June 5, 2014

Generation X: America’s neglected ‘middle child’

Generation X has a gripe with pulse takers, zeitgeist keepers and population counters. We keep squeezing them out of the frame.

This overlooked generation currently ranges in age from 34 to 49, which may be one reason they’re so often missing from stories about demographic, social and political change. They’re smack in the middle innings of life, which tend to be short on drama and scant of theme.

But there are other explanations that have nothing to do with their stage of the life cycle.

Gen Xers are bookended by two much larger generations – the Baby Boomers ahead and the Millennials behind – that are strikingly different from one another. And in most of the ways we take stock of generations – their racial and ethnic makeup; their political, social and religious values; their economic and educational circumstances; their technology usage – Gen Xers are a low-slung, straight-line bridge between two noisy behemoths.

The charts below tell the tale. 

Generation X

Gen Xers' retirement fundsTo be fair, there are a few metrics that don’t fit this straightforward pattern of generational evolution. For example, over the course of their voting lives, older Gen Xers have tended to be more Republican than both older Boomers and younger Millennials. Also, Xers are more pessimistic than both of those larger generations that they’ll have enough money for their retirement – though some of that negativity is doubtless tied to the economic stresses of middle age.

Gen Xers also stand out in another way. In 2010 when Pew Research asked adults of all ages if they thought their own generation was unique, about six-in-ten Boomers and Millennials said yes. But only about half of Gen Xers said the same. And even among those who did, there was very little consensus about why they are distinctive.

One reason Xers have trouble defining their own generational persona could be that they’ve rarely been doted on by the media. By contrast, Baby Boomers have been a source of media fascination from the get-go (witness their name). And Millennials, the “everybody-gets-a-trophy” generation, have been the subject of endless stories about their racial diversity, their political and social liberalism, their voracious technology use, and their grim economic circumstances. What's unique about each US generation? Millennials, Generation X, Baby Boomers

Gen Xers have also gotten the short end of basic generational arithmetic. Due partly to their parents’ relatively low fertility rates, there are fewer of them (65 million) than Boomers (77 million) or Millennials (an estimated 83 million assuming a roughly 20-year age span and including those who have yet to reach adulthood).

But there’s another reason that Xers are a small generation: They’ve been deemed to span just 16 years, while most generations are credited with lasting for about 20 years. How come? No one really knows. Generational boundaries are fuzzy, arbitrary and culture-driven. Once fixed by the mysterious forces of the zeitgeist, they tend to firm up over time.

One final slight: Even their name is a retread. World War II photographer Robert Capa first coined the term Generation X in a photo essay about the young adults of the 1950s, but the label didn’t stick the first time around. It was revived thirty years later by Canadian author Douglas Coupland, whose coming of age novel, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture, was set in Southern California.

For Xers, there’s one silver lining in all this. From everything we know about them, they’re savvy, skeptical and self-reliant; they’re not into preening or pampering, and they just might not give much of a hoot what others think of them. Or whether others think of them at all.

Paul Taylor, executive vice president for special projects at the Pew Research Center, is the author of The Next America: Boomers, Millennials and the Looming Generational Showdown (Public Affairs, 2014). In other words, he’s part of the problem.

Topics: Demographics, Generations and Age, Political Attitudes and Values

  1. Photo of Paul Taylor

    is Executive Vice President of the Pew Research Center.

  2. is a Digital Editorial Assistant at the Pew Research Center.

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77 Comments

  1. Nate1 week ago

    One other point. I’m an Xer and a Soldier in the US Army. For all that we heard about being young and self absorbed in the 90s, this generation fought the longest wars in US history with little of the civic support our grandparents had in WWII. Soldiers of my generation just quietly rucked up and kept going back again.

    Reply
  2. Stephanie1 week ago

    As a Gen Xer, I feel like my focus at work has always been on doing the job I had at the time very well and my assumption was that my career would naturally progress from there. And now, I am frustrated by the fact that at young age, I am already getting written off.

