generation names

Generation Names & Labels

Generation Names List – Timeline of 7 Living Generations with Characteristics

Living generation names in order with ages and characteristics. Which of the 7 living generations are you? A youthful, digital-native Generation Z child, a 20-30 something Millennial who clearly remembers 9/11, or a more senior member of the Silent Generation? ADDucation’s generations names list focuses on the seven living generations that make up western populations today. Researchers and demographers love to group people together and label them with generation names so they can talk about generational trends in general terms. People born at the same time, in the same locality, that have lived through similar life experiences, are known as “birth cohorts” and tend to have similar prospects, outlooks, preferences and value systems.

FAQs About 7 Living 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.

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 NamesBirth Years3Formative ExperiencesGeneration Characteristics, Facts & Trivia
Snowflake Generation / Generation Snowflake
Alternative Snowflake Generation names include:
  • Gen Z / Z Gen.
  • Generation Alpha.
  • 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. Its origins date back to a LiveJournal post in 2006 by invisibob which includes “Beginning with the knowledge that each of us is a unique and special snowflake” and its inclusion in the Urban Dictionary. Generation snowflake along with “Special snowflake syndrome (SSS)” to describe entitled people who typically exhibit a superiority complex.
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.
  • Facetime.
  • 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 are technoholics with limited or no concept of not being able to do all the things technology offers them.
  • The Founders are the biggest influencers of how older generations use technology – which now trickles UP the generations.
  • 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 Z4 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 is 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. There are other birth years for this generation but they don’t meet the 9/11 criteria which we feel is so pivotal, we’ve adopted it.
  • 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 are now splitting into two groups, aged around 30 years old, based on whether they have children or not and the two groups find it hard to relate to each other.
  • Millennials are sometimes referred to as “Generation Me” but new research believes they may be “Generation We“.
  • Millennials most offended by being accused of exhibiting 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.
  • Children were referred to as latch-key kids “the latchkey generation” because they were often left unsupervised while both parents worked.
  • As adults Generation X1 are entrepreneurial, active and enjoying a good work-life balance.
  • The term Gen X has also been 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).
So called because of the demographic “boom” or “shock-wave” of increased birth rates following the second World War.
  • Although often seen as rejecting traditional values, baby boomers share many values with older and younger generations.
  • The first generation to perceive and talk about the world in generational terms leading to attempts to define subcultures including hippies, yuppies and many others.
  • Many of the cultural influences were born during the Silent Generation, most noticeably musicians including 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 – which affected how they parented their children.

The Baby Boomers generation also includes the Generation Jones sub-generation from the post-World War II baby boomers to the first wave of Generation X. The name comes from “keeping up with the Joneses,” a competitive desire for material possessions, ultimately denied by recession and unemployment in the 1980s.

  • Politically GenJonesers have been identified in western elections as key swing voters.
  • 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.
  • The hardships during the great depression leading up to the second world war resulted in fewer children – the “lucky few”.
  • Popular Music: Jazz, Swing.
  • Despite being called the silent generation people born in this generation had a huge influence on younger generations:
    • Political leaders: Elizabeth II, Robert F. Kennedy, Mikhail Gorbachev, Helmut Kohl, Jacques Chirac, Margaret Thatcher, Boris Yeltsin.
    • Revolutionary leaders: Fidel Castro, Che Guevara.
    • Civil rights leaders: Martin Luther King, Malcolm X.
    • Activists: Gloria Steinem (1934).
    • Writers: Allen Ginsberg (1926-97).
    • Artists: Andy Warhol (1928).
    • Musicians: The Beatles (born in 1940s), Bob Dylan (1941), The Rolling Stones (born in 1940s), James Brown, Elvis Presley, Leonard Cohen, Miles Davis, Sammy Davis Jr., Johnny Cash, Little Richard, Frank Zappa (1940), Stephen Sondheim (1930).
    • Movies and movie stars: Gone with the wind. Marilyn Monroe, Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Leonard Nimoy, William Shatner.
    • Comedians: Richard Pryor, John Cleese, Bill Cosby (1937), Joan Rivers, Dave Allen, Woody Allen.
    • Philosophers: Noam Chomsky (1928), Richard Rorty (1931).
G.I. Generation / Generation G.I.
(G.I. is an abbreviation for 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 subsequent 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 (1901-1960), Glen Miller (1904-44), Peter Cushing (1913-94), Alec Guinness (1914-2000),
    Frank Sinatra (1915-98), Dean Martin (1917-95) and Judy Garland (1922-69).
  • Writers: Ian Fleming (1908-64), Stan Lee (1922).
  • Pope John Paul II (1920-2005).
  • Leonid Brezhnev (1906-82), General Secretary of the Soviet Union.
  • Athletes: Jesse Owens (1913-80).

Generation Names Notes & References:

  • [1] Generation X was taken from a 1950s photo essay by Robert Capa and popularized by 1965 book written by British journalists, Jane Deverson and Charles Hamblett called Generation X and a 1991 book, written by Douglas Coupland, called Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture.
  • [2] Coming up with Millennials 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] Birth years (aka demographic cohorts) are flexible. Different researchers and commentators have defined different boundaries for each generation which also varies by country and locality. If you’re born a few years either side of a generation gap take a look at the generation characteristics and decide which generation you identify with.
  • [4] Generation Z is likely to be replaced by one of the current alternative generation names but no consensus has emerged so far.

Cool TED-X Talk About Generation Names by Jason Dorsey in Houston

Fight Club Quote: You Are Not A Beautiful Or Unique Snowflake

Compiled by Joe Connor, last updated August 11, 2019.
Have we missed any generation names or labels? Do you agree or disagree with the character traits? Please add your comments below to help us improve this page.

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