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Gen Z, Gen X, and Millennials Age: What’s the Difference?

The population in Canada and the world comprises five living generations: Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, Gen Z, and Gen Alpha.

You may have heard of some or all of them, but who are they, and what are their characteristics?

Read on to find out the difference between the five generations, how old they are, and their main characteristics.

Gen Z Age

Also known as Zoomers, Generation Z is anyone born between 1997 and 2012, aged 10 to 25.

They succeed Millennials and precede Generation Alpha. Most Gen Z are children of Gen X.

Generation Z is the first social generation to have grown up with portable digital technology and access to the internet. Most of them don’t remember life before technology.

Gen Z Characteristics

Gen Z has been dubbed “digital natives,” as they are the generation with the most knowledge about the internet and technology.

Members of Gen Z tend to spend more time on their phones and the internet and less time reading books than any other generation. This has implications for their attention spans, academic performance, and vocabularies.

The negative effects of screen time are more pronounced in Gen Z adolescents than in any other generation.

Related: Millionaires in Canada

What Are Millennials?

Also called Generation Y, Millennials are born between 1981 and 1996. As of this writing (in 2022), Millennials’ current age is 41 to 26. 

Most Millennials are children of baby boomers and early Generation Xers. They are often the parents of Generation Alpha.

Millennials were born at a time of declining fertility across the globe and tend to have fewer children than the previous generations. Many choose not to have children, as there is no pressure on them to continue the family.

Millennials grew up in the Internet Age and have familiarity with mobile devices, social media, and the internet more than previous generations.

According to Britannica, Gen Y are described as independent, resourceful, and keen on maintaining a work-life balance.

Gen X Age

Generation X is anyone born between 1965 to 1980. In 2022, they are aged 42 to 57.

Gen X follows the baby boomers and just before the millennials. Most members of Gen X are children of early boomers, and they are often parents of millennials and Generation Z.

Gen Xers were sometimes called the “latchkey generation.” During childhood, many returned to an empty home and had to use the key to let themselves in due to their parents not being home. At that time, divorces were more common and more women were entering the workforce.

They were also dubbed the “MTV Generation,” with strong cultural influences on them, including punk and heavy metal music. Video games also became popular in the late sixties and seventies and were a major part of entertainment for children.

Baby Boomers Age

Baby Boomers were born between 1946 to 1964. As of 2022, they’re aged 58 to 76.

Boomers are the group following the Silent Generation and preceding Gen X. They were born during the baby boom right after World War II, and are often parents of late Gen Xers and Millennials.

Boomers who grew up in the fifties and sixties had significant reforms in their education. They formed social movements like the counterculture of the 1960s.

This period had a deep political instability due to the sheer number of youth at the time.

This generation influenced society’s tendency to define the world in generations, which was relatively new at the time.

Who Are Generation Alpha?

After Gen Z comes Generation Alpha, who are the youngest generation. They were born in 2013 to the mid-2020s. They are the first generation born entirely in the 21st century, and most Gen Alphas are the children of Millennials or Gen Z.

Generation Alpha is born during a time of falling fertility rates across the world. Many of them were born during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Changes in technology will influence how this generation grows up, and they will likely be even more technologically literate than previous generations.

Millennials vs Gen Z vs Gen X vs Boomers vs Gen Alpha

Here’s a chart comparing the five most recent generations, from baby boomers to Gen Alpha.

 Years BornAge
Gen Alpha2013 to mid-2020s0 to 9
Gen Z1997 to 201210 to 25
Millennials1981 to 199626 to 41
Gen X1965 to 198042 to 57
Boomers1946 to 196458 to 76


What are Millennials known for?

Millennials are the most educated generation in the world, they were the first generation to grow up with access to the internet and connected to mobile devices, and they have embraced change and technology like no other generation. They are entrepreneurial, conscious, and receptive to feedback.

What is the silent generation?

The Silent Generation is the generation born before the baby boomers (from the mid-1920s to 1940s). This generation was about “working within the system,” meaning they worked hard and kept their heads down. They had a large role in rebuilding the US after the Great Depression.

What are negative traits of Millennials?

Millennials have been called narcissistic, lazy, and indecisive. Many have been unable or unwilling to leave their parent’s homes, and some say they are less social and risk-averse.

What is the lifestyle of Millennials?

Many Millennials’ lifestyles focus on making a difference in the world on a professional, political, economic, and social level. They are known for being committed to finding solutions that fit the present.


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Gravatar for Brianna Harrison
Brianna Harrison

Brianna is a writer from Toronto, Canada, specializing in the personal finance and tech niche. She has been writing, editing, and proofreading for over 5 years as a freelancer, and her writing has been featured in The Globe and Mail. She loves to travel, meet new people, and discover new places. When she’s not writing or travelling, Brianna likes to bake, decorate cakes, and even ran her own custom cake business.

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