Will Somebody Please Definitively Define The Generations?

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I’ve often referred to Boomers and Gen Yers in my blog posts without defining exactly who I’m talking about. I use the definitions that Forrester Research has used for the past few years: Gen Yers are born between 1975-1990, Gen Xers 1964-1974, Boomers 1946-1963, and Seniors pre-1946.

And although I thought that the Millennials were born after 1990, more and more I’m seeing the terms Gen Y and Millennial used interchangeably.

I didn’t consider this blogworthy until I saw the Nov/Dec 2007 issue of BAI Banking Strategies magazine. An article titled Banking on the Future with Generation Y shows data from Javelin Research that contains the following note:

Baby boomers defined as people born between 1945 and 1965, Generation X between 1961 and 1981 and Generation Y between 1979 and 1999.”

Not only are these dates radically different from what I’ve used in the past, there’s a huge overlap! According to Javelin, if you were born between 1961 and 1965, then you are a Boomer and a Gen Xer. Born between 1979 and 1981? Then you’re an XYer (which genetically makes you a ….never mind).

This isn’t inconsequential. Of about 110 million households in the US, about 14 million would be classified as BoomerXers, and 5 million XYers.

We need a standard definition. Who’s in charge of this stuff?

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