generation names

Generation Names & Labels

Generation Names List – Timeline of Living Generations with Characteristics

Living generation names in order with ages and characteristics. Which of the generations names best represents you? Are you a youthful, digital-native Generation Z child? A 20-30 something millennial who remembers 9/11? Or a more senior member of the silent generation? ADDucation’s generations names list focuses on the 7 living generations. These make up most of the western populations today. Researchers and demographers love to label groups of people with generation names and talk about them in general terms. People born at the same time, in the same locality, that have lived through similar life experiences, are “Birth cohorts”. Birth cohorts tend to have similar prospects, outlooks, preferences and value systems.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Generation Names

  • What years are Generation Alpha, Gen X, Gen Y, Gen Z etc?
    The birth years column in our living generations table includes the guide birth years for the 7 living generations.
  • Why do Generation birth years vary?
    The birth years for each generation do vary by locality (usually by country) according to the economic or political events which affected a generation.
  • What is the generation gap (or generational gap)?
    The difference (gap) between the political beliefs and values held between generations of children, their parents and grandparents.
  • What if I don’t like my generation name?
    The birth years (demographic cohorts) are not official and vary by researchers, country and locality. Check the generations either side of your birth year and pick a generation label you best identify with.

ADDucation Tips: Click column headings with arrows to sort our chart of generation names. Click the + icon to show any hidden columns. Set your browser to full screen and zoom out to display as many columns as possible. Start typing in the Filter table box to find anything inside the generations table.

Living Generation Names.Birth Years[3]Formative Experiences.Generation Characteristics, Facts & Trivia.
Snowflake Generation / Generation Snowflake.
Alternative Snowflake Generation names include:
  • Gen Z / Z Gen.
  • Generation Alpha (2011-2025).
  • New Silent Generation.

 

2000-2019
(0-19 years old today).
  • Doting parents.
  • Social media.
The snowflake generation is the latest generation label applied to some of today’s young adults. A 2006 LiveJournal post, by invisibob, “Beginning with the knowledge that each of us is a unique and special snowflake” is now in the Urban Dictionary. People who exhibit entitled behavior suffer from “Special snowflake syndrome (SSS)”.
Generation Z / Z Generation.
Alternative Z Generation names include:
  • Gen Z / Z Gen.
  • iGen.
  • Centennials.
  • The Founders.
  • Homelanders.
  • Screeners.
  • ReGen.
  • Plurals.
  • Posts.
1996-2019
(0-23 years old today).
  • Global warming.
  • Economic uncertainty.
  • Terrorism.
  • Social media.
  • Green energy.
  • Arab spring.
  • iPhone (2007).
  • Motorola cell phones (1999).
  • DVDs.
  • iGen is the most diverse generation ever – so diverse they only notice absence of diversity!
  • iGens love technology but often have a limited grasp of how to take advantage of new technologies.
  • The Founders are the biggest influencers of how older generations use technology. Interestingly technology now trickles UP the generations instead of down.
  • The first cell phones became affordable and went on to include cameras and web browsers.
  • Gen Z are tech savvy, brand aware and most open to new ways to shop, bank and communicate.
  • Generation Z[3] know life isn’t going to be easy or fair.
  • Social media affects the self-esteem of Generation Z more than other generations.
  • Gen Z believe in the American dream and democracy but are depressed by the economy and political leaders.
Y Generation / Generation Y.
Alternative Y Generation names include:
  • Y Gen / Gen Y.
  • Millennials
  • Generation Me / Me Generation.
  • Generation We / We Generation.
  • Echo Boomers.
  • Peter Pan Generation.
1977-1995
(24-42 years old today).
  • 9/11 Terrorist attacks.
  • School shootings.
  • Y2K.
  • Iraq invasion.
  • Reality TV.
  • Home computers (1980s).
  • Sony Walkman (1981).
Anyone who can remember 9/11 (11 September 2001) and was born after 1977 is a Millennial2. Other birth years for this generation don’t meet the 9/11 criteria which is pivotal:
  • Millennials are tech dependent. They generally don’t understand how it works, but they know they need it.
  • Rise of consoles Xbox, Nintendo & PlayStation.
  • Rise of the internet, email, websites, social media and texting.
  • Gen Y suffers from depression more than other generations.
  • Millennials, based on whether they have children or not, are splitting into two groups aged around 30 years old. Both sub-groups find it hard to relate to the other group.
  • Millennials are sometimes referred to as “Generation Me” but new research believes they may be “Generation We“.
  • Millennials most offended by the accusation of a “sense of entitlement” are other millennials.
Generation X / X Generation.
Alternative X Generation names include:
  • X Gen / Gen X.
  • Baby Busters.
  • Gen Xers.
  • Thirteeners (1965-1979).
1965-1976
(43-54 years old today).
  • Fall of Berlin Wall.
  • Live Aid.
  • Home computers.
  • Thatcherism.
  • Challenger explosion.
  • Rise of divorce.
  • The children of parents that both worked, and left their children unsupervised, were called “latch key kids”..
  • As adults Generation X[1] are entrepreneurial, active and enjoying a good work-life balance.
  • Gen X is often used to describe subcultures and countercultures since the 1950s.
  • Gen Xers, as teenagers/youngsters watched MTV, wrote emails and sent SMS text messages.
  • VCR video recorders became available.
Baby Boomers.
There are many references to alternative baby boomer generation names including:
  • Generation Jones (1954-1965).
  • GenJonesers.
  • Me Generation.
  • Golden Boomers.
  • Late Boomers.
  • Trailing-Edge Boomers.
  • Cuspers.
  • Alpha Boomers.
1946-1964
(55-73 years old today).
Baby boomers were born after the demographic “boom” or “shock-wave” of high birth rates after World War II.
  • Baby boomers share many values with both older and younger generations but often reject traditional values.
  • Baby boomers were the first generation to see and talk about the world in generational terms. This led to attempts to define subcultures including hippies, yuppies and many others.
  • The Silent generation, especially musicians, were strong cultural influencers. For example The Beatles, Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones.
  • Baby boomers were more active, physically fitter and wealthier than earlier generations.
  • Baby boomers grew up expecting to be able to offer a better world for their children. This affected how they parented their children.

