Generations defined: where millennials end and generation Z begins (2023)

For decades, the Pew Research Center has been dedicated to measuring public attitudes on key issues and documenting differences in attitudes across demographic groups. A lens often used by Center researchers to understand these differences is that of generation.

Generations offer an opportunity to look at Americans both for their place in the life cycle, whether as a young adult, middle-aged parent, or retiree, and for belonging to a group of people born at a similar time.

how we examinepast workGenerational cohorts provide researchers with a tool to analyze changes in attitudes over time. They can provide a way to understand how different formative experiences (such as world events and technological, economic, and social changes) interact with the life cycle and aging process to shape people's worldviews. While young adults and older adults may have different opinions at any given time, generational cohorts allow researchers to examine how today's older adults thought about a particular issue when they were young themselves and to describe how attitudes evolved over time. over time through generations.

The Pew Research Center studied itmillennial generationformore than a decade.But in 2018, we realized it was time to draw a line between millennials and the next generation. The oldest millennials will turn 38 this yearwell into adulthood, and entered adulthood before today's young adults were even born.

To keep millennials analytically significant and to begin looking at what might be unique in the next cohort, the Pew Research Center decided a year ago to use 1996 as the last birth year for millennials for our future work. Anyone born between 1981 and 1996 (ages 23-38 in 2019) is considered a millennial generation, and anyone born after 1997 is part of a new generation.

With the oldest of this emerging generation turning 22 this year and most still in their teens or earlier, we were hesitant to name them at first:Generation Z, iGeneration and Homelanders were some of the first competitors. (In ourfirst look closerIn this generation, we use the term “post-millennials” as a catchall.) But in the past year, Generation Z has found a foothold in popular culture and journalism. The sources range fromMerriam Webstermioxfordfor himurban dictionaryNow go for that name for the post-millennial generation, and Google Trends data shows that "Gen Z" far outpaces other names for information search. While there's no scientific process for deciding when a name stuck, the momentum is clearly behind Generation Z.

(Video) Generation Comparison (1901-2024)

Generational boundaries are not an exact science. They should be viewed primarily as tools that enable the types of analysis described above. But its limits are not arbitrary. Generations are usually viewed in terms of their period, but again, there is no agreed formula for how long that period should be. At 16 years old (1981 to 1996), our working definition of Millennials matches the age group of their previous generation, Generation X (born between 1965 and 1980). By that definition, both are younger than the baby boomer range (19 years old), the only officiallyFrom US called Census Bureau, based on the famous post-World War II rise in births in 1946 and a significant decline in birth rates after 1964.

Unlike the boomers, there are no comparatively clear boundaries defining the boundaries of future generations. But for analytical purposes, we believe that 1996 represents a significant boundary between Millennials and Generation Z for a number of reasons, including the key political, economic, and social factors that define the formative years of Millennials.

Most millennials were between the ages of 5 and 20 when the 9/11 terrorist attacks rocked the country, and many were old enough to understand it.historical significancefrom that time, while most members of Generation Z have little to no recollection of the event. Millennials also grew up in the shadow of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which sharpened the parties' broader vision and contributed to the intense political polarization that characterizes today's political environment. And most millennials were between the ages of 12 and 27 at the 2008 election, when the power of the youth vote became part of the political debate and helped elect the first black president. Add to that the fact that millennials are the most racially and ethnically diverse generation of adults in the nation's history. neither himnextThe Generation – Generation Z – iseven more diverse.

Politics aside, most millennials came of age and entered the workforce at the height of an economic downturn. How iswell documentedMany of millennials' life choices, future incomes, and entering adulthood have been shaped by this recession in ways that may not be the case for their younger peers. The long-term impact of this “slow start” on millennials will factor into American society for decades to come.

Technology, particularly the rapidly evolving way people communicate and interact, is another generation-defining consideration. The baby boomers grew up with the spectacular expansion of television, fundamentally changing their way of life and their connection to the world. Generation X grew up with the computer revolution, and millennials came of age during the Internet explosion.

