Generation X vs. Generation Y

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Difference between Generation X and Generation Y

Generation X and generation Y are two categories of people that are defined according to the idea that different generations can be separated from one another according to when they were born and to the cultural influences that have shaped them. This idea posits that certain defining moments can define the people who are born at the same time or just after their occurrence. It is also closely associated with the idea that entire generations of people can tend to share certain attitudes and ideas and that they can influence the following generations. It has been suggested, for example that there are certain types of generations, which occur in turn following a cycle.


Generations can be classified in different ways so there is no definitive date range within which members of generations X and Y must have been born. It is also important to remember that generations can be defined in different ways in different cultures and parts of the world. This is because the boundaries between generations are often defined by important cultural moments, which will differ between societies.

As a general rule, generation X is typically defined as the generation born during the 1960s and 1970s, although it may include people born during the first years of the 1980s, up until about 1982. Generation X is sometimes referred to as the MTV generation.

Generation Y is the generation that followed generation X. The people who make up generation Y were usually born during the 1980s and 1990s, although some definitions include those born during the late 1970s and/or the early 2000s. Generation Y coincides with an increase in the birth rate that is known as the baby boom echo, since many of them are the children of baby boomers. Generation Y may also be known as the Net Generation, Generation Next or the Millennial Generation.

The Millennium

The members of generation Y are sometimes known as Millennials. This generation is often associated with the new millennium that was entered at the start of the 21st century. The turn of the century is often considered to be a defining cultural moment. The lead up to it was a defining aspect of the childhood of generation Y, and the year 2000 is often considered to be the end of generation Y and the beginning of the next generation. The war on terrorism and the attacks in the US on September 11th 2001 have also become important factors shaping the definition of generation Y and the beginning of their adulthood.

Defining moments for generation X have included the cold war and the introduction of new technologies that the following generation would take for granted.

The Internet

Technology is one of the key differentiating factors between generations X and Y. The members of generation Y are typically very familiar with technology and they have been influenced a great deal during their developmental years by the rise of computing and the internet. Although members of generation X are also likely to use technology, they have not grown up with it in the same way as the members of generation Y.

Similarities and Differences

Generation X and generation Y are the names given to two successive generations that may be defined according to their different birthdates or to the cultural moments and forces that have shaped them during their youth.

  • Generation X was born in the 1960s and 1970s.
  • Generation Y was born in the 1980s and 1990s.
  • Generation Y has grown up with technology such as the Internet that members of generation X often encountered only in adulthood.
  • The year 2000 and the buildup to the turn of the century was a defining aspect of the childhood of generation Y.

Which generation has the most toys?
  • Generation X
  • Generation Y

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