    Opportunities for leadership are being imagined for others who are just better self-promoters. I find our generation to embody a nice balance of traits: hard working, not guided by strict hierarchy, seeing technology as A tool not THE only tool, valuing substance over style.

    I think Millennials use the word “leader” to describe themselves WAY too often and are always focused on “positioning” themselves…career advancement stuff rather than a job well done. Yes, they can multitask, but so can we! We are managing work, families, aging parents, and more. And in our careers, we are doing the work of leaders while not demanding said title.

    Reply
  3. GrammaKaarin3 weeks ago

    Actually, this is a pattern that fits right in with “Generations: The History of America’s Future, 1584 to 2069″ by William Strauss and Neil Howe. Dynamic generation-quiet (in the trenches) generation-dynamic generation-quiet (in the trenches) generation, etc. They reviewed the literature and identified 4 generational clusters that have (and continue) to repeat in order (with the exception of the period around the Civil War): Idealists/Reactives/Civics/Adaptives/repeat. Examples: “Greatest Generation”=Civic; Silents=Adaptives; Boomers = Idealists; GenX = Reactives; Milleninals = Civic; etc.

    Reply
  4. Mike3 weeks ago

    Great article. I agree with many of the post below. Our generation was pushed around by the narcisistic baby boomers whoses ideals and culture smuthered us. We rebelled against their materialism and created our own culture. Grunge was our early voice and Cobain our spokesperson. We are the generation who constantly had to reinvent ourselves every time our baby boomer bosses offshore more of our jobs. We don’t quit but are modest about the progress we have made. Our goal is to leave the nation in better shape than how the baby boomers left it for us which is pretty pitiful.

    Reply
  5. Grace3 weeks ago

    Yeah, Gen X is so forgettable and unsung. (Note my heavy use of sarcasm…classic Gen X trait) Except pretty much everywhere you look in terms of influencers of the way modern society is shaped…there we are…and we aren’t even done yet. .

    Call us small, but mighty… our generation has been and continues to be more politically and culturally impacting than any generation since the teens/young folks of the late 50’s to mid sixties… our parents. As for boomers– we rejected their music, their values and their culture simply by developing our own. We didn’t mean to make their music obsolete–we just had our own mark to make and it stuck…Gen Y & Z seem to still be very happy with it as they don’t seem to be itching to come up with some of their own. Electing and reelecting President Clinton (our youth vote was the largest in 20 years); fighting the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars; first wave of whiz kid tech millionaires (yeah,folks the “Startup boom” is looking a lot like our Dot Com bubble) The original technology early adopters–from video games to pc’s… Millenials are simply a larger generation who; for the most part are following the many of cultural nods and societal trends we already established.

    Though we aren’t MTV kids anymore, we are as active and impactful as founders and CEO’s of tech companies as we were in the nineties/early millennium; we created two-four new genres of music Alternative and Hip HOP being the most popular. We should not have been called Gen X but Generation Pivot–Pivoting on inclusion,diversity; technological innovation and entrepreneurship volunteerism and most importantly corporate responsibility- we as consumers and young business leaders made that a “thing” for companies.

    We aren’t necessarily attention seekers–but we live lives and make statements that are influential; (think Angelina Jolie, Ben Affleck etc.) Someone lableled us as disengaged and anarchists but we just are critical thinkers and sometimes uncomfortably direct. Gen X isn’t competitive in the traditional sense; because we just never did need anyone else’s validation; only our own.

    Reply
  6. James H Lewis II2 months ago

    As an X’er I neither confirm or deny said traits! :) But I would also recommend for my fellow X’ers out there to read Generation X Abort Retry or Fail .. written by Doug Copland.

    Reply
  7. Amy2 months ago

    “We, the unwilling, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.” ― Konstantin Jireček

    Jireček’s quote is the essence of what the nomad archetype (Gen X, Lost Gen, etc.) is all about: survival and getting done what needs to be done with very little, if any, support from the generations that sandwich us. I know this view sounds extremely cynical, but it’s what I’ve experienced my entire life.

