Who are baby boomers, Gen X, millennials and Gen Z?

Tastes and habits may vary from person to person, but every cohort has its calling cards

baby boomer moon landing


Born: 1946-1964
Fun fact: Women had an average of 3.7 kids during the baby boom period
Watched: The moon landing
What’s for dinner? Meatloaf
Brag about: Electing Pierre Trudeau; getting a great deal on their cable TV package
Worst fear: Change
Voice of the generation: John Lennon

gen x fall of the berlin wallGen X

Born: 1965-1980
Fun fact: In debt in Canada to the tune of $767 billion; the most, collectively, of any generation
Watched: The fall of the Berlin Wall
What’s for dinner? Microwave pizza
Brag about: Making the perfect mixtape
Worst fear: Being conflated with baby boomers
Voice of the generation: Kurt Cobain

9/11 millennialsMillennials (or Gen Y)

Born: 1981-1996
Fun fact: The most highly educated generation in Canada’s history
Watched: 9/11
What’s for dinner? Anything artisan or farm-to-table
Brag about: Not using a filter on Instagram (#nofilter)
Worst fear: Never being able to afford a home
Voice of the generation: Lena Dunham

greta thunberg gen zGen Z

Born: 1997-2012
Fun fact: On track to reach 32 per cent of the global population by 2020—2.5 billion of them—surpassing the number of millennials
Watched: Donald Trump elected president of the United States
What’s for dinner? Plant-based burgers
Brag about: Perfecting that dance move from Fortnite in real life
Worst fear: The world burning or flooding (or both)
Voice of the generation: Greta Thunberg

What comes next?

Futurists are now talking about Generation Alpha: an entire generation of people who have never lived without a tablet or smartphone to distract them. Here’s more on that.

Sources: Bloomberg, Statistics Canada, TransUnion Canada. all dates sourced from Pew Research Center.

This article is from the February 2020 issue of Maclean’s magazine, which has two different covers. Here’s why.

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