Who are you?

As a business we are always looking ahead to try and identify trends so we can plan for them and also provide quality advice to our clients. I do a lot of reading about social demography trying to understand why people act the way they do.

Social demographers have applied labels to different groups in society depending on when they were born to help them understand what influences them. Although you hear the labels regularly, I’m sure most people don’t really know who they apply to so I thought I would give you a brief guide. The following dates slightly vary amongst demographers.

I have spoken regularly about Baby Boomers in this column. Baby Boomers are people born between 1946 and 1964 and the name refers to the post war era signified by high fertility rates, “a baby boom”. It is an incredibly large demographic and were seen as the most affluent, most well educated the world had ever seen at the time. The demographic is often broken down further because of the wide range of years.

Next comes Generation X. Born between 1965 and 1976. The introduction of the pill in the early 1960s led to lower fertility rates ending the baby boom. This coincided with a dramatic increase in divorce rates as “staying together for the sake of the children” was seen as less important. Many Generation X children were called “latchkey children” as they were left at home by themselves after school because their mothers increasingly entered the work force. This generation witnessed both a rise in double income and single parent families.

Generation Y, often also called Millenniums, is a very large demographic born between 1977 and 1994. They are more racially and ethnically diverse than previous demographics and they are a more sophisticated demographic due to the rise of technology during this period. They see technology and change as a normal part of life, as it is all they have ever known. They are hard to market to as they have so much variation in where they access their information from. They are also less brand loyal.

Generation Z, born 1995 onwards are a bit too early to call but look like they are Generation Y on steroids, which I find incredibly exciting and optimistic.

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