What's unique about this development for Gen Z is that all of the above has been a part of their lives from the very beginning. The iPhone was released in 2007, when the oldest members of Generation Z were 10 years old. As teenagers, young Americans primarily connected to the Internet through mobile devices, Wi-Fi, and cellular broadband service. Social networking, constant connectivity, and on-demand entertainment and communication are innovations that millennials have adapted to as they age. Those born after 1996 are widely accepted.

(Video) Generations X, Y, and Z: Which One Are You?

The implications of growing up in an "always on" technology environment are only now coming into focus. Recent research has shown dramatic changes in adolescent behavior, attitudes, and lifestyles, both positive and concerning, for those who come of age during this time. What we don't know is whether these are lasting generational marks or traits of adolescence that fade throughout adulthood. It will be of great importance to accompany this new generation over time.

The Pew Research Center is not the first to draw an analytical line between millennials and the next generation, and many have made a well-reasoned case for drawing that line a few years before or after ours. As more data is collected over the years, perhaps a clear and unique distinction will emerge. We remain open to recalibrating if that is the case. However, historical, technological, behavioral, and attitudinal data are more likely to show a continuum across generations rather than a threshold. As in the past, this means that differences within generations can be as large as differences between generations, with younger and older people within a commonly defined cohort feeling more connected to adjacent generations than they ever were. previously designated. This is a reminder that the generations themselves are inherently diverse and complex groups, not mere caricatures.

You'll soon see a series of reports and analyzes from the center that further expand our generational research portfolio. today we passeda reportFor the first time, it examines how members of Generation Z view some of the key social and political issues facing the nation today, and how their views compare with those of previous generations. Certainly, the views of this generation are not yet fully formed and can change significantly with age and the intervention of national and global events. Still, this initial glimpse provides some compelling clues as to how Generation Z will help shape the future political landscape.

In the coming weeks, we will publish demographic analyzes comparing millennials to previous generations at the same stage of their life cycle to see if millennial demographic, economic, and household dynamics continue to be different than their predecessors. In addition, we will develop our researchYouth use of technology.exploring the daily life, aspirations and pressures facing today's 13-17 year olds as they navigate adolescence.

Still, we remain cautious about what can be projected onto a generation, given its youth. Donald Trump may be the first US president Gen Z will meet when they turn 18, and just as the contrast between George W. Bush and Barack Obama shaped the political debate for millennials, the current political environment could have a similar impact on Generation Z. Attitudes and Engagement, but how this is still an issue. As important as today's news may seem, it is more than likely that the technologies, debates and events that will shape Generation Z are still unknown.

We hope to spend the next few years studying this generation as they move into adulthood. At all times, we will keep in mind that generations are aPrimaverathrough which to understand social change, rather than alabelthat oversimplify differences between groups.

(Video) What comes after Generation Z? Generations (and boomers), explained

Note: This is an update to a post originally published on March 1, 2018 to announce the adoption of the core year 1996 as the end point for millennial births.


generationsGeneration ZMillennialsbaby boomersgeneration comparisondemographic research

Generations defined: where millennials end and generation Z begins (4)

Michael Dimmock is president of the Pew Research Center.

(Video) Why Gen Z Is MUCH Different from Previous Generations


(Video) Millennials vs Generation Z - How Do They Compare & What's the Difference?


How are Millennials and Gen Z defined? ›

A Millennial is anyone born between 1980 and 1995. In the U.S., there are roughly 80 million Millennials. A member of Gen Z is anyone born between 1996 and the early-mid 2000s (end date can vary depending on source). In the U.S., there are approximately 90 million members of Gen Z, or “Gen Zers.”

What is the start and end of the millennial generation? ›

The Brookings Institution defines the millennial generation as people born from 1981 to 1996, as does Gallup, Federal Reserve Board, American Psychological Association, CBS, and ABC Australia. Australia's McCrindle Research uses 1980–1994 as Generation Y (millennial) birth years.

When did Gen Z start and end? ›

Gen Z: Gen Z is the newest generation, born between 1997 and 2012. They are currently between 9 and 24 years old (nearly 68 million in the U.S.) Gen A: Generation Alpha starts with children born in 2012 and will continue at least through 2025, maybe later (approximately 48 million people in the U.S.)

