Millennials, Gen Xers and Boomers, oh my!

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by Dan Lucas

I’ve recently run across the term Millennials several times. It sounds a bit like a category of flowers, but it was being used to refer to a group of people. Curious, I did a quick check on Wikipedia and found that it’s the term for what I’d been ignorantly referring to as “younger people.”

The problem with terms like “younger people,” of course, is that over time those same individuals move out of that category. This I know from personal experience. Hence the value of a label that will follow those individuals as they move through time.

Apparently, the term Millennials has been around for a while, but I’ve somehow missed it. In case there’s anyone else operating under the same generational label ignorance that I was, here’s a handy table to help you navigate these treacherous labeling waters.

Generation labels table

I haven’t found yet what the generation following the Millennials will be called.

One final note I found that was interesting – Baby Boomers is a term that’s actually used and defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. It’s unclear when other generational labels will receive official recognition – Millennials isn’t even recognized by Microsoft Word spell check yet.

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