One of the first questions people ask about any generational label is "When was that generation born?" (The usual cutoffs: 1946-1964 for Boomers, 1965-1981 for X’ers, and 1982-1999 for Millennials/GenY/GenMe). iGen might become the label for the next group, sometimes called GenZ, or it might be adopted for those born after 1990.
Most of the studies using the iGen database show linear trends over time instead of sudden shifts at any one birth-year cutoff. Technology and culture are now shifting so quickly that the usual structure of generations lasting 20 years may be breaking down. That means generational labels are not always that useful. For example, is someone born on December 31, 1981 really a completely different generation than someone born on January 1, 1982? Probably not. But it’s definitely true that someone born on January 1, 1950 grew up in a completely different culture than someone born on January 1, 1982.
At iGen Consulting, we’re familiar with the usual generational labels, but believe it’s more important to focus on cultural trends – what is changing in our world that impacts people’s attitudes and personalities? Often the answer is cultural shifts in family structure, media, and beliefs. We’d rather spend time discovering how generations really differ, and how those differences can be managed, than debate birth year cutoffs.