    Getting done what needs to get done with little support: latch-key kid providing free child care to younger brother, working since 15 (and having most of my pay during my teen years go to support my single-parent household), earning 2 B.A.s and an M.A. only to have my field collapse due to NCLB, the last point leading to being (un)deremployed my entire adult career, and, finally having a mother whose net worth is almost $500, 000, yet who is so obsessed with money, that I’ll be lucky to get much of an inheritance, if any.

    And you know what? At this point the only things that I want in life (and this echoes an earlier post): a job with a decent salary and a non-Boomer boss, a small house with nice yard to garden in, and a loving partner. I’ll get there by myself just like I always have, which is the essence of survival and realizing that the simple things are the best things in life. In other words, doing exactly what Paul Taylor says makes Gen X, well, Gen X: forgetting the societal fairy tales, coming up with your own (pragmatic) dreams, and not giving a care about what others think.

    Reply
  8. Hunter Phoenix2 months ago

    Thank you so much for writing this article and including the stats! Heart-breakingly wonderful… it speaks to many of my own feelings and conclusions, but I often questioned them, not wanting to be angry, bitter or sit in the middle of a pity party.
    I have a life coaching practice, and 90% of my clients have been Gen-Xers. I’ve observed the same with them. Hard working, dutiful and resilient, but a forgotten generation often times caring for both their own parents and children and dealing with the economic fallout of a debilitating financial set back.
    This has given me a fresh perspective and more tools to help them and myself. But one question remains: so where do we go from here? The fairy tales have failed, now what?
    Would welcome any comments, responses or feedback.

    Reply
  9. Theodora2 months ago

    Am 48 born in 1965… born in Manhattan Raise in Bronx. I loved my childhood. I loved being apart of Hip Hop which started in the Bronx,The Fever, The Roxy’s, The Fun House, The Garage, Roller Skating in Central Park Oh and of cause Studio 55. I started my first job at the age of 14. Went to Catholic school never wanted to get married. Am going to be 49 in Oct. But, I can’t complain about my life am bless. I no longer live in NY but, because of my upbringing I could deal with anything that come my way. Lol, and I could see BS before it come my way as well. Love being a Gen X. Oh, I was one of those 7 year olds that would give you a run for you money as well LMAO…

    Reply
  10. KC2 months ago

    So, we are a 65-million stoned bridge. OK. Interesting to see how behaviors and beliefs change: sometimes we listen to our parents and sometimes we think for ourselves. I am the oldest of the Xers, having been born in 1965, literally a “child of the 60s,” but most influenced by the 80s. I’m glad to not be a Millennial – with age comes comfort and realization.

    Reply
  11. Honeygetoverit2 months ago

    BRILLIANT! Thank you so much for this article, I kept wonder why my generation never showed up anywhere! My generation grew up in the 80s and because of this, our mindset is completely different – we weren’t old enough to partake but old enough to aspire. We grew up around the “me” generation, so we want the best, but also, we want the best for others. We understand that we’re all better off when the weakest link is strong. That’s why we are by and large independent, politically speaking. It is a big mistake to ignore us. ;)

    Reply
    1. Colishia4 weeks ago

      Honeygetoverit well said! Thank you

      Reply
  12. D. Gavorski3 months ago

    Gen x & how is 72 the same as 65 not really the a lot had already changed and we are feed up with the Crappy Job outlook and our Gen. Has been in a constant state of War since we Graduated in 1990- no Real jobs nothing we get the Scrapes ax Usual for make Steak out of a Spam – Min. wage should be $ 27.00 not this B.S. nation crap – Part- Time Nation ask for $ 15.00 a hour people are freaking out like they would do what we have do – it’s all Lies & Smoke Screens- politicians are Puppets – lip Service give me a break

    Reply
  13. D. Gavorski3 months ago

    I agree we were left to defend for ourselves when everyone else was whooping it up ! We all stuck together, watched each other’s backs and sucked in up. we are a respectful generation , we love to have fun .We want peace and love & to get along & not take life to literal . We are the forgotten or taken advantage of Generation .

