The Characteristics of Generation X

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The Generation X Cohort

The term generation refers to individuals born in the same period lasting for 20 years succeeding the previous generation. Generation X denotes a cohort of people borne between the 1960s and 1970s often described as skeptical and alienated (Neal and Wellins, par. 1-8). The demographic group is a descent after the baby boom generation. The cohort is characterized by specific patterns which resulted in its formation. The primary social changes that contributed to the development of group comprise the high rate of divorces during the era of the 1960s and 1980s as well as the entry of women into the workforce. The transformation in perception towards work by women resulted in gen X kids living unsupervised lives as the parents were at work. Additionally, generation X women tend to be hard-working that some of them are choosing not to have children hence focusing on their career. As a result, some females turn 40 when they are childless (Neal and Wellins, par. 1-8).

The Current Generation X

The current age of generation X is between 30 and 40, and most of them have completed their education and established professionals. They are the parents of the current generation Y and have 20 years in the labor markets thereby they are at the peak of their working life (Sanifilipo, par. 5-10). The current population of generation X stands at approximately 65 million in the United States. The number, according to research is the smallest of the tee groups including the millennial and the baby boomers. The group has been associated with distinct social dynamics including the fact that they are the first generation that has encountered a labor market that requires employees to have the tertiary education to reinforce their financial success. Most individuals from the age hold diplomas and bachelor’s degree thereby dominating the workforce. The Xers comprise 25% of America’s population, yet reports indicate that they dominate 31% of the total income the US economy affirming that the group has a significant impact on the US economic and social spectra (Mitchelle, Gottfried and Matsa, par. 1-9).

Work Ethic of Generation X

According to Mitchelle and Matsa (2015), members of generation X earn an average of 50,400 US Dollars in contrast to millennial who make an average income of 34,430 US Dollars. Generation x tend to join the labor market as self-governing, practical and capable of valuing freedom and responsibilities as they witnessed the lay-off and downsizing of their parents. They are defined by the ability to initiate change in the workplace and the social life as they are determined to gain new insights regarding their career (Mitchelle, Gottfried and Matsa, par. 1-9). Therefore, the cohort pursues fun and significant work. Regarding work ethics, this group value making their own decisions as well planning their schedules as they prefer to work under minimal or no supervision from the management team. Members of the cohort love working alone at the expense of forming groups. Furthermore, they tend to possess an authoritative, leader-centricity attitude when given the role of supervision and coordination. Additionally, they are cynical and predict change, therefore; they perform well in organizations that embrace innovation, diversity, challenging tasks, and engaging responsibilities (Currier, par. 3-12).

Relationships and Lifestyle of Generation X

The peer group X is said to be pessimistic in all prospects of life including marriage. Most individuals have embraced the idea of cohabitation as they readily and easily accept staying together as couples before marriage. The delays in getting married are escalated by the fact that the group tends to be reluctant when it comes to proposing or accepting proposals from the significant other. However, the cohort is said to be committed to the relationship ones married as they take time to analyze their lives before making the most critical decisions. The individuals in this group bear fewer children compared to the previous generation (Sanifilipo, par 5-10). The reduced rate of giving birth is attributed to the essence that most parents are working, including women, which limits them from giving birth to many children as they lack sufficient time to take care of their kids. Men and women married at the age of 31 and 29, respectively, as the decision to get married was made after much consideration. Children of the Generation X group were born in marriage considering that premarital sex was uncommon. Therefore, partners commit to their marriages once they decide to get married. Women of the generation tend to be reluctant about bearing children considering that they have shifted their attention to working rather than taking care of their children (Mitchelle, Gottfried, and Matsa, par 1-9).

Technology and Social Engagement

Another compelling aspect of the Generation X lineage is that they are the adapters of technology because the invention of technology was at the peek at their age hence more embraced and enhanced compared to the period of their parents (Neal and Wellins, par 2-6). They love associating themselves with technological changes, traveling, and cultural diversity thus have profound insights into global life compared to the millennial cohort. The team loves social media as most of them utilize their time connecting with others through the internet. Research indicates that 81% of the Xers have Facebook accounts and spend around seven hours a week online for the news update to be more informed. The group is more knowledgeable and exposed to information technology as there were rapid growth and advancement in the spectrum of knowledge and expertise. Therefore, the lineage seems to embrace and understand technology and social media than the Baby Boomers (Currier, par 3-12).

Social and Political Engagement

The social and political lives of the members of Group X have characterized disaffected and less concerned as compared to the previous group. They are less engaged in political and civic aspects of society (Sanifilipo, par 5-10). They portray less social trust or confidence in their government in addition to having weaker loyalty to the state and political affiliation. Further, they are materialistic which is in contrast with the Baby Boomers. Generation X love music, which is dominated by soul, jazz, rock, classical, and swing. They were the most sang and listened to. Individuals loved listening to music through radios or watching them on television. The group was also associated with the pop culture. Finally, the cohort was associated with attending parties and going to discos to have fun (Currier, par 3-12).


In conclusion, Generation X is evidently materialistic, technology-savvy, and independent individuals from childhood. Children of this era were born when the divorce rate was high, indicating that the victims led a difficult life as most of them did not live with both of their parents. They, therefore, grow into healthy, ambitious, and determined cohort which embraces challenging roles and is fond of initiating change. The members of the group are future-oriented as most of them have completed high school and obtained a college degree. Thus, they are the dominant group in the workplace as their career is at the optimum. Also, as indicated in the literature, the group is technology-savvy, thereby controlling the innovations and advancement of the society’s information technology.

Works Cited

Currier, Elin. "How Generation X Could Change the American Dream Today." 26 January 2018. Trend Pewtrusts. Web. 14 June 2018.

Mitchelle, Amy, Jefrey Gottfried and Caterina Matsa. "Millenials and Political News." 1 June 2015. Journalism. Web. 14 June 2018.

Neal, Stephannie and Richard Wellins. "Generation X Not Millenials Is Changing Nature of Work." 11 April 2018. CNBC. Web. 14 June 2018.

Sanifilipo, Marisa. "Generations Divided: Making the Difference Between Gen X and the Millenials Work for your Business." 22 February 2017. Business.

Web. 14 June 2018.

September 18, 2023

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