Fast Company

Examining Generation X: Stats, Demographics, Segments, Predictions

Sergey Brin, Quentin Tarantino and Jon Stewart are among many Gen X luminaries pushing the limits, re-shaping corporate culture, re-thinking film and revolutionizing comedy. They are accelerating the speed of life and “keeping America from sucking,” writesJeff Gordinier, author of X Saves the World: How Generation X Got the Shaft But Can Still Keep Everything From Sucking. Generation X is an estimated 50 million strong. Most demographers agree that GenXers were born between 1964 and 1984 — putting them between the ages of 26 and 46. This generation is often referred to as “baby busters,” as they are attributed to a rapid decline in birth rates after the Baby Boomers. Moreover, Gen X is a highly educated and sophisticated group — with more than 60% of the population having attended higher education institutions. Defining Characteristics Each generation is defined by diverse subsets rather than a single attribute. By defining these diverse characteristics of Gen X, we are not pigeon-holing them as just pragmatic or just forward-thinkers. Instead, we are exploring the diversity of a generation that has helped shape business, culture and technology.As TwentySomething’s David Morrison writes, “my birthgroup would be hard pressed to fit on a single couch due to its sheer magnitude and unprecedented diversity.” Pragmatics Pragmatics are considered the byproduct of the Information Age — where data and a practical approach are essential ingredients to achieve results. Because Pragmatics understand the intricacies of media and marketing, they are sometimes considered cynical (however, not without an underlying optimism, notes Morrison). Thrillers Thrillers are about speed. They contributed to the rise in thrill-junky sports, such as skateboarding, skateboarding and skydiving. The X-Games, born from the Gen X grass-roots movement, has created a lasting impact on sports — with the Olympic’s adopting snowboarding as a legitimate sport. Disenfranchised Jeff Gordinier, 41, a disenfranchised...

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