    Reply
    1. sandy baxter3 months ago

      do you have any insight into this, or did u live it yourself?

      Reply
    2. jason2 weeks ago

      Right on the money my friend. You could have not said it better!

      Reply
      1. jason2 weeks ago

        @ D. Gavorski I meant……Im sure he does have creds for this GenX if he so much portrayed it correctly. I absolutely agree with him

        Reply
  14. sandy baxter3 months ago

    they left out the fact that almost all kids grew up on their own, while single parents had to work. they left out the fact, that we were the generation from the hippies and the drugs. it wasn’t abnormal to see your parent or parent get stoned, drunk and kids having to take care of themselves. they say that our generation x were the spoiled kids. i disagree, my kids were the spoiled ones. i don’t know if anyone else shares this experience or not. maybe it just happened to me and most of my friends. anyone share if you feel this way or not. thanks

    Reply
    1. Jason2 weeks ago

      You would have not said things more perfect than that. RIGHT ON!!!

      Reply
  15. Peter Tharaldson3 months ago

    Actually your writing points to a much larger problem. You have contrived generational bucketing when in fact you are simply looking at slopes of behavioral change. Frankly, you have massive construct validity problems.

    Reply
    1. sandy baxter3 months ago

      u r so right, so, if you know what is going on with me or think u do, I would much appreciate you talking with me.

      Reply
  16. Walt Reap4 months ago

    interesting…

    Reply
  17. Mike4 months ago

    Pew’s tweets linking to this article characterize Gen X as fiscal conservatives and social liberals. To label an entire generation that way based on survey percentages so close to 50% (with what margin of error?) is ludicrous. But to do so to Generation X is entirely appropriate.

    Reply
    1. Joseph Gill2 months ago

      Those are the exact words I have used to explain my political leanings.

      Reply
      1. Joseph Gill2 months ago

        Actually the exact phrase I used was fiscally conservative and socially responsible.

        Reply
  18. Sean4 months ago

    The numbers make sense when you consider that older people tend to be more conservative and younger people tend to be more liberal… boomers more conservative, millennials more liberal and gen x in the middle. As a member of gen x, I can relate from a marketing perspective. Today, the media is inundated with two things: ads for medications that aging boomers use and news stories about millennials.

    Reply
  19. Melinda Lee4 months ago

    I would love to have some figures on the career success of Gen-X. From my perspective, we are being passed over for the executive level jobs. Baby Boomers are retireing much later than the previous generation and it appears that the top positions are going to go to their kids (millieniels) rather than to the Generation Xer’s who have been plugging along for years hoping to get these top level jobs.

    Reply
    1. JES34 months ago

      You are correct Melinda…..but the Boomers are ALSO BOOM-eraning back into the workforce as “senior consultants”, commanding large salaries for part-time work and thusly causing promoted Gen-Xers (like ourselves) to recieve lower salary increases……OR, we are kept at our lower level positions, doing most of the work and being indirectly supervised by these boomer consultants.

      Reply
      1. Tom4 months ago

        Let the Boomers have their senior consulting positions. Let them have their motor homes towing a “knock around” Jeep. Let them think they’re better than us. Same with the Millennials…Let them have their smartphones, their social media, their sense of generational superiority. All I want as an Xer is my wife, daughter, dog, 1200 square feet, steady enough work to support this (no title or respect necessary), peace and quiet, and a lot of space from the entities that try to tell us what to think and how to live.

        Reply
        1. Billy Boy3 months ago

          Right on brother

          Reply
        2. Derek Carr3 months ago

          Completely agree Tom

          Reply
        3. Mike3 weeks ago

          Amen brother

          Reply
  20. Eden millecchia4 months ago

    You say Xers are lost in the middle. Try being neither. I’m 50. Definitely NOT a baby boomer. And when all the fuss about GenX began I was confused because I assumed–quite rightly– that they are all younger than me. I understand that a generation is typically a 20 year span. But when you are on the cusp you don’t fit in with either.

