These Are the 5 Different Generations, and What Each Represents

You've probably heard terms like "Gen Z" and "Millennial" thrown around all the time–but what exactly do they even mean?

Birth years are divided into generations. These are based on the social, economic, technological and global happenings the people born during set years collectively experienced that, in turn, help dictate traits and characteristics that define them.

Before you scroll below, keep in mind there's a newly recognized generation called Alpha, and that pertains to anyone born between 2010 – 2025. But it's too new to acknowledge their notable characteristics or contributions, so we're leaving it off the list until more information is available.

Generation Z: (1996 – 2009)

The first generation to not know what life was like before computers and cell phones, Generation Z (Gen Z) has had technology woven into their lives even as infants. Referred to as "Technoholics," Generation Z is globally focused, visually engaged, educationally transformed, and socially defined. It's the generation that will experiment go, but also has a hard time when things don't happen instantly because they don't have to wait for anything. It's also the era defined by a new wave of celebrity—digital influencers are set to overshadow traditional celebrities for this generation. 

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Millennials or Generation Y: (1980s to 2000s)

Unlike others, there is no set date to when this generation starts or ends. This generation experienced the most disruptive change out of any other generation thus far, thanks to the introduction of laptops, cell phones, and social media. They have unlimited access to information and tend to be assertive. They also marry, buy houses, and excel in their careers later in life than previous generations.

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Generation X: (1965 – 1980)

This generation is characterized by their street smarts, and has been referred to as the renaissance of entrepreneurship. They often grew up more isolated then other generations because of divorced or career-driven parents. Most born during this time remember being in school without computers and are commonly called the MTV Generation, thanks to the emergence of music videos.

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Baby Boomers: (1946 – 1964)

There was a big spike in births during this time period after World War II, and those born 1955 and earlier are called Leading Edge Boomers, while those born after are called Late Bloomers. This is the area of rock and roll, Elvis, Woodstock, the Beatles and Barbie! It was also the first generation of two-income households (where both people in a marriage worked) and the first generation to get divorced.

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The Silent Generation: (1924 – 1945)

Often referred to as the Builders, people who are born during these years came to age in a post-war happiness time. This was the prime era of jazz, Frank Sinatra, and Mickey Mouse, to name a few. This was pre-feminism, and although there were great artists and activists during the time (Martin Luther King, Jr., Andy Warhol and Jimi Hendrix), "the Silents" as they are referred to, focused on their careers over activism.

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Regardless of generation, everyone can use a little pampering. HERE are 11 little ways to practice self care.