Here are some commonly accepted definitions of generations and who, or what, they represent:
The Greatest Generation: Born between about 1901 and 1924, they came of age during the Great Depression and many became World War II heroes. The term was coined by journalist Tom Brokaw.
The Silent Generation: Born between around 1925 and 1945, many fought in the Korean War, although some of the oldest served in World War II. They are considered disciplined, albeit cautious. Some say they’ve been misunderstood. It has been difficult for them to get noticed with such large generations before and after.
Baby Boom Generation: Born between 1946 and 1964, they have been blamed for many of society’s ills and lauded for some of its biggest advances, including equality for women and African-Americans. A powerful group, many were drafted or enlisted to serve during the Vietnam War.
Generation Jones (unofficial): Social commentator and author Jonathan Pontell coined the term in 2000. He believes the boomer generation should be split, and those born between 1954 and 1965 would become Jonesers. “Jonesing” is slang for craving or yearning, and Pontell says that is the core personality trait of this generation because of expectations that have gone unfulfilled.
Generation X: Born between 1965 and about 1980, they came of age in an era of two-income families. Better educated than the generations before, they often are regarded as disillusioned and cynical but have a work hard/play hard attitude. They have a better knowledge of technology than baby boomers as they grew up when computers began appearing in homes. They served in the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Generation Y or the Millennial Generation: Born in the early ’80s to early ’90s, they are technology-savvy and have been brought up with healthy life choices in mind. Urged to participate in sports during their childhood, they are team players. Some have struggled to find jobs because of the ailing economy. They have served in Iraq, Afghanistan and other hot spots.
Generation Z or the Internet Generation: Born in the early ’90s to about 2004, they may have a difficult time imagining a home without a computer and a pocket without a cellphone. Growing up with the Internet, they expect instant answers.
— Kim Hone-McMahan