The post war Generation Jones sub-generation wanted to “keep up with the Joneses”. Recession and unemployment during the 1980s frustrated their desire for material possessions.

  • GenJonesers are often identified as key swing voters, in western elections.
  • The Generation Jones cohort are often cynical, pessimistic and distrusting of government.
  • Barack Obama (1961) and Sarah Palin (1964) are both Generation Jonesers.
The Silent Generation.
Alternative generation names include:
  • Traditionalists.
  • Maturists.
  • Veterans.
  • Lucky Few.
  • Builders (Australia).
1925-1945
(74-94 years old today).
  • World War II (1938-1945).
  • Great depression (1930s).
  • Rationing.
  • Fixed gender roles.
  • Jobs for life.
  • Wrote letters.
So called because they generally conformed to the social norms of the time and focused on their careers.
  • The youngest members of the silent generation may have fought in World War II.
  • Older members may have fought in the Korean War and/or Vietnam War.
  • Hardship during the great depression led to the second world war which resulted in fewer children called “the lucky few”.
  • Popular Music: Jazz, Swing.
  • People born during the silent generation had a huge influence on younger generations:
    • Political leaders: Robert F. Kennedy, Mikhail Gorbachev, Margaret Thatcher and Boris Yeltsin.
    • Revolutionary leaders: Fidel Castro and Che Guevara.
    • Civil rights leaders: Martin Luther King and Malcolm X.
    • Activists: Gloria Steinem (1934).
    • Writers: Allen Ginsberg (1926-97).
    • Artists: Andy Warhol (1928).
    • Musicians: The Beatles and The Rolling Stones were all born during the 1940’s. Bob Dylan (1941), James Brown and Elvis Presley. Leonard Cohen, Miles Davis, Johnny Cash, Little Richard, Frank Zappa (1940), Stephen Sondheim (1930) and Sammy Davis Jr.
    • Movies and movie stars: Gone with the wind. Marilyn Monroe, Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner.
    • Comedians: Richard Pryor, John Cleese, Bill Cosby (1937), Joan Rivers, Dave Allen and Woody Allen.
    • Philosophers: Noam Chomsky (1928) and Richard Rorty (1931).
G.I. Generation / Generation G.I.
(General or Government Issue). Alternative GI Generation names include:
  • Greatest Generation.
  • WWII generation.
  • The Interbellum Generation.
  • The Greatest Generation.
1901-1924
(95+ years old today).
  • Roaring Twenties.
  • World War I.
Most of this generation lived through World War I and were old enough to fight in World War II or serve on the home front. They also lived through the 1930s Great Depression. People born in the Greatest Generation that influenced later generations include:
  • 7 former Presidents of the United States of America: Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-73), John F. Kennedy (1917-63), Richard Nixon (1913-94), Gerald Ford (1913-2006), Jimmy Carter (1924), Ronald Reagan (1911–2004) and George H. W. Bush (1924).
  • Movie stars, musicians and entertainers: Clark Gable (1901-60), Glen Miller (1904-44), Peter Cushing (1913-94) and Alec Guinness (1914-2000). Frank Sinatra (1915-98), Dean Martin (1917-95) and Judy Garland (1922-69).
  • Writers: Ian Fleming (1908-64) and Stan Lee (1922).
  • Leaders: Pope John Paul II (1920-2005) and Leonid Brezhnev (1906-82), General Secretary of the Soviet Union.
  • Athletes: Jesse Owens (1913-80).

Generation Names Notes & References:

  • [1] Generation X was the title of a 1950s photo essay written by Robert Capa. British journalists, Jane Deverson and Charles Hamblett, wrote Generation X in 1965. In 1991 Douglas Coupland wrote Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture.
  • [2] The Millennials generation name is widely credited to Neil Howe and his co-author William Strauss in their books. 1991 “Generations: The History of America’s Future, 1584 to 2069” and in 2000 “Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation”.
  • [3] Generation Z is likely to be replaced by one of the current alternative generation names but no consensus has emerged so far.

Generations names list compiled by Joe Connor, last updated August 25, 2019.
Have we missed any generation names or labels? Do you agree or disagree with the character traits? Please add your comments below so we can improve this page…


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