Talking About My Generation

A survey asks adults to rename their generation: "Boomer" sticks, "millennial" doesn't.


Journalists like to use the terms baby boomers, greatest generation, and generations X and Y to make sweeping generalizations about large groups of people who may or may not have things in common other than their birth year.

In turns out that many baby boomers like their title, but every other generation would prefer a more descriptive name, according to a recent survey that asked 3,868 adults ages 21 to 83 to rename their own generation. Interestingly, the younger groups choose to define themselves according to the technology developed as they came of age, much as historians dubbed the Stone and Iron ages.

The top choices:

  • Gen Y (ages 13 to 31): Internet Generation
    • Gen X (ages 32 to 43): Generation Tech/Dot-Com Generation
      • Baby Boomers (ages 44 to 62): Baby Boomers/Self-Empowered Generation
        • Silent Generation (ages 62 to 83): Responsible Generation
        • Source: an online survey of 3,868 adults conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Charles Schwab and Age Wave, 2008

          Rejected choices include Green Generation, Millennials, Networked Generation, Forgotten Generation, Generation Next, Latchkey Generation, Woodstock Generation, Me Generation, Rock-and-Roll Generation, Pioneering Generation, Invisible Generation, and Transition Generation.

          Tell us, what should your generation be called?