A common source of confusion when labeling generations are their age. Generational cohorts are defined—loosely—by birth year, not current age. The reason is simple—as people age, they change life stages. For example, a member of Generation X who turned 18 in 1998 would now be nearly 40. In that time, he or she cares about vastly different issues and is receptive to a new set of marketing messages. Regardless of your age, you will always belong to the generation you were born into.
As of 2018, the breakdown by age looks something like this:
This generation was born between 1900 and 1945. These people experienced two world wars, as well as everything that came with those such as rationing. Traditionalists are known to respect authority—which comes with age and experience—save their money, and work hard. They also have traditional nuclear family values.
Baby Boomers are born between 1946 and 1964 and are called so because after the second world war there was a huge surge in the birth rate. After the strict rules of their parents, many baby boomers rebelled in the 70s and then became hippies in the 80s. Because they grew up in a time of economic prosperity, some say that the negative traits of boomers are greed and materialism.
Generation X includes anyone born between 1965 and 1980. This generation was subject to a lot of change, as both of their parents were often at work rather than with one or two at home and divorce rates among their parents were higher.
One of the most talked-about generations at the moment is the millennials, who are born between 1981 and 2000. Generations before them often call this group entitled, arguing that they have more opportunities in the form of technology that wasn’t invented before. This generation has experienced a major transition of scientific and technological inventions; especially due to the internet.
Anyone born after 2000 is part of this generation. They’re the first group to grow up as digital natives, having the internet and smartphones from an early age. Their parents were likely to have been affected by the recession also, which touched their childhoods. As they’re still young, it isn’t known exactly how they’ll be as adults, but so far their attributes have been described as including a willingness to change the world, and a sense of savvy. Realistically, the name Generation Z is a place-holder for the youngest people on the planet.