2. Graciela Avatar
      Graciela

      You can’t define a Generation by 3 people. You need to study this matter longer. We are not try to express what is good or bad. Every genereation has his own quirks. Read more on the Generations and you will see what I am saying. By the way I am from the Silent Generation and I would not change one thing.

  4. Ginny McCann Avatar
    Ginny McCann

    As a person born in the middle of World War II, the youngest of five girls, raised by a widowed mother from the age of 5, I find the description of the so-called Silent Generation to be overly broad and somewhat deprecatory. My mother had to return to work after my father’s early death at 49. Fortunately, in 1947, my parents had built an in-law apartment in the large attic of our house for my maternal grandmother and unmarried aunt so that Nana would have someone in the house during the daytime, Unfortunately, my mother’s necessary return to work after my dad’s death, frustrated that intention and was complicated when the eldest daughter entered the Convent six months after my Dad’s death. Many responsibilities fell on the shoulders of the fourteen year old who became the “eldest” child and who rode herd on her younger siblings after school.. Being raised in the 50’s was not Ozzie and Harriet. We all had responsibilities. We did what we had to do because that was what was expected of us and that was life. My mother did the wash on the weekend. After school, the 14 year old rode herd on her 11, 10 and 5 year old sisters. Although we had Nana in the attic apartment, as an octogenarian, she was not involved in babysitting at her advanced age. She was, however, always available for reading a story to a grandchild or for a hug after school. We were able to stay in our house as my aunt, a teacher, insisted on paying rent which she periodically increased based on rising costs.. When the eldest sister left the convent after two and a half years, our aunt helped with tuition as my sister had lost her college scholarship with her sojourn in the convent. The local college evaluated the courses she had take in the convent and she was able to enter as a Junior in the elementary ed program that would graduate her the most quickly, I don’t remember our life being “difficult” although I did know that there were things we could not afford. Our pastor gave my fourteen year-old sister a scholarship to the Parish’s high school. That scholarship also covered tuition for the three of us younger girls right through the time the two girls just older than I graduated from high school. The pastor also contributed to my sister’s college tuition. I luckily earned a scholarship to a private Catholic girl’s high school, the same school that my mother and aunt had attended. All the girls earned spending money through babysitting, working in local stores after and summer office jobs. We always gave a portion of our earnings to Mom. I took home $22.90 a week from my summer job in the County and gave Mom $10. It was what we did in the late 50’s to early 60’s and we didn’t question it. All of us girls paid for our own weddings. We bought sample wedding dresses from what was available on the rack in one of the “nice” women’s clothing stores in our city. They were beautiful and we didn’t feel we had to have a dress from the pages of Vogue. We had beautiful weddings that we paid for ourselves. We did not feel deprived because we contributed to the household or to our own weddings.. We knew from an early age that we were loved. I remember the day, when in high school, that my mother showed me a piece of paper showing that the mortgage on our house was paid in full! She was such a brave woman who had accomplished so much when her life changed drastically. She was sustained by her Faith, her family and her strong determination to survive when all seemed hopeless.

    1. Alfred Amuno Avatar

      Thanks, Ginny McCann for the lovely story, and sorry if the analysis of the Silent Generation sounds deprecatory to you which it shouldn’t. Most of the negativities were echoed by the Times Magazine back then. It was their opinion in 1951.

      I also don’t think the cohort was ravaged by poverty because as written above, it was loyal and worked hard to make ends meet. It is what the people had to do amidst what was happening around the world.

      Due to their hard work, they created room for the high-spending Boomer generation.

    2. Jennifer Little Avatar
      Jennifer Little

      Born 1948 I’m on the same wavelength as you Ginny but with an Aussie slant. I also bristle when told how lucky I am to own my own home, modest as it is. I & family went without & worked long hours to achieve this – “lucky” my foot! I still go without modern frills to ensure I stay here. Not impressed with some of the younger generations who believe us oldies should move over & relinquish what we have worked so hard for just because they didn’t provide for themselves.

  5. Benjamin S. Avatar
    Benjamin S.

    Very interesting. Also a bit disappointing. Society has gotten soft and less capable on their own and more dependent. Not to mention overweight. But I find we have lost a certain aspect of ourselves that older generations had. Obviously du to great technological strides but I feel that people have taken in technology to much and use that to replace otherwise easy and experience creating actions. Never the less. Along with these cons, there are pros as always.

    1. Alfred Amuno Avatar

      Very true Benjamin. The older generations have a responsibility to straighten matters a little bit, but again, society keeps changing and the new generations will always prevail with time.

  6. MzLady Avatar
    MzLady

    Very interesting to not only read the article, but the replies give fascinating context. A really very good article…

    1. Alfred Amuno Avatar

      Thanks for the compliment MZLady

  7. todd lissner Avatar

    These r not always exact and there’s in between generations also such as xillennial and zillennial

  8. Enzo Blake Avatar
    Enzo Blake

    I think that the idea of newer generations being less capable and more dependent is a stereotype that was created based on a finite sample size, I am a part of generation Z and I think my attention span is rather high, higher than my grandpa at least (who is a Boomer) and I also think that I can do many things that past generations couldn’t, I can’t run pastors and live threw wars but I know that my ability to use tech is far beyond older generations and with more information at my disposal I also can learn much faster than other because I was given the resources to learn better, this does not make me more dependent but rather a stronger learner. it is the job of a parent and a teacher to teach with the expectation that the student will surpass them, that they will get the opportunity to learn from them, and therfore saying that newer generations are reliant on technology is a falsehood it is a resource like any other how is it different to say a book, in fact you could imagine it as a studying tool that gives information, at a speed faster than any book. To the person that wrote this artcle this has nothing to do with what you wrote but rather with what the comments had said

    1. Guy fawkes Avatar
      Guy fawkes

      What do you mean “I can’t run pastors and live threw wars”? Threw? Run pastors? Huh?

