Generation Defintions


(Photo courtesy of Ben Klocek, Generations (CC BY-SA 2.0)).

By Samantha Calick, Contributor

What used to be playing board games, swinging on monkey bars, and riding bicycles around the neighborhood has now become free time spent inside on the couch watching tv. Where most of our parents didn’t own phones until they were well outside college, most 4 year olds today are gifted ipads for their birthdays. This doesn’t have to do with the spoiling of our children rather than the quickly adapting world in which we live.

A generation is a group of people born within the same time period who tend to exhibit similar characteristics in their way of communication, beliefs, and values. Today’s population is represented by the following generations:


Baby Boomers:

Birth rates drastically increased after WWII veterans returned to their families, lending the name “baby boomers” to the generation born between 1946 and 1964. Today, the eldest of their generation is in their late 60s to early 70s, contributing to their difficulty in adapting to the quickly changing technology being accepted. The parents of our parents faced a series of changes in the world and have seen the utmost alterations to society.


Gen X:

Generation X, the generation of our parents spanning its birth range from 1965-1981, coined its name from the Douglas Coupland novel, “Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture”.  As children, they were known as “latchkey” kids, due to less parental supervision. Rising high divorce rates and two working parents contributed to gen xers becoming highly independent at such young ages. They value responsibility and hard work.



Roughly born in 1982 – early 2000s, Millenials are the do it yourselfers of the 21rst century. They rely highly on technology and social media to manage their daily lives. Millenials are often viewed as socially conscious and optimistic about the world. On a negative side, they are viewed as lazy and narcissistic.


Gen Z:

Having never known a world without instant access to internet or social media, Generation Z, often described as tech savvy and outspoken, is leading the movement to influence generations to follow. These are the kids born from the 2000’s and onward and for these kids, maturity begins much earlier in life.