Generations explained.

credit: Blog of the Ginger

One of my long-standing interests is demographics, and the interplay between the different living generations. Here is a video that explains the interactions between the four living generations born before 2005 (or possibly, 2001 — the jury’s still out on the last birthyear of the Millennials).

The birth years are based on Strauss and Howe’s “Generations” and “The Fourth Turning,” both books I have read and highly recommend for anyone interested in how generations impact history (and are, in turn, impacted by history). I agree with these birth years over the more popular ones used by most marketers and the popular media. I also believe there are “cusps” that straddle the generations and bleed over several years in both directions, so someone born in a cusp year would have characteristics of both adjacent generations. Of course, these are just guidelines (some have compared generational types to astrological signs) and some people may not fit their generation at all, but maybe a different one.

The generations discussed here:

1. GI Generation (Hero generation, born 1900 – 1924) — few still alive.
2. Silent (Artist generation, born 1925 – 1942)
(Silent/Boom cusp subgeneration: War Babies born about 1936-1946)
3. Boomer (Prophet generation, born 1943 – 1960)
(Boom/X cusp subgeneration: Generation Jones born 1955-1965)
4. Generation X (Nomad generation, born 1961 – 1981
(X/Millennial cusp subgeneration: Generation Y born 1976-1986)
5. Millennial (Hero generation, born 1982 – 2005 (?)

If you’re interested in this stuff, I recommend these two books by William Strauss and Neil Howe:

Generations: The History of America’s Future, 1584 to 2069

The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy — What the Cycles of History tell us about America’s Next Rendezvous with Destiny