    2. Andee Avatar
      Andee

      You and your generation, as well as other “techies,” don’t know how to properly punctuate sentences, use the proper spelling of a word, or proofread your posts! Books that prior generations learned from had proper grammar, spelling, sentence structure, punctuation, editing, proofreading, and were understandable. People wanted to communicate clearly and properly. The communication and written word of today’s generations are very sloppy and you don’t care! Hence, you’re known for short attention spans. No time or attention to communicate properly, or share accurate information.

      1. Lol. Avatar
        Lol.

        Bro, chill. <– did the message get through? maybe? the most important thing about language is communication anyway- as long as the point is getting across, there's no need to sweat the small stuff.

  9. Curious Babyboomer Avatar
    Curious Babyboomer

    I don’t see anything about “The Beta Generation”. Does that mean the Alphas will have everyone killed off by the year 2026?

    1. Alfred Amuno Avatar

      Hahaha … I guess not. We will be very much alive come 2026. We may also need to wait until after 2025 to speculate about the Beta cohort – or whatever name they will be called.

    2. Andee Avatar
      Andee

      Don’t be silly, the Beta generation hasn’t even started yet!

  10. Someone Who Knows Avatar
    Someone Who Knows

    This is a shameful article. This is an article filled with false comments & destructive comments . I have lived thru quite a few of these generations. How could someone born in 1945 have generational traits in common with someone born 20 yrs. later?
    This article must have been written by a very young, white, college educated liberal!
    Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!
    Honestly, I believe this writer is feeding hate by writing these untrue comments. Liberals want young people to hate & blame the older generations for all America’s problems.
    Generations X and Z actually are the problem with America.
    The Baby Boomer Generation was the last generation with the strongest work ethic!
    The young people in this country have no ambition & no work ethic. Out of the now existing generations, the only one that is creative or looks to the future is Generation Y.

    1. Ramon Rosales Avatar
      Ramon Rosales

      Of course this are personal opinions, saying this generation has or had more work ethic than this generation is not entirely accurate, because there are people en every generation that has excellent work ethic and vice versa.

    2. Andee Avatar
      Andee

      If that’s what you believe, then the Silent Generation and Baby Boomers did a crappy job with teaching their children and future generations to have a good work ethic and other important traits. Silent Gen and Baby Boomers are the parents, teachers, and leaders of Gens X, Y, and Z!

  11. Seija Avatar
    Seija

    Interesting that there seems to be little concern by any cohort of global warming and global problem-solving. Yes, technology and covid have brought us indoors. Will we care even less? Oh no!

    Also, I have had the impression that boomers, born as a result of parents coming home from war and multiplying, gave their children “a better life then they had” after WWII and the Great Depression, without necessarily instilling a matching work ethic, resulting in a greater sense of entitlement than previous generations and lower ethical standards in place of personal responsibility.

    The choice to obtain a good education which spoke to the many ways that people learn was not always available but a growing awareness of this need has been evolving

  12. William L. Avatar
    William L.

    This is a great article. Every generation and each individual is influenced by local and global conditions that influence daily life. I’m a Gen Xer , and also someone who knows, because we began listening. Understanding how each generation has contributed to the next. Struggles my parents went through being absolutely the Silent Generation, and my grandparents living through World Wars and desperate Depression years.
    For the record I am a very hard worker, a latch key kid, very independent, and saw how the open internet could be to increase communication across the world. Oh well saw how the old ways needed to change in the world of computers, and I am curious and excited to see where succeeding generations will take us. Hopefully listening and understanding other points of view.

  13. Kay Avatar
    Kay

    Considering these labels are socially constructed and are very generalized (meaning there are always exceptions in every culture and generation). One should not take these constructs as written in stone. However, they are for the most part accurate descriptions of characteristics of individuals raised in “Western Industrialized Cultures and Civilizations”.

  14. Ernest Kent Avatar
    Ernest Kent

    It seemed to me on reading this (interesting) article that the descriptions applied more to the times in which people lived than to the people living in them. I wonder if we are not confusing cause and effect here. I have lived through most of these generations, having been born in 1940. Yet, in each period I have participated in the lifestyles and practices described rather than being fossilized in those assigned here to my generation, and I think that is true of most people I’ve known. As for technology, despite being of the Silent Generation, I can not only program a computer, I can build one from scratch if need be, which is probably more than most born to the generations claimed to be technologically-literate could do. I think the emphasis placed on digital technology is misleading the analysis here. Every generation in my experience has grown up with “new” technologies that are game-changers (consider refrigerators, washing machines, television, microwave ovens, jet-liners, etc.,) and each adopts the new technologies as they come, grows with them, and exploits the new opportunities they offer. What the recent generations are doing currently with digital technologies is no different in my experience.

    1. Andee Avatar
      Andee

      Your first sentence is correct. These descriptions about generations ARE mostly about time periods, not individuals on a personal level.

      Readers taking portions of the article personally and finding them offensive are reading way too far into it. It’s all for fun. It’s interesting to see how events and advances have influenced and differentiated social generations of the past 120+ years.

  15. Truth B. Known Avatar
    Truth B. Known

    The entire premise and all the comments are meaningless, as it is all based on an arbitrary starting point (years). A true generation is basically 18 years for each, as that’s generally persons become of age both having children & legally. when the age. So the starting point according to this article is 1901. Who decided that? You would have to start with the first Homo Sapiens to be scientific. Nevertheless, that’s not feasible , so for America at least, I say start with the year the first American was born after Independence was declared. America was here for over 125 years before 1901. I agree WWII gen was ‘great’, but think ‘founding fathers’ gen was too’.

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