ok, boomer: a concise guide to the generations living in early 21st century America

One thing lead to another and I ended up spending today making this infographic to help you know exactly when you will be annoying a Boomer by saying “ok, boomer” to them, and who you will be misgenerationing by saying that instead of “whatever, x’er”.

 

That’s a slightly truncated version of the chart I initially made; the first version goes all the way back to 1900, when the last few members of the Lost Generation was being born.

Here’s that first one; click for the full-sized version.

Originally I was going to have the “also known as” bits for every generation be something similar to “ok, boomer” but I decided to fill in those spaces with the many names people have proposed for the post-Baby Boom generations. And if you are wondering, there were not any other names for the Boomers that I left out; they are alone among living Americans in having exactly one name for their generation. Unless you count the “Generation Jones” name for the younger half.

Me, I’m smack in the middle of undisputably Bill And Ted’s Excellent Generation territory, unless you believe that one guy who says GenX is the disputed territory between Boomers and Xers, and that most of the rest of X is the Bust Generation. And my parents were both near the end of the undisputably Silent range.

I think the most interesting feature of this chart is how the multiple ranges for Jonesers all end in 1965, and the multiple ranges for the Oregon Trail generation all begin in 1977, quite neatly bookending the Indisputably GenX zone aside from one year of Jones overlap. That and the fact that there is a twelve year span of time between the earliest and latest start dates for GenY and only five years that are indisputably GenY; I already had the impression that the definition of GenX was a messy thing, but damn, y’all have us beat. Well done, kids. Well done.

 

  1. Neat charts, Peggy! Very clear, and goes to show how soft the generation definition gets. The Gen Z folks are really confused. I suspect it’s because there isn’t a defining population reset like the Greatest Generation and Silent Generation had to give a firm starting point.

    My parents were both in the Silent Generation, although Dad really wanted to be a Boomer. My sister and I are both smack in the middle of Gen X, although she’s got a bunch of the Millennial problems, like terrible job prospects and student debt.

    Myself, I’m thrilled to see a bunch of the good things the millennial are pushing for and am happy to stand behind them and support their good goals with my Gen X paycheck and resources. Screw the haters, you go kids!

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