Which generation are you? Age ranges from Gen Z to Baby Boomers explained

Which generation are you? Age ranges from Gen Z to Baby Boomers explained

Generation Z. Are they lazy? Are they doing the least amount of work and causing the most amount of fuss? Are they mocking you in their TikTok videos while developing a strange obsession with the Catholic faith?

They may or may not be guilty of all of these things but they are almost certainly the most written about generation ever – and not entirely scathingly either, with Suzannah Ramsdale coming to their defence in her recent Standard ed-op.

Stereotypes die hard and they may not be relevant forever, with the oldest among Gen Z now nearing their 30s, Millennials now well past their hapless early 20s image and Gen X – the Slacker generation – not far off retirement.

The generation we belong to has a huge power to shape our opinions and perspectives of the world and others around us.

Recent research showed a larger proportion of Gen Z men believed feminism was “harmful” as opposed to Baby Boomers, with an alarming 20 per cent of men aged 16-29 being behind the misogyny of Andrew Tate.

Generational differences even shape the way we talk. Gen Z slang has entered regular use in companies, from the likes of “career cushioning”, “act your wage”, “rage applying” and “grumpy staying”. Not forgetting that the word of the year in 2023 was “Rizz”.

While Gen Z seems to gain the most attention (and flack) these days, there is also a younger cohort that will no doubt dominate headlines when they start taking over social media.

So until Alphas (born from 2013) are of age, here’s all you need to know about the Zoomers, Gen Z and what is in store for future generations.

Billie Eilish is a famous member of Generation Z (PA)
Billie Eilish is a famous member of Generation Z (PA)

What is Gen Z?

The practice of grouping people within an age range is not new and a fresh band is created every 25 or so years in the Western world. The first group to have a title was the Lost Generation from 1883 to 1900, many of whom fought in the First World War.

Gen Zedders were born from 1997, when Tony Blair came to power and the Spice Girls were at their peak, until 2012, when London hosted the Olympics. Many of them are children of previous generations, such as Baby Boomers (born 1948 to 1964) or Generation X (born 1965 to 1980).

Unlike their predecessors, the Gen Z cohort has been born into a time when the internet was already relatively advanced. Members of Gen Z have been called “digital natives”.

They are also in a world where physical and mental healthcare is better understood and there are greater opportunities beyond social barriers.

Early studies have shown that the generation has lower rates of teen pregnancy and alcohol use. They have also been shown to be better at delaying gratification than older groups – however, are less likely to be able to afford to buy their own house.

What comes after Gen Z?

While some may say naming Gen Z with the last letter in the alphabet doesn’t instil much hope over what comes next for humanity, it turns out we go right back to the beginning.

Generation Alpha is a name that originated in 2008 and refers to children born from 2013 onwards. There is not yet a finishing point for this group, so a baby born in 2023 would be considered to be an Alpha.

It is this generation that could be most affected in their development by the Covid-19 pandemic and may be most affected by recent reported rises in screen-time use and obesity.

Selena Gomez is a Millennial (PA)
Selena Gomez is a Millennial (PA)

What is a Millennial?

Millennials were born between 1981 and 1996 – the name refers to the fact many came of age around the year 2000.

This was a group that has witnessed social values change, many have suggested their lives have become easier than those of previous generations. At the same time, many Millennials feel their financial opportunities and job prospects aren’t that promising. Many articles reveal that Millennials are worse off than their parents, a first in generational terms in recent history.

Younger Millennials in the UK also remember being the first to pay £9,000 a year for university tuition when the Tory-Lib Dem coalition abruptly hiked up fees in 2012.

While previous generations have documented a swing to the political right as they grow older, millennials seem to be breaking the political stereotype, and many have maintained liberal views.

Joe Biden is part of the Silent Generation (PA)
Joe Biden is part of the Silent Generation (PA)

How old are members of Gen Z this year?

The oldest in the Gen Z cohort will be 27 in 2024, while the youngest will turn 12.

What are the other generation age ranges?

  • Lost Generation – 1883-1900

  • Greatest Generation – 1901-1927

  • Silent Generation – 1928-1945

  • Baby Boomers – 1946-1964

  • Generation X – 1965-1980

  • Millennials – 1981-1996

  • Generation Z – 1997-2012

  • Generation Alpha – 2013-present