September 30, 2023

Here’s which generation you belong to based on your year of birth – and why those differences exist

Generation Z

Generation Z is known for using technology such as social media.Daniel de la Hoz/Getty Images

  • In 2019, Pew Research Foundation officially established a generation after millennials, Generation Z.

  • Generation Z includes anyone born between 1997 and 2012.

  • Defining generations allows researchers to see how coming of age during certain historical events and technological changes influence the way people see the world.

The only generation officially designated by the US Census Bureau is the baby boom generation.

But that hasn’t stopped demographers from classifying other cohorts into ranges of birth years. Often this is done to better understand how formative experiences, such as world events or technological changes, shape the way people see and interact with the world.

The newest addition to today’s workforce is Generation Z, born between 1997 and 2012. The generation was founded in 2019 by Pew Research Center, which determined that events such as the September 11 terrorist attacks and internet access created enough differences between Generation Z and millennials , born between 1981 and 1996, to form a new cohort.

Pew president Michael Dimock wrote that generations are better seen as a tool for understanding how perspectives and attitudes change — not strict categories that define who people are.

Older millennials and younger millennials probably think differently on a number of topics, but most were between the ages of 5 and 20 when the 9/11 terrorist attacks happened. That means those attacks and their aftermath loomed large as those people came of age. Meanwhile, most of Generation Z doesn’t remember the event at all.

The economic recession of 2008, which occurred at a time when many millennials were entering the job market, also played an important role. At the same time, Generation Z’s only experience with the workforce was through the eyes of their parents.

Technology — such as the creation of Facebook in 2004, Instagram in 2010, and TikTok in 2016 — has been a constant and steady force even before some members of Gen Z were born. This access to social and other digital platforms has enabled Gen Z to “see the physical and digital worlds as a seamless continuum of experiences that combine offline and online information for entertainment, commerce and communication,” according to Insider Intelligence.

Here’s how Pew currently officially categorizes generations by year of birth:

Silent: 1928-1945

Boomers: 1946-1964

Generation X: 1965-1980

Millennials: 1981-1996

Generation Z: 1997-2012

*Generation Alpha is not yet officially categorized as a generation, but is known as those born after 2012.

The number of birth years that comprise a generation can vary. Millennials span a 16-year range, according to Pew. The Gen X cohort was still a 16-year group, but the boomers had a 19-year range and the silent generation had an 18-year range.

Of course, choosing a closing year is complicated, as groups change over time.

“[T]The differences within generations can be just as great as the differences between generations, and the youngest and oldest within a commonly defined cohort may have more in common with adjacent generations than with the one to which they are assigned,” Dimock wrote.

Still, establishing a boundary point helps researchers explore how a group has been shaped by similar experiences.

Different parenting styles have contributed to the different values ​​and social expectations of the different cohorts. For example, the workplace is riddled with Gen Z’s recent push for work-life balance and an emphasis on mental health, which was ignited at the same time as the most senior Gen Zers entered the workforce amid the global pandemic. In addition, hobbies that became careers, such as “influencing” or creating content, did not exist when millennials entered the workforce, yet they are highly sought after opportunities for today’s youngest generations.

“We look forward to studying this generation in the coming years as it matures,” Dimock wrote of Generation Z, adding that it’s always possible that new data could give researchers a reason to reevaluate these generational boundaries. “All the while, we will keep in mind that generations one lens to understand social change, rather than a label making differences between groups too simple.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

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