Generation Names And Years: Meaning Of Each Generation And Years

Generation Names And Years (And How They Relate To Each Other)

August 10, 2020 Updated November 3, 2020

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Rod Long/Unsplash

Ever said “OK Boomer” and then wonder, “Are they actual Boomers?” Or maybe you’ve blamed something on Millennials, without considering whether the people you’re targeting are actually Millennials at all? Poor Millennials actually get that a lot. Many teens and young adults right now are being referred to rather hatefully as Millennials when, in all truth, they’re not even that. Somewhere along the way, terms like Boomer and Millennial became derogatory to those that don’t fall within those generations. There’s a lot of blame on the shoulders of each generation yet not exactly widely-known definitions of who those names actually represent. We’re here to clear things up once and for all. What generation are you? What generation are your parents? We know the answers and soon you will, too.

Gen Alpha (2013-2025)

Generation Alpha are, in essence, the babies of most Millennials. They’re the first generation to all be born entirely during the 21st century. Generation Alpha is also seemingly the first in which everyone born within that generation will have been exposed to cell phones and wireless communication from birth onward. Who are they as people? Well, seeing as how at the time of publication, the oldest Gen Alpha member can only be seven years old, it’s too hard to tell. Some predict that they’ll be the most formally educated and wealthiest generation, though.

Age: The youngest age a member of Gen Alpha would be today is one-ish and the oldest they’d be is seven years old.

iGen/GenZ (1995-2012)

Research suggests that most members of Gen Z are the children of Gen X and elder Millennials/Xennials. While most of their lives have included some form of social media, Gen Z is often categorized as fairly computer literate. They’ve also been the first real generation deeply familiar with cyberbullying, though. Most of the generation was born after the terrorist attacks on September 11, which also means that the majority of Gen Z has never lived in an America not at war.

Age: Gen Z’s members range in age from the youngest, who would be about 8 (as of 2020), to the oldest who is 25.

Millennials/Gen Y/Gen Next (1980-1994)

While most generations were named and defined by when they were born, the definition for Millennial was actually based on something quite different. You’re a Millennial if you reached “young adulthood in the early 21st century.” Gen Y and Millennials are more likely to remember where they were on 9-11 and how the housing bust and following recession shaped their family. In popular media, they’re often usually characterized as a generation of young adults who, after college, found themselves returning home thanks to an unstable job market in the wake of the previously mentioned issues. Their parents are probably Boomers… which makes basement life pretty interesting.

Age: Millennials aren’t as young as many people think. The youngest Millennial is about 26. The oldest, often called an “Elder Millennial,” could be upwards of 40 years old. Hardly the young people Boomers picture when they blame things on them, huh?

Xennials (1975-1985)

The Xennial generation is cool because, in actuality, it’s a mix of young Gen X members and elder millennials. They fit both comfortably and awkwardly with their peers from each of the preceding and following generations. Their best nickname? The Oregon Trail Generation. They didn’t die of dysentery, so they’ll probably live a long life… if they can survive climate change.

Age: And what about Xennials? They range in age from 35-45. Hopefully, they’ve started saving for retirement.

Generation X (1965-1979)

Now is a great time to cringe. Generation X is often called the “latchkey generation.” They were the first generation where the majority of mothers worked full-time and children were left with less supervision than previous generations. Early in their existence they were also dubbed the “MTV Generation.” If you picture a late-80s or early-90s teen with a scowl, you’ll picture what older generations saw when they talked about Gen X. Fair? No way. But, the stigma still stands.

Age: The MTV Generation should also start thinking about retirement. They’re anywhere from 41 to 55 years old. Life is whizzing by, y’all!

Baby Boomers AKA Boomers (1946-1964)

Following World War II, America especially saw a baby boom. Soldiers came home as heroes, homes were cheap, wages were fair and their ladies were waiting for them. It was only a matter of time before the babies followed. They were born during a time of hope and prosperity. As they grew and aged, they continued to believe and expect that this would always be the case. Younger generations reading this might be snickering now, but Boomers are actually known for their hope and optimism in the “bootstrap” mentality.

Age: Most Baby Boomers, meanwhile, should already be retired. Though, in many cases our economy has made that impossible. The youngest baby boomer is 56 and the oldest should be about 74 years old.

The Silent Generation (1925-1945)

The Silent Generation is the generation with the smallest population, thanks largely in part to the Great Depression and World War II. Many leaders of the Civil Rights Movement were part of the Silent Generation. However, they earned their moniker for their hesitancy to speak out on things after living through the McCarthy Era, when voicing your opinion could lead to you being blacklisted.

The Greatest Generation (1910-1924)

Not only was the Greatest Generation most impacted and traumatized by the Great Depression, the members of this particular generation also made up the majority of the bodies that fought in World War II. Because of their combat time, they’re often called the G.I. Generation. During their time, a soldier was often referred to as “G.I..” “G.I.” stands for many things, but it most traditionally stood for “government issued.”

The Interbellum Generation (1901-1913)

People of the Interbellum Generation lived through two wars but generally didn’t serve in either as they were too young during WWI and too old to serve on the front lines of WWII. Of course, plenty of Interbellum members still held higher ranks during WWII or served in other capacities. It’s also notable that four American presidents were born to the Interbellum Generation (Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Reagan).

The Lost Generation (1890-1900)

“The Lost Generation” refers to the sense of hopelessness and lack of direction expressed by those born between 1890 and 1900. They served in a war and came back to a Depression. While each generation might argue differently, many believe those born in the Lost Generation were dealt the more dire circumstances and made the strongest struggle to simply survive. In “A Sun Also Rises,” storied writer Ernest Hemingway wrote of those struggles and used his epitaph to dedicate the book to his generational cohorts.

The Best Generation Jokes

Jokes About Millennials

Why can’t Millennials take a joke?
Because the jokes always hit a little too close to their parent’s house.

How do you weigh a Millennial?
In instagrams.

People often tell me I’m very old fashioned for a Millennial…
I guess I’m just a late boomer.

What did the Millennial say after they successfully started the campfire?
That’s lit.

I saw a Millennial chick at the supermarket and thought she looked odd…
Then I realized she can’t even.

Jokes About Baby Boomers

We’ve all heard the “OK, Boomer” retort by now, mostly uttered by Millennials and GenZers. But here are some more to make you chuckle.

How many boomers does it take to change a lightbulb?
None. They’ll all resist change even if it means making the world a brighter place.

What’s the difference between a boomer and a boomerang?
Eventually the boomerang comes around.

Why did the boomer have a no coins policy in his store?
He couldn’t tolerate change.

Other Funny Jokes About the Generations

What do you call the generation born during the coronavirus pandemic? 
Baby Zoomers.

A whole generation will only know Billy Ray Cyrus from “Old Town Road.” 
And that breaks my heart. My achy breaky heart.

How do dolphins and whales pass down and share knowledge through the generations?
Via podcasts, naturally.

A GAP store in London opened a Baby GAP right next to it…
As I walked past, I saw a generation gap.