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Difference Between Gen X And Gen Y

The different ways that people do things, respond to situations, and address them can be traced down to generational differences. In recent years, the issue of generational distinctions has risen bringing to the limelight the existence of names most people never knew of. As such, most people still would not tell what’s meant by Gen Y, Gen X, or Baby Boomers, or Millennials.

On the same note, the two most confused generations are Gen X and Gen Y. To separate the two, this post sought to find out the distinct features that set apart Gen X from Gen Y. This will be through their definitions, shaping events, the origin of the terms, and other factors.


Meaning of Gen X

Gen X is also referred to as Generation X in full and refers to a section of the population that was born somewhere between the early 1960s and 1979. As of now, the group is in the range of 40 – 54 years old and some are the parents of the millennials group.

Generation X is the demographic cohort that follows Baby Boomers. Most are the off-springs of the Baby Boomers generation too. Gen X also precedes Generation Y and was the victim of a widespread change in societal values. It is also regarded as more self-sufficient and independent that its successor.

The generation was also referred to as the “Latchkey Generation” back in the days. The name came up as a result of the massive reduction in parenting that the generation faced as they grew up. They also went through increased divorce cases, less parental supervision and increased childcare options outside the home setup, and more maternal engagements in the labor market.

Meaning of Generation Y

The generation is also referred to as Millennials and is associated with a considerably charmed life. The generation was born by some older Gen Xers and Baby Boomers.

Since their parents, mostly Gen X had access to advanced birth control methods, the kids were generally wanted and nurtured well. Gen Y has also grown with more protection and shelter from their parents, older siblings, and the family at large. It is also the generation that generally looks at being independent at an early age and also value community.

The strong developments that are associated with Gen Y include heavy internet usage and advancement in technology. The generation is also more profoundly familiar with media, digital technologies, and advanced communications. Talk of social media, video, music, and TV streaming developments and the generation has had most of it as compared to its predecessors.


Difference Between Gen X and Y

The major differences between the two generations are as expounded below:

  1. Definition 

Gen X refers to the demographic cohort born between the early 1960s to around 1979 preceding Gen Y or Millennials. It’s the generation that followed Baby Boomers.

Gen Y, on the other hand, is the demographic cohort of people born between the early 1980s and 1994. The earliest individual was born in 1980 while the youngest was born in 1994, now at the ages of 38 and 24 years old respectively. Gen Y, also referred to as Millennials follows Gen X and precedes Gen Z.

  1. Shaping Events 

The shaping events associated with Gen X include the Cold War and the rise of heavy computing while Gen Y is associated with such events as the great recession, increased terrorism, and a heavy internet usage including social media.

  1. Cost Effectiveness

Regarding finances, Gen X is more concerned with generating revenue but are not doing so good at the cost efficiency scale while Gen Y is better at saving money they have earned and is a bit more concerned with finances in general.

  1. Management

When it comes to managerial roles, Gen X takes the mantle better than Gen Y for most individuals. They are good at bridging the gap between the younger and older generations, delegation, and assigning roles without raising any ire. The generation does not need much supervision either.

Gen Y, on the other hand, is affected by managerial difficulties. It’s mostly affected by social skills and age which crowd their judgment especially if they are in charge of older people.

  1. Technological Proficiency

Both generations have seen an expansion in technology but each at a particular stage of development. Gen Y, however, takes technology a notch higher and its proficiency is higher. Gen X, on the other hand, is inclined to technology in a lesser way and would spend a fraction of their time online compared to Gen Y.

Gen X Vs. Gen Y: Comparison Table


Summary of  Gen X Vs. Gen Y

Every generation is associated with different traits, shaping events, and its way of doing things. The way they interact with each other or people from older and younger generations would also point the generation one belongs to. Workplace and human resource managers would be the most affected dealing with a big group with all generations and would need to be more vigilant on what each needs.  


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  1. Second article I’ve seen stating the term Gen X was coined in 1950. Is this a misprint? 1950 was in the early stage of the baby boom, and I suspect people in that year had little more than a vague notion of what the world might be like in 1965. Was the term Gen X really conceived 15 years before it actually began?

  2. Was the term Gen X really coined in 1950? That was in the early stage of the baby boom, and I suspect people in that year had little more than a vague notion of what the world might be like in 1965.

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References :

[0]Image credit: https://pixabay.com/vectors/beard-forty-generation-x-glasses-2023914/

[1]Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/35884557@N00/3723292620

[2]"Generation X And Generation Y: What's The Difference?". Huffpost, 2019, https://www.huffingtonpost.com/quora/generation-x-and-generati_b_6672780.html.

[3]"The Difference Between Genx And Geny - Business.Com". Business.Com, 2019, https://www.business.com/articles/generations-divided-making-the-differences-between-gen-x-and-the-millennials-work-for-your-business/.

[4]"The Difference Between Genx And Geny - Business.Com". Business.Com, 2019, https://www.business.com/articles/generations-divided-making-the-differences-between-gen-x-and-the-millennials-work-for-your-business/.



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