Click here to return to the Home Page Click here to send an email message to Percept customer support
Home | Company | Products | Support |  
Data Sources
Document Index
US Lifestyles Segments

Age groups defined by William Strauss and Neil Howe in their book, Generations (New York: William Morrow, 1991), which are characterized by a shared coming of age experience. The following generational descriptions are currently found on their website,
The Builders (born circa 1901 to 1924): “The Builders (Strauss and Howe call this group the GI Generation) developed a special and “good kid” reputation as the beneficiaries of new playgrounds, scouting clubs, vitamins, and child-labor restrictions. They came of age with the sharpest rise in schooling ever recorded. As young adults, their uniformed corps patiently endured depression and heroically conquered foreign enemies. In a midlife subsidized by the G.I. Bill, they built gleaming suburbs, invented miracle vaccines, plugged “missile gaps,” and launched moon rockets. Their unprecedented grip on the Presidency began with a New Frontier, a Great Society, and Model Cities, but wore down through Vietnam, Watergate, deficits, and problems with “the vision thing.” As “senior citizens,” they safeguarded their own “entitlements” but had little influence over culture and values.”
The Silents (born circa 1925 to 1942): “The Silent Generation grew up as the suffocated children of war and depression. They came of age just too late to be war heroes and just too early to be youthful free spirits. Instead, this early-marrying Lonely Crowd became the risk-averse technicians and professionals—as well as the sensitive rock ‘n rollers and civil-rights advocates—of a post-crisis era in which conformity seemed to be a sure ticket to success. Midlife was an anxious “passage” for a generation torn between stolid elders and passionate juniors. Their surge to power coincided with fragmenting families, cultural diversity, institutional complexity, and prolific litigation. They entered elderhood with unprecedented affluence, a “hip” style, and a reputation for indecision.”
The Boomers (born circa 1943 to 1960): “The Boom Generation basked as children in Dr. Spock permissiveness, suburban conformism, Sputnik-era schooling, Beaver Cleaver friendliness, and Father Knows Best family order. From the Summer of Love to the Days of Rage, they came of age rebelling against the worldly blueprints of their parents. As their “flower child,” Black Panther, Weathermen, and Jesus Freak fringes proclaimed themselves arbiters of public morals, youth pathologies worsened—and SAT scores began a 17-year slide. In the early 1980s, many young adults became self-absorbed “yuppies” with mainstream careers but perfectionist lifestyles. Boomers entered midlife (and national power) trumpeting values, touting a “politics of meaning,” and waging scorched-earth Culture Wars.”
The Survivors (born circa 1961 to 1981): “The Survivors (Strauss and Howe call this group Thirteeners, or the 13th Generation) survived a “hurried” childhood of divorce, latchkeys, open classrooms, devil-child movies, and