Age Generations 101: X Y Z And Millennial All Explained

Learn to tell the difference of age generations as of 2019

By Fred S.
Age Generations 101: X Y Z And Millennial All Explained

Gaining a clear sense of understanding and appreciation of every generation is imperative for production teams, marketing departments and companies. This is because their customer base would comprise of individuals hailing from one or all of the generations breathing today, and understanding their needs, wants, and spending habits would be key for taking crucial business decisions. However, the importance of understanding these generations isn’t just limited to businesses or companies, it has remarkable social benefits too. 

We’re going through an era where the ‘generation gap’ between two or three generations is more immense than any other pair that’s ever existed – largely owing to the explosive advancements in technology and connectivity. The newer generations have ease of access to most desirable aspects of life, such as entertainment on demand, home-deliveries via the internet, and more platforms to make money off of, but they’ve got some unique problems of their own.  

This huge gap has caused generations to lose the understanding of each other, causing them to think ‘less’ of each other in ways. The earlier generations may think that millennials have it easy, while the millennials may believe that their uncles or parents have lived boring, dry lives. That’s a problem, because every generation is special, and it’s important to know about them to respect every individual you come across in life. This not only expands your horizons for building a positive social circle around you but also makes you more tolerant, inclusive and collaborative in nature.   

The Age Range of Different Age Generations

Generations are classified by their eras, which means they’d have a specified block of time to their name. What separates one generation from another in terms of nature are aspects like the sort of problems faced in that chunk of time, the availability of a certain level of technology, the prevailing school of thought about many issues, and the economic state of the country in that time etc.

For example, some generations living among us today have went through war(s), and they know a type of sorrow that no other generation does. On the other hand, those earlier generations will never know the psychological problems caused by insecurities that the current world of media is breeding, with billboards and covers featuring unrealistically edited zero-size models all over the city. Therefore, to understand each generation, it’s important to first know their classification by age-range.  

  • Generation X 

Generation X is comprised of people born between 1965 and 1985, and they’re currently about 35 to 54 years old.  

  • Generation Y 

You may know this generation as the ‘millennials’ as they were born just before the start of this millennium. They’re born between 1986 and 2000, and they’re currently around 19 to 34 years old.   

  • Generation Z 

This one’s the latest generation that has been given a name, and their birth dates range from 2001 to 2015. Only a fraction of them has crossed the 18-year mark, which means most of them aren’t adults yet. They’re currently 4 to 19 years old.  

Introduction of Generation X Y Z

Each of these three generations holds particular importance in the market if you look at them as divisions of a customer base. They all display differing behaviors and give unique responses to stimuli that are introduced to them. We’ve already discussed what age group these generations belong to, and all that’s left to do is to learn about their specific features in-depth. However, it’s important to get them briefly introduced to you with a closer view before we get into that.  

Introducing "The Lost Generation” (Gen X)

It’s a pretty saddening name for a generation, but they’re known as “lost” for a reason. Their time is known for a collapsing economy, and record-breaking divorce rates for that era. To cope with the economic crises, double-income families had to be formed, causing more women to enter the workforce. This generation truly understands how much trouble parents go through to shield a family from problems. During their time, the first bits of technology started to inject into everyday lives in America. Generation Xers are now parents to Generation Y or Z.  

Introducing “The Millennials” (Gen Y)

The millennials grew up a world booming with information technology, where the world was transformed right before their eyes. The common actions and chores of life became easier and easier as the competition of inventing useful technology grew. Instant gratification in all walks of life became key, making it harder and harder to learn patience. If they’re really loving a song, they wouldn’t wait until the album’s release – they’ll download it. They’ve got a whole new set of opportunities in front of them and they’re ambitious about availing each one.  

Introducing “iGen” (Gen Z)

By the time they were born, the world had already transformed into an electronic state of itself, where technology is taken for granted. Any way you turn your head, you’ll see a genius implementation of technology to make your life a tad bit easier. They’re huge consumers of entertainment, and they don’t remain ‘kids’ for long with social media platforms that encourage them to be creators, writers, bloggers, etc. They’re constantly connected, emotionally, socially, and electronically.  

