What Is Generation X?


Quick Answer

Generation X refers to Americans who were born between 1965 and 1980. The population of this generation is approximately 50 million as of 2015. Typically, members of Generation X are considered better educated than the previous generation.

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Members of Generation X are spread out in terms of wealth and income. Overall, they are individualistic, technologically adept and flexible. They came of age during an era of soaring divorce rates and slowing economy. During this period, fertility rates declined, as women were entering the workforce in great numbers. In addition, organizations that once protected children no longer seemed to work in the 1960s and 1970s, so the members of Generation X became typically self-sufficient and resourceful.

Typical members of Generation X are comfortable using computers, cellphones and email. Many members of Generation X lived through the economic recession of 1980s and watched their parents lose jobs. As a result, they may be less likely to commit to one employer and more willing to switch jobs to get ahead. While baby boomers focused on their inner lives, members of Generation X usually focused on bottom-line outcomes.

They learned that they could not trust institutions and older people to look out for their best interests. Rather, they had to trust their own instincts. Generation X is tolerant of alternative lifestyles and eager to learn new skills. The members of Generation X appreciate fun in the workplace, and they resent being micro-managed.

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