Tom Brokaw coined the term the "Greatest Generation" as a tribute to Americans who lived through the Great Depression and then fought in WWII.
His 1998 bestselling book, "The Greatest Generation," popularized the term.
John F. Kennedy,
born in 1917, was the first member of the Greatest Generation to become president. Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, Gerald R. Ford, Ronald Reagan
, Jimmy Carter,
and George H. W. Bush
were also born between 1901 and 1924.
The "Silent Generation"
Born 1925-1945 (Sometimes listed as 1925-1942).
The Silent Generation helped shape 20th century pop culture, with pioneering rock musicians, iconic filmmakers, television legends, beat poets, gonzo journalists and groundbreaking political satirists.
No members of the Silent Generation have served as president.
As of 2016, there were between 21.2 million and 28.4 million Americans in this age group, depending on whether the generation ends with the birth year 1942 or 1945.
Born 1946-1964 (Sometimes listed as 1943-1964)
Baby boomers were named for an uptick in the post-WWII birth rate.
At the end of 1946, the first year of the baby boom, there were approximately 2.4 million baby boomers.
In 1964, the last year of the baby boom, there were nearly 72.5 million baby boomers. The population peaked in 1999, with 78.8 million baby boomers, including people who immigrated to the United States and were born between 1946 and 1964.
was the first baby boomer to serve as president. George W. Bush
, Barack Obama
and President Donald Trump
are also baby boomers.
As of 2016, the number of baby boomers ranged from 74.1 million to 81.3 million, depending on whether the generation begins with the birth year 1943 or 1946.
Born 1965-1980 (Sometimes listed as 1965-1979)
"Class X" was the name of a chapter in a 1983 book, "Class: A Guide Through the American Status System," by historian Paul Fussell. Novelist Douglas Coupland used the term as the title of his first book, "Generation X: Tales for An Accelerated Culture," published in 1991.
No members of Generation X have served as president.
As of 2016, the number of Generation X-ers ranged from 61.2 million to 65.6 million, depending on whether the generation ends with the birth year 1979 or 1980.
In the 2016 presidential election, Generation X-ers and Millennials made up more than half of the electorate, according to Pew Research.
For the first time in decades, younger voters outnumbered older voters, albeit by a slight margin. Millennials and Generation-X-ers (age 18-51), cast 69.6 million votes, compared with 67.9 million votes cast by Baby Boomers and older voters (age 52 and up).
Born 1981-1997 (Sometimes listed as 1980-2000; the range of birth years for millennials may be updated as further demography studies about this generation are conducted, according to Pew Research).
Howe and Strauss introduced the term millennials in 1991, the year their book, "Generations," was published.
In 2014, the number of millennials in the United States eclipsed the number of baby boomers, according to the Census Bureau.
The Census counted approximately 83.1 million millennials, compared with 75.4 million baby boomers. Millenials represent one quarter of the nation's population. The Census also reported that millennials are more diverse than previous generations, as 44.2% are part of a minority race or ethnic group.
About 15% of millennials age 25-35 lived at home with their parents as 2016,
according to a Pew Research study. Fewer members of older generations lived at home with their parents between the ages of 25-35. The rate for Generation-X was 10%. Baby Boomers ranged between 8% and 11%. The Silent Generation was 8%. Education factored into the percentage of millennials living at home. Among millennials without college degrees, 20% lived at home with their parents.
2016 was the first year any millennial was eligible to run for president (since the minimum age is 35).
As of 2016, the number of millennials ranged from 75.6 million to 92.7 million.
Post-Millennials? What's Next?
The next generation of children and teens younger than millennials has not been formally named by demographers yet.
As of 2016, the number of people in this age group ranged from 65.2 million to 77.9 million.