    Try polling the 45-55 demographic and ask them where they fit. I’d also be curious to see where the 35-45 group identifies. Are they as lost as the 50 year olds are?

    What am I?

    Reply
    1. ILuvSnoopy4 months ago

      Eden millecchia, I am also 50. There is a name for those of who were born in the last five years or so of the Baby Boom generation. We are called Generation Jones. We do not fit either the Baby Boom or GenX stereotypes. Unlike the cohort of which are supposedly a part, we were not involved in Vietnam, involved in protests, or out supporting the “Make Love not War mantra.” Unlike GenX, were more likely to be brought up in a two parent family and did not experience divorce the way GenX children did. We graduated from high school in the late 70s and early 80s, moved into the work force or went to college, started our careers and families, and got on with life. I understand your sentiments. If GenX feels ignored, I guess one could say Generation Jones is confused because we have been defined as belonging to a generation of which we are fully aware we do not belong nor identify.

      Reply
      1. Val3 months ago

        I am 53, have never heard of Generation Jones and fully identify as a Baby Boomer. I never for a moment felt that I was without a generational identity. There was so much more to being a Boomer than protests and The Beatles. It was riding Banana Bikes and watching the Brady Bunch, TV Dinners and Princess Telephones. Being a young teen and borrowing my sister’s head bands and peasant blouses, going on vacations as a kid in a car with no air conditioning while road construction to connect interstate highways tortured the whole family! Albums and ’45 speed singles and not knowing how awful it would seem to the next generation to have actually had to stand up and walk to the television to change the channel or shift the rabbit ears. I am a Boomer – tail end or not!

        Reply
        1. Val3 months ago

          And Earth Shoes! LOL!

          Reply
    2. sandy baxter3 months ago

      just as lost

      Reply
  21. GJetsonPDX5 months ago

    The generational labels are marketing tools. The media ignored GenX until the earliest of us were in our late 20s — they were too busy pandering to the BBs during the 1980s. By that time, the marketers were too late, and their crude attempt at labeling was rightly met with scorn.

    Ultimately, GenX wallets weren’t big enough for marketers to pursue the matter (grunge and the dotcom boom notwithstanding). So the media-marketing industrial complex moved to Generations Y & Z (now collectively known as Millennials) to mold them instead. Millennials seem to be good kids…I don’t envy them the media glare.

    Reply
    1. Jason2 weeks ago

      Well Said!

      Reply
  22. lmm, Solo GenX Warrior5 months ago

    The Gen-X label, as we know it today, is the primary definition for those born roughly between 1961 and 1983. As these odd creatures grew up in a swirling jumble of punk, pollution and porno, the world was becoming anything but child friendly. These kids were already cynical adults by age 7 and left on their own to figure things out for themselves, often taking longer to get a handle on life, family and career. – lmm

    Reply
    1. Alison Siewert5 months ago

      I was not a cynical adult by age 7. Were you?

      Reply
      1. Billy Boy3 months ago

        well yes

        Reply
    2. Michane T Greene4 months ago

      So true, so true.

      Reply
    3. Doenene3 months ago

      I Agree with @GenX Warrior,
      Born in 1970, I was working by 14. Cynical, oh yeah – left to my own devices, no curfew, no rules, basically raised myself. Boundaries and some attention might have been helpful, but this trial by fire made me fiercely independent. I don’t need anyone and I am less likely to feel sorry for those who can’t seem to pull their own weight.

      Reply
  23. Karly5 months ago

    Try being a member of the “Silent” generation! Talk about being sandwiched between others – in our case: Baby Boomers and the World War II folks. Our generation is small being born mostly in the depression (the real one) and the war. Soldiers came home and had their schooling paid for on the GI Bill. We had to compete with them. We went to war in Korea and couldn’t even get our war called a war – it was a “police action”. The Boomers swamped us with their size and bravado (supposed importance – brought on by salespeople lining up to sell whatever they could to such a huge population) and their “don’t trust anybody over 30.” Even today people in my generation can’t get things done for ourselves. Everyone waits on what the Boomers want. Sigh! We do exist as a generation, but I’m not sure anyone really knows us.