What are the 6 generations in order? ›

Generation Names
  • The Greatest Generation – born 1901-1924. ...
  • The Silent Generation – born 1925-1945. ...
  • The Baby Boomer Generation – born 1946-1964. ...
  • Generation X – born 1965-1979. ...
  • Millennials – born 1980-1994. ...
  • Generation Z – born 1995-2012. ...
  • Gen Alpha – born 2013 – 2025.

How are generations determined? ›

A generation refers to all of the people born and living at about the same time, regarded collectively. It can also be described as, "the average period, generally considered to be about 20–⁠30 years, during which children are born and grow up, become adults, and begin to have children."

What are the classification of generations? ›

Gen Z, iGen, or Centennials: Born approximately 1996 – 2015. Millennials or Gen Y: Born approximately 1977 – 1995. Generation X: Born approximately 1965 – 1976. Baby Boomers: Born approximately 1946 – 1964.

What is the Millennial or Gen Z timeline? ›

Generations defined by name, birth year, and ages in 2023
GenerationsBornCurrent Ages
Gen Z1997 – 201211 – 26
Millennials1981 – 199627 – 42
Gen X1965 – 198043 – 58
Boomers II (a/k/a Generation Jones)*1955 – 196459 – 68
3 more rows
Jan 19, 2023

When did the Millennial end? ›

If you were born between 1981 and 1996, you are a millennial. Anyone born after that is in a different generation.

What is the generation timeline? ›

Quick Context on Generational Definitions
GenerationAge range (years)Birth year range
Baby Boomers57-751946-1964
Gen X41-561965-1980
Gen Z9-241997-2012
2 more rows
May 7, 2021

When did Generation Z start? ›

Generation Z, also called Gen Z, zoomers, iGeneration, centennials, post-millennials, or Homelanders, term used to describe Americans born during the late 1990s and early 2000s.

What is Generation Z known for? ›

Generation Z characteristics are interesting and specific; Generation Z features avid gamers and music-goers, and they are known for being ever-present messaging, on the internet, on social networks, and on mobile systems—they are truly the “Digital-ites.” They tend to care about trends, but are also quick to research ...

What defines Generation Z? ›

What Is the Generation Z Age Range? Generational cohorts are defined by birth years rather than age, so the age range of Gen Z will continue to shift over time. Most sources agree that Gen Z begins around 1997 and ends around 2010, so as of 2020, the Generation Z age range is roughly between 10 and 23 years old.

What are the 7 generations? ›

Who do you think you are? Seven generations to choose from
  • The Greatest Generation (born 1901–1927)
  • The Silent Generation (born 1928–1945)
  • Baby Boomers (born 1946–1964)
  • Generation X (born 1965–1980)
  • Millennials (born 1981–1996)
  • Generation Z (born 1997–2012)
  • Generation Alpha (born 2013–2025)
Aug 9, 2018

How many is 7 generations? ›

Native American tribes hold dear the concept of seven generations planning, that the impact of decisions should be considered out seven generations into the future, about 150 years. The idea is that our decisions today should consider the potential benefits or harm that would be felt by seven future generations.

What is the 5 generations rule? ›

This is the five-generation rule. “How a parent raises their child — the love they give, the values they teach, the emotional environment they offer, the education they provide — influences not only their children but the four generations to follow, either for good or evil.”

What is the current generation called? ›

More than 2.5 million are born globally every week. When they have all been born (2025) they will number almost 2 billion- the largest generation in the history of the world. Generation Alpha are defined as those born from 2010-2024.

What is the current generation? ›

Generation Alpha (Gen Alpha for short) is the demographic cohort succeeding Generation Z. Researchers and popular media use 2009 or the early 2010s as starting birth years and the early-to-mid 2020s as ending birth years (see Date and age range definitions).

Who decides what generations are called? ›

No official commission or group decides what each generation is called and when it starts and ends. Instead, different names and birth year cutoffs are proposed, and through a somewhat haphazard process a consensus slowly develops in the media and popular parlance.

