It’s believed that there are seven living generations of Americans. Let’s take a look at each generation, how they are defined and what they’ve experienced in their lives.
1. The “Greatest Generation” – Born in 1924 or earlier
It’s believed that the oldest living person in the United States is 114 years old. This person was born in 1904 which makes them a part of the oldest generation living today; the Greatest Generation.
These people born in 1924 or earlier would be at least 94 years old. They could be your parents, grandparents, great grandparents or maybe even a person’s 2nd/3rd great-grandparents.
These people have seen a lot in their lives.
- The Great Depression
- Fighting in World War II…. maybe even World War I
- Women winning the right to vote
- The sinking of the Titanic
- Arizona, New Mexico, and Oklahoma becoming states
They are known as the “Greatest Generation” because of their perseverance through difficult times as a testament to their extraordinary character.
2. The “Silent Generation” – Born 1925-1945
The term “Silent Generation” comes from this generation’s focus on careers over activism. As young adults during the McCarthy Era (sometimes known as the Second Red Scare/rise of Communism), many members of the Silent Generation felt it was dangerous to speak out.
Like the generation before them, these people have seen a lot in their lives.
- The Great Depression
- The threat of nuclear war with Russia and Cuba
- Fighting in the Korean War
- The invention of the analog computer
3. Baby Boomers – Born 1946-1964
After the end of World War II, the United States was thriving economically. The soldiers were home from war and it was time to move on with their lives. It’s estimated that 76 million births occurred during this generation which is how the term “baby boom” came to be.
The baby boomer generation makes up a substantial portion of the world’s population and represents nearly 20% of the American public.
- Korean and Vietnam War
- Civil Rights Movement
- The Cold War
- Alaska and Hawaii becoming states
4. Generation X – Born 1965-1980
- Death of John F Kennedy
- Man Landing on the Moon
- The beginning of video games
5. Millennials (Generation Y) – Born 1981-1997
Millennials catch a lot of slack from previous generations for their perceived sense of entitlement and lack of ambitions.
Is it true? Studies agree to disagree on the matter and we aren’t weighing in with an opinion. However, this generation has seen drastic changes in technology and the way of life.
- The Y2K scare
- The Internet as we know it today
- September 11th and the War on Terrorism
6. Generation Z (Post-Millennials) – Born 1998-2005
Generation Z is defined as people born from 1998 to the early 2000s and make up 25% of the U.S. population which makes then a larger generation than the Baby Boomers or Millennials.
It’s said they are more optimistic, embrace diversity and have had more freedoms than the generations before them.
- Online schooling from kindergarten through college
- The explosion of social media
7. Generation Alpa – Born 2005 to present day
The youngest generation alive today is known as Generation Alpha. The oldest people in this generation are barely coming into adulthood and have long lives ahead of them full of opportunities and emerging technologies.
- First African-American President
- Virtual Reality is now available for consumer use
- Self-driving cars
What do you think about each of these generations and what they’ve experienced in their lives? Do you have a friend or family member alive from each of the seven living generations? Get their stories preserved for the future generations!