    Reply
  24. Alison Siewert5 months ago

    Strauss and Howe identify GenX as the Thirteenth Generation, those born between 1961 and 1981, which seems to me a far better generational boundary. The ‘1946-1964 = Boomers’ thing is very Boomeresque (love those cleverly tidy, palindromic year demarcations!) but it doesn’t reflect the reality of our experience as Xers. In their data-soaked chart, “The Generational Cycle in America” (Generations, foldout at p. 96) Strauss and Howe list members of this generation as including Brett Easton Ellis, Tom Cruise, Michael J. Fox, Michael Lewis — all of whom are currently 50 or older. Barack Obama is an Xer, too, though he is often claimed by Boomers as one of their own.

    Perhaps like the President, those of us on the front-end Xer range carry certain ‘border traits’. But I know a great number of us whose experience really does match up to descriptions of Xers far better than to Boomers. In fact, I find it annoying to be tossed into a generation I neither identify with nor had the benefit of experiencing. As Dennis Miller said,
    “It’s no wonder Xers are angst-ridden and rudderless. They feel America’s greatness has passed. They got to the cocktail party twenty minutes too late, and all that’s left are those little wieners and a half empty bottle of Zima.”

    That’s a pretty good description of how we’ve experienced the job market, opportunities for advancement, and the general sense of American Dreaminess. Not very dreamy, and not much of a treat for us. Still, we’ve developed our own identity that is far beyond the monikers first assigned us — “Lost” and “Doofus” really don’t describe us now, if they ever did.

    Reply
    1. transition4 months ago

      This is the truth: Bush II was the epitomy of a Boomer: bravado and arrogance without much to show for it. Obama is definitely a Gen-X. He had to clean up the mess his predecessor left behind and is doing with whatever resources he can muster in a badly decayed nation.

      This is the central truth of Gen-X: we are cleaning up the mess the Boomers left behind.

      And, frankly, the notion that I am jealous of the Boomers is ludicrous. I have accomplished more in my lifetime so far than many people age 60 (as rich as many of them too).

      Reply
    2. Christopher Rose4 months ago

      I recall reading 13th Gen by Howe back in the early 90’s after hearing about it on talk radio at my third shift job. At the time I was a high school dropout with a GED. Like the description of many Gen-Xers my parents where completely self obsessed boomers. Divorced, leaving a huge pile of family wreckage. I heard somebody talking about milinieals the other day calling them the entitlement generation. I mistakenly thought they where talking about boomers! I quietly went off to college, advanced at a career boomers could not seem to grasp. (IT) Everything turned out ok. I do have retirement inesecurity/paranoia. Because the boomers blew all the social security funds yet still insist on retiring at full SS benefits. Somebody will have to take one for the team so our kids get something… Socially liberal fiscaly conservative. Voted proudly for Ross Perot back in 1992 because of the debt lol. Watched my parents generation get in a position to pay off the national debt, then blow it by rewarding themselves with tax cuts and entitlements. (after they helped ship all the jobs to china) Boomers. the REAL entitlement generation…

      Reply
  25. Christine Cavalier5 months ago

    We GenXers love to read about ourselves but the rest of you aren’t allowed to read about us! Where’s all the hype about us being “secretive” and “protective of our culture?” This may be the first GenX article I’ve read that doesn’t refer to our super duper secret society.

    I’d have loved for Pew to ask us what we think about Boomers. Seemingly, Boomers conducted the research, so I’m not surprised that question wasn’t asked.

    Reply
    1. Jason2 weeks ago

      Well said!

      Reply
  26. slk5 months ago

    who bought all those houses, they couldn’t afford??? and you say, they’re not being mentioned!!! thank you x!!!