What are the 8 living generations? ›

  • Defining Generation Names and Dates.
  • The Greatest Generation (GI Generation): Born 1901–1927.
  • The Silent Generation: Born 1928–1945.
  • Baby Boom Generation: Born 1946–1964.
  • Generation X: Born 1965–1980.
  • Millennial Generation or Generation Y: Born 1981–1996.
  • Generation Z or iGen: Born 1997–2010.
  • Generation Alpha: Born After 2000.
Jan 28, 2023

What is the rule of 4 generations? ›

According to this theory, an 80-year cycle is crucial, when every four generations is associated to a crisis that impacts the ongoing social order and creates a new one.

What are the 4 cycles of generations? ›

A generational cycle lasts 100 years (the length of a human life) and goes through four turnings, which occur every 20 years as all living generations enter a new life stage (childhood, young adulthood, midlife, elderhood). Every cycle ends with a Crisis (the fourth turning).

How are Gen Z different from other generations? ›

But Gen Zers are different from older generations, because they are the first consumers to have grown up wholly in the digital era. They're tech-savvy and mobile-first—and they have high standards for how they spend their time online.

What are millennial traits? ›

Born between 1981 and 1996, millennials are the largest living group at 83.1 million strong. They are tech savvy, care about more than just a paycheck, and are accustomed to having a voice and seat at the table. They're an optimistic group who love social media and want their jobs and encounters to have meaning.

What are the different types of Millennials? ›

Like Boomers, Millennials are a huge generation that we sometimes split into two subgroups: Early Millennials (born 1980-1987) and Recessionists (born 1988-1995). The fairly obvious element that divides these two groups is life stage.

Why are Millennials called Millennials? ›

Millennials are a demographic cohort or age group, also known as Generation Y. They're called millennials because they became adults around the time of the millennium.

What major events happened during the millennial generation? ›

Millennials were shaped by the Great Recession, 9/11, and the expansion of social media and the internet, according to Kasasa. Millennials recently beat the baby boomers in terms of population and currently stand as the largest generation, Pew states.

What is the difference between Millennials and Xennials? ›

According to Pew Research, members of Generation X were born between 1965 and 1980 and Millennials were born between 1981 and 1996. Xennials, though, were born some time between 1977 and 1983.

Why is the Silent Generation called that? ›

The term “Silent Generation” was first documented in a 1951 Time magazine article, which claimed that the most startling fact about this generation was its silence: “By comparison with the Flaming Youth of their fathers and mothers, today's younger generation is a still, small flame.” The generation's “silent” behavior ...

Is Generation Z and Millennials the same? ›

Generation Z was born between 1995 and 2012, whereas Millennials were born between 1981 and 1996. In 2019 the oldest Millennials turned 40, which means that they have been part of adult life for a while.

How long will Gen Z live? ›

Compared to the 70-year life expectancy of baby boomers and the 85-year life expectancy of Gen X, Gen Z is predicted to have a life expectancy of over 100 years. Major factors contributing to the same are improvements in the standard of living, medical progress, and health consciousness.

Why Gen Z is the best Gen? ›

Gen Z is known for being resourceful, independent learners who value diversity and inclusive culture and place a priority on well-being and mental health in the workplace. They are fiscally conservative with a keen focus on investing and income. Gen Z values justice and equity.

Why is Gen Z better than Millennial? ›

Generation Z has more conservative spending habits and is more focused on saving money than millennials were at their age. Gen Z tends to be interested in purchases that provide the maximum amount of value for their money, while millennials are more focused on the buying experience.

What is the 7th generation rule? ›

The Seventh Generation Principle is based on an ancient Haudenosaunee (Iroquois)* philosophy that the decisions we make today should result in a sustainable world seven generations into the future.

How many generations are we? ›

Thanks to increased life spans, at least six distinct generations live side by side in the United States today.

What is the 7th generation quote? ›

The Constitution of the Iroquois Nation (The Great Binding Law) explains “seventh generation” philosophy as follows: “The thickness of your skin shall be seven spans — which is to say that you shall be proof against anger, offensive actions and criticism.

How far is 10 generations? ›

At the usually accepted value of four generations per century, ten generations would place the common ancestor only 250 years in the past, in the mid-18th century, suggesting a further search in records of that period for evidence pointing toward the relationship.

