What the Heck is the Difference Between a Baby Boomer, a Gen X and a Millennial?

babyboomergenxmillenial

Do you know the difference between a Baby Boomer, a Gen X, and a Millennial?

I didn’t. I wasn’t sure when each generation started and ended, so I did some research. It was pretty interesting and nostalgic.

The weird thing is there are no firm definitions of any of the groups, but what follows seems to be the consensus.

I also listed the movies, TV shows and music popular during these generations, although there are many choices that are popular with all three generations.

Enjoy!

BABY BOOMER

Baby Boomers were born after World War II between the years 1946 – 1964. I just made it into this group. Those born in the first half (1946 – 1955) were the earth-shakers, the “me” generations, hippies, and yuppies. Radically different from their parents, Baby Boomers started rock n roll, civil rights, sex, drugs, peace, and love; a revolution from their parent’s generation, culturally as well as physically with their long hair and new fashions.

Baby Boomers are 50 – 68 years old, as of 2014 and total approximately 76 million people.

Per the Oxford English Dictionary, the first use of “Baby Boomer” is from 1941 in an article in Life (“Whatever the reasons, the U.S. baby boom is bad news for Hitler”).

You can learn a lot about a generation by their movies, TV shows and music. I highlight some of top from each category for all three generations.

BABY BOOMER MOVIES

The Graduate
Dr. No
Field of Dreams
Easy Rider
2001 Space Odyssey
Rebel Without a Cause
Jaws
Star Wars
Godfather 1&2
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
American Graffiti
Apocalypse Now
The Big Chill
Animal House
Saturday Night Fever
Love Story
Kramer vs Kramer
All the President’s Men
Platoon
Coming Home
The Deer Hunter
Network
Annie Hall
Midnight Express
Close Encounters of the Third Kind

BABY BOOMER TV SHOWS

Perry Mason
Gunsmoke
Bonanza
Wagon Train
Rawhide
Dick Van Dyke
Candid Camera
Ed Sullivan
Laugh-In
Happy Days
Brady Bunch
All in the Family
Waltons
Mary Tyler Moore
M*A*S*H
Dallas
Charlie’s Angels
I Love Lucy
Honeymooners
Leave it to Beaver
Twilight Zone
American Bandstand
Andy Griffith
Taxi
Mickey Mouse Club

BABY BOOMER MUSIC

Elvis
Beatles
Rolling Stones
Jimi Hendrix
Who
Eagles
Elton John
Led Zeppelin
Motown
Creedance Clearwater Rivival

GENERATION X

Generation X – a much cooler name – was the generation for people born between the years 1965 – 1984 and represents about 82 million people in the U.S.

The phrase Generation X was made popular in the 1991 novel, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture, and described young adults during the late 80’s and their culture/lifestyle. They are also known as the MTV generation.

While not dramatically different than Baby Boomers, Gen-Xers popularized watching music rather than just listening to it. Video games and computers became more prevalent. Many types of music were popular for this generation including; new wave, punk, electronic, metal, alternative, grunge, rap, and hip hop.

GENERATION X MOVIES

Suburbia
River’s Edge
Boyz n the Hood
Singles
Breakfast Club
Swingers
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Office Space
Say Anything
Reservoir Dogs
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Fight Club
Back to the Future
ET
Karate Kid
Sixteen Candles
Beverly Hills Cop
Lethal Weapon
Ghostbusters
Goonies
Top Gun
Risky Business
Raiders of the Lost Ark

GENERATION X TV SHOWS

Law & Order
Simpsons
Family Guy
Friends
Sex and the City
X Files
Seinfeld
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Full House
ER
Beverly Hills 90210
Sopranos
Ally McBeal

GENERATION X MUSIC

Michael Jackson
Pearl Jam
Madonna
Nirvana
RHCP
Metallica
Guns and Roses
Prince
Police
Van Halen
U2
REM
Tupac
OUtkast
Dr Dre
Beastie Boys

MILLENNIALS

Millennials, also known as Generation Y, were born from 1985 and on. If the trend of having each generation span about 20 years then the Millennial timeframe may have ended already. Millennials account for about 80 million people in the U.S.

The generation gap between Baby Boomers and Millennials has spread. Much has changed and Millennials have grown up using technology their whole lives and frequently communicate with people electronically.

The era of going to college and making a career and staying at one company until retirement is likely over. Millennials will need to invent creative ways to make career choices and earn a living. Freelancing and entrepreneurship are becoming more popular

The name Millennials has been attributed to authors William Strauss and Neil Howe from their book Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation, linking them to the millennial year 2000.

MILLENNIAL MOVIES

Lord of the Rings
Jurassic Park
Harry Potter
Toy Story
Pirates of the Caribbean
Batman
Transformers
Social Network
Countless Disney/Pixar movies like Shrek, Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Cars, Finding Nemo

MILLENNIAL TV SHOWS

30 Rock
Lost
24
The Office
Mad Men
How I Met Your Mother
Dexter
Modern Family
Entourage
House M.D.
Breaking Bad
Big Bang Theory
Grey’s Anatomy
Bones
Game of Thrones
Sherlock
Doctor Who

MILLENNIAL MUSIC

Eminem
Britney Spears
Coldplay
Beyonce
Pink
Jay Z
Kanye West
Rihanna
Usher
Justin Timberlake
Taylor Swift
Christina Aguilera
Lady Gaga
Katy Perry

Please do me a favor and comment if I missed a movie, tv show or musical artist from your generation that you think belongs listed.

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