Learning about Generation X

Population in the US: Around 82 million 

Prominent Features;  

  • Strong sense of independence.  

  • Adaptability to ‘change’ and challenging situations. 

  • Competitiveness. 

  • Realistic and pragmatic thinking.  

  • Resilience and patience.  

Most of these qualities stem from spending their childhood in difficult and financially challenging situations. Growing up, they’ve gone through some of the hardest economic phases the US has ever seen, which naturally planted a seed of patience in their psyche. They’ve seen their parents struggle to provide for them, teaching them that they’ve got to ‘earn it’. This makes them independent, competitive and resilient, holding a high value for a good family-work life balance.  

Learning about Generation Y

Population in the US: Around 73 million 

Prominent Features;  

  • Openly expressive of their opinions.  

  • Ambitious to achieve big goals.  

  • Not afraid to question what they’re told. 

  • Multi-tasking comes naturally to them.  

  • Quick learner.  

  • Tech-savvy.  

By the time this generation was born, the economy had stabilized and the generation X kids had grown into adults looking to start a family. Parents were more cautious about whether or not they were financially and emotionally ready to bring a new person into the world. Paired with improved parenting, generation Y was blessed with growing technology as mentioned above. They’ve been taught to never shy away from asking questions, and from fighting for their rights. Awareness campaigns of all sorts went viral on their social media accounts and they’re well aware of social issues such as gender equality, and environmental threats such as global warming.  

Learning about Generation Z

Population in the US: Around 74 million 

Prominent Features;  

  • Completely informed about the latest IT platforms. 

  • The quickest learners out of all other generations.  

  • Generally impatient.  

  • A strong feeling of being entitled.  

  • I Possess a relatively higher rate of insecurities.  

Born in a revolutionized world of technology, this generation is more ‘plugged in’ to the online world than any other. They’ve grown up playing online games on the phones of their parents instead of getting outside and experiencing memorable injuries in the backyard. Even though they’ve preferred to stay indoors, the constant engagement with devices has made them remarkable at handling tech for their age. They learn super-fast using efficient technology, and become incredibly good at multi-tasking, much better than their parent generation. Today, you can see them creating videos on booming platforms like YouTube and TikTok, finding more fame than most generation Xers ever could.  

Who are the millennials?

Ah, the millennials, the product of super transformation in technology and an evolved sense of parenting.  They’re ‘generation Y’, which we’ve already discussed above, but almost no one knows them by that name. They’re often looked down on by their predecessors, who call them titles like ‘the snowflake generation’ or ‘the entitled generation’. Well, no title is ever baseless, because when you look at millennials in the grand scheme of things, their entitlement starts to make sense.  

They’ve grown up on movies telling them that anything is possible, encouraging them to be themselves because there’s something special about each one of us. These are all true implications, but the older generations just weren’t exposed to messages like these on this level. They’ve been gratified instantly by competitive technology, and they’ve learned to get knowledge about whatever they want to know with a few clicks and taps on their devices. No wonder they’re impatient. But this has been translated into brilliance in recent times, as we see some of the youngest Nobel prize winners emerge, with thoughts and ideas that are sometimes more mature than even their parents. They’re by far the most accepting of diversity in opinions and display perfect tolerance for different cultures and races.  

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Summary

Every generation present in this day and age has a unique essence in itself, and there’s much to be learned by each one of them. Gaining knowledge and understanding of deeper levels about each generation is essential for learning to respect every person for who they are. Once you understand what the generation of your parents was like, you’ll communicate with them on a deeper level. Better workforces can be put together by looking at specific features of individuals of each group. Some projects may need the resilience of a generation Xer paired with the multi-tasking capabilities of a millennial, while other tasks may need the tech-savviness of a generation Z individual. A shared awareness of every generation can work wonders moving forward, in business and social situations alike.   

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