How many is 10 generations? ›

If we double the number of ancestors in each generation, 2 parents, 4 grandparents, and so on, we can see that by the time we are back 10 generations, we have the potential for 1024 ancestors.

How far back is 8 generations? ›

By eight generations, you would likely find your ethnicity your 6th great-grandparents about 200 Years ago. That would be around the early 1800s where many records cease to exist for your ancestors.

What is 5th generation theory? ›

The defining characteristic of the fifth generation of revolutionary theory has been the shift away from revolution considered as a discrete event, capable of being situated on a continuum between social and political change and correlated with the presence or absence of other pre-existing factors.

How many generations can you inherit? ›

You can't inherit more than half of an ancestor's DNA

At seven generations back, less than 1% of your DNA is likely to have come from any given ancestor.

How many generations can exist at once? ›

While 6 generations is rare, the Guinness Book of World Records states the most generations alive in a single family is seven.

How do you define millennial generation? ›

Anyone born between 1981 and 1996 (ages 23 to 38 in 2019) is considered a Millennial, and anyone born from 1997 onward is part of a new generation.

How do you define the concept of the Generation Z? ›

Generation Z (Gen Z) refers to the generation of Americans born from 1997 to 2012. The oldest members of Gen Z are starting their post-education years, with new careers and, possibly, families; the youngest are 10.

What defines Gen XY and Z? ›

Generation X is anyone born from 1965 to 1980. Baby boomers are anyone born from 1946 to 1964. Millennials are anyone born from 1981 to 1996. Generation Z is anyone born from 1997 to 2012.

How do you describe the Gen Z generation? ›

Pew Research recently defined Gen Z as anyone born 1997 onwards. Gen Z grew up with technology, the internet, and social media, which sometimes causes them to be stereotyped as tech-addicted, anti-social, or “social justice warriors.”

What is the best definition of generation? ›

: a body of living beings constituting a single step in the line of descent from an ancestor. : a group of individuals born and living contemporaneously. : the average span of time between the birth of parents and that of their offspring.

What are the 5 characteristics of millennials? ›

Five Characteristics of Millennials in the Workplace
  • Millennials are technologically savvy and connected. ...
  • Millennials are transparent. ...
  • Millennials value straightforward management and recognition. ...
  • Millennials desire diverse work and collaboration.
Sep 18, 2022

What will millennials be known for? ›

Characteristics of the millennial generation
  • Values meaningful motivation. ...
  • Challenges hierarchical status quo. ...
  • Places importance on relationships with superiors. ...
  • Intuitive knowledge of technology. ...
  • Open and adaptive to change. ...
  • Places importance on tasks rather than time. ...
  • Passion for learning.
Aug 8, 2022

What years are Gen Z and millennials? ›

Generations defined by name, birth year, and ages in 2023
GenerationsBornCurrent Ages
Gen Z1997 – 201211 – 26
Millennials1981 – 199627 – 42
Gen X1965 – 198043 – 58
Boomers II (a/k/a Generation Jones)*1955 – 196459 – 68
3 more rows
Jan 19, 2023

Why is Generation Y called that? ›

The Millennial Generation is also known as Generation Y, because it comes after Generation X — those people between the early 1960s and the 1980s. The publication Ad Age was one of the first to coin the term "Generation Y," in an editorial in August 1993.

What are Generation Y called? ›


The revolution was shaped by the millennials or generation Y. Also known as digital natives, millennials are those born between 1982 and 1994 and technology is part of their everyday lives: all their activities are mediated by a screen.

What is the best description of Gen Z? ›

Gen Z are the generation after millennials, and before Gen Alpha, so roughly speaking, they're born between the mid 1990s and early 2010s. They're the first generation of “digital natives”, never knowing a world without the internet.


1. Working with Millennials and Generation Z: A new beginning or the beginning of the end
2. What are Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X and Boomers | Who, What and Why of Generational Research
(Arpit Raj)
3. Too Young for Millennials, Too Old for Gen Z
4. The Truth About Generation X
5. What do we know about the generation after millennials? | Jason Dorsey | TEDxHouston
(TEDx Talks)
6. Why The Millennial v. Gen Z War Should End
(The Take)


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