    Reply
    1. Christopher Rose4 months ago

      Try boomers.

      Reply
  27. George Purcell5 months ago

    Gen-X is a 20 year generation if you (properly) assign the 1961-1964 cohorts to the group.

    Reply
    1. Albert Lazaro Vargas2 months ago

      I’m not so sure those born 61-64 can properly identify with Gen X. My bother was born during that period and he absolutely cannot relate to my experiences growing up. He is most definietly a par of the tail-end of the Boomer generation, but even then there is a world of difference between us

      Reply
  28. jen5 months ago

    This is so boring and says the same thing I’ve been reading about Generation X for a dozen years. I wish Pew would publish some real research about Generation X…

    Reply
  29. trevor5 months ago

    clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am stuck in the middle.

    Reply
    1. Eden millecchia4 months ago

      Exactly.

      Reply
    2. Palopalito4 months ago

      Thank you, do you know how the Nintendo generation is called?

      Reply
    3. BC4 months ago

      Haha

      Reply
  30. Sinnathamby5 months ago

    The social gap between generX and Millenial is narrowing in the present contacts. While social gap between Boomer and the two other younger group is widening bigger than ever.

    Reply
    1. Bob5 months ago

      It’s never easy to share thoughts and experiences to a younger generation if they are not willing to use their minds instead of a cell phone. Communicating is always a
      challenge.

      Reply
    2. JES34 months ago

      I’d have to agree with you on this one, considering I married a Millenial and it’s a great marriage……and several of my prior relationships were with Boomers, whom I’m glad I never married.

      Reply
  31. Comment5 months ago

    Jon Miller at the Longitudinal Study of American Youth at the University of Michigan wrote that “Generation X refers to adults born between 1961 and 1981″ and it “includes 84 million people” in the U.S

    Reply
    1. Comment5 months ago

      Here is the link for the Miller report lsay.org/GenX_Rept_Iss1.pdf

      Reply
  32. Comment5 months ago

    In a 2012 article for the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, George Masnick wrote that the “Census counted 82.1 million” Gen Xers in the U.S. The Harvard Center uses 1965 to 1984 to define Gen X so that Boomers, Xers and Millennials “cover equal 20-year age spans”.[14] Masnick concluded that immigration has filled in any birth year deficits during low fertility years of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

    Reply
    1. Comment5 months ago

      Here is the link for the Masnick / Harvard Housing Center article:

      housingperspectives.blogspot.com…

      Reply
    2. George Purcell5 months ago

      Straus and Howe 1961-81 is still the best measurement. Not sure where the Harvard Center got their range…and being so late to the analysis see absolutely no reason to accept it.

      Reply
      1. Comment5 months ago

        The author of this article Paul Taylor quotes Neil Howe on the back of his book too!

        Reply
  33. sara-dc5 months ago

    Growing up in the 80s, I was a ‘latchkey kid’. As tough as it was I think we had it much easier than kids nowadays w/their endless need for instant gratification & social media hype attacking them every second of their lives. Call us what you will, we’re independent, a bit skeptical but hopeful and hoping to make our world a better place. Our generation faced lots of divorced parents, thus, many of my friends and I waited until much later to marry (or are still single!) as we don’t want to have make same mistakes too many times. And who doesn’t LOVE 80s music? Wouldn’t change that for the world : )

    Reply
    1. Jason2 weeks ago

      Very well said!

