How the Generations Received Their Names

One question I get all the time is: “How did the generations get their names?”


Let’s start with the well-known Baby Boomers. The lineage of this title is fairly well known. After almost four years of being overseas, the boys came home from fighting in World War II, and there were a lot of babies!


Then came Generation X, first referred to as the “Baby Busters” in response to the slow in population growth from 1965 to 1980. Let’s think about why. What were the big issues in the late 1960s and early 1970s—the formative years of Gen X? Vietnam, Hippies, Civil Rights, the Women’s Movement, the birth control pill, and Roe vs. Wade. Life focus had clearly shifted from children and families to broad sweeping social issues.


The title Generation X appeared multiple times throughout the 19th century, first used to describe the young men and women coming of age right after the conclusion of World War II. It reappeared repeatedly throughout the 1960’s and 70’s in pop culture but was not commonly used until the 90’s.


This generation was titled based on their desire to not be labeled. Why you might ask, would they want that? Xers are fiercely independent and are accustomed to doing things on their own. A label for their entire generation was definitely not something Xers enjoyed.


Then came the Millennials, named as they were the first generation to come of age in the new Millennium. For Millennials, respect for authority must be earned, and they rely more on their network than a hierarchal ladder. They love working in teams, and they’re a very hopeful and optimistic generation. They want to change the world and make a difference.


Now, we are faced with the newest generation, Generation Z, iGeneration, and our name for this generation: the Globals.


How did I devise this name? Globals truly grew up in a global world with no boundaries or borders and where any information is readily available at their fingertips. Music, television, news, marketing, and the internet have exposed Globals to cultures from around the world since birth, so no matter where in the world they were raised, they all experienced the same global events. This title truly encases what is unique about this generation currently coming of age.


So, I want to know: Which name do you think will stick for this next generation?

Blog Post
May 15, 2015