A variety of factors and experiences for generations. Some enduring differences shape generations over time, while others are a function of age or life stage.
Regardless of the specific years used to define these generations, it’s essential to understand how their lives differ. This will help you develop targeted marketing messages to reach them effectively.
People born between 1940 and 1960 comprise the Baby Boomers generation. This post-World War II era saw birth rates rise dramatically as Americans were reenergized by their war victory and solid economic situation. Baby boomers also took advantage of the GI Bill to start families and establish themselves in the middle class. This group was called “the greatest generation,” but perhaps one of the most misunderstood groups today. People in this group have a lot of purchasing power and are loyal to their employers.
They have vast experience and knowledge, so they must pass this information on to younger generations. This group is less technologically savvy than other generations but uses Facebook to stay in touch with family members and friends. The Boomers are also big fans of traditional media, such as magazines and television.
They sincerely appreciate hard work and dedication and want to ensure their children learn these values. Many have long-lasting relationships with their siblings and are close to their aging parents. This has made them a good source of care for older people. This has been a driving factor behind the rise of senior living communities.
Generation X is the first cohort born after Baby Boomers and before Millennials. The rise of teen culture defines their era, MTV’s launch in 1981, its declaration that “video killed the radio star,” and the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s. Generation X also witnessed the end of the Cold War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the first successful space shuttle flight.
Often referred to as the “latchkey generation” because they were raised with one or both parents working and left at home alone after school, Gen Xers learned to be self-sufficient early on. They grew up letting themselves in, microwaving Pop-Tarts for dinner, and finishing their homework without adult supervision. This set them up to be highly independent adults that value work-life balance and efficiency in the workplace. Many still need clarification about how long is a generation today, and that’s why it is essential to do more research on it. The generational term “Generation X” is widely attributed to Douglas Coupland’s 1991 novel, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture, but others have used it in the past. The generation following Gen X is known as Generation Z or Gen Z, and it still needs to be officially determined whether this cohort should be considered a separate generation from Gen X. Other potential names include the post-Millennials, iGeneration, or iGens. Kids born between 1997 and 2012 are sometimes called Generation Z, but in 2019, Adage identified kids born after 2010 as being part of a new cohort they call Generation Alpha.
Generational cohorts have long interested demographers, social scientists, and researchers. You’ve read research about millennials, baby boomers, and the Silent Generation. Typically, the comparisons are made when people in these generations are the same age. This enables researchers to see how each group differs and how their behaviors change over time.
For genealogists, understanding the length of a generation is essential for finding family history information. This can be done by examining birth certificates to learn about a person’s birth date and the year of their death. Using this information with other records from the same period can help you organize your family’s details.
In sociological terms, a generation is usually defined as a group of individuals born around the same time and living roughly the same time. As people live longer, getting a clear definition of when one generation ends and another begins becomes harder. However, most researchers agree that a social generation lasts about 20 years. This is based on the average time people are born, grow up, and have children before passing away. Getting a precise measurement of a generation can be difficult because people change their behavior as they grow older, such as when they start having children.
Generation Z is the youngest group of people in today’s workforce. This generation is considered digital natives, meaning they are most comfortable using a computer or smartphone. According to one study, Gen Z spends an average of three hours daily on their devices. They are also known to be more cautious than their millennial counterparts regarding risk-taking.
It is important to note that while it can be helpful to categorize groups of individuals by their age, the idea of a generation is just a social construct. Everyone has unique opinions, values, beliefs, and goals for the future, so generalizations should be taken with a grain of salt.
The next generation after Millennials is called Generation Z, but it still needs to be determined how the world around them will shape this generation. This generation is starting to enter the workplace, and it’s expected to significantly impact retail consumption, technology, politics, and more.
Many experts believe this generation will be more diverse than Millennials, making it an exciting cohort. Additionally, they may be more vocal about their needs in the workplace than their millennial predecessors and push for changes that are more suited to their interests. For example, they will likely prioritize workplace diversity and equality.
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