      Reply
  34. Yvonne C. Hunnicutt5 months ago

    I’ve been saying this to anyone who listens. Biologically, I am the oldest but surely knows how it feels to be the middle…#genx

    Reply
  35. Melanie Notkin5 months ago

    Thank you for this. In fact, it’s exactly for this reason that I authored my second book, “OTHERHOOD: Modern Women Finding a New Kind of Happiness” (March 2014 – Seal Press/Penguin Canada). OTHERHOOD is the story of the women of Generation X who expected the social, economic and political equality our Baby Boomer mothers were not born with, as well as eventually find the husband and children they did have. But as Pew Research knows well, Generation X is getting married and having children later than generations before. There are assumptions made that the women are all childfree by choice, but the data shows we are no less yearning for motherhood than our mothers were. Some define us as “career women,” choosing work over love, marriage and motherhood. And yet, we must work in order to pay the rent. Even the majority of married mothers work today. And there are no so-called “career men” after all. The list of myths goes on and on… and yet among this generation of the most well-educated and financially independent women America has ever seen, many remain single and childless as we collectively head toward the end of our fertility. I’ve dubbed this misunderstood and often unacknowledged generation of women: Otherhood.

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  36. Stealers Wheel5 months ago

    ‘Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right – here I am, stuck in the middle with you…’
    And I wonder what the hell I should do…

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    1. Aaron5 months ago

      being part of early gen Y, Our group is much more open to previous generational popular culture and ideals than the ones of late gen Y and Z. Perhaps that’s due to my parents being late boomers or early Xer’s. At age 29, I feel much more a part of earlier generations identities. The Cell phone and social media in many ways actually drives gen Y apart because we interact with each other in an increasingly low face to face manner. I may be a special case being into retro culture, and not everybody in gen Y is tech savvy or a slave to technology of course. However, Gen Y’s embrace of technology may be its undoing in the social sense. The media perpetuates the in your face tech boom aimed at us as if we all think its grand when in reality a lot of us would rather have a more unplugged life closer to decades past. I feel like the 90’s was a healthy balance of tech and traditional culture and having lived through the decade and having been exited about the future of tech, I think presently, we are bombarded with too much crap. Perhaps it will all level off at some point and we’ll get sick of our plugged in life style but i doubt it.

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      1. Butterfly3 months ago

        I am truly in the middle being born 1971, Gen X’er I am! I have been amazed how our generation seems to be put down when in reality Gen X is the reason tech is so advanced; we built on/developed boomer’s computers, video games, tv’s (color), remote controls, microwave’s and other appliances. Most of All the hip hop culture….multicultural culture…I recall when this title came about; to us it was and is (to many I know) a badge of honor to be called X…due to the fact that being raised by boomers we built on their “Protest ideology”, Our protest through music (new genre’s created as well as dance), art (graffiti/ abstract etc.), clothing/hair styles, MTV, attitude (will not conform) all perceived as negative by the boomers and of course the Silent Gen. hence our label. Being brought up in the burb’s all of us were “Latchkey Kids” and it’s funny how that has molded most of us to have children later in life and we are so much more open with our children, we strive to have work/life balance if that means working third shift, part time, or flex schedules in order to be more involved and available to our pre-teens and teenagers. I found we did bare minimum in regards to education (many getting degrees in thirty’s and after) but have stressed importance of higher education with our children by explaining some of our mistakes. I have a 17, 13, and 4 year old and they are always on honor/merit roll, speak there minds, listen to 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s music mainly and dress similarly to how Gen X did (lol). My Mother (Boomer) lives with us and I have said several times “I never expected you to be such a grandmother grandmother” she has and that means to her I am doing everything wrong and I say “you boomers did such a great job at raising X’ers that now you guys want to micro-manage, it’s a bit too late”. With that being said GENERATION X is actually a strong, resourceful, creative, social, diverse, blessed crew

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        1. MJ3 months ago

          I was born in 1973 and I agree with you 100%

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        2. Jason2 weeks ago

          Born 73 myself. Your right on with your comments. We look at Boomers as the tail end of the last great generation, our parents. Then had to let go of the tail and raise ourselves because of divorce, alcoholism, experimenting with dip, smokes, beer, pot, then rock on to whatever. We were in a total experimental time between our parents and what we wanted to rebel against and have the RESPECT with them, as I did, but then clearly made it certain that parental conformity was not going to happen..HAHAHAHA….GOD do I love and respect my parents more and more everyday. If only we would have not been on the EXPERIMENTEL QUEST FOR X! But, we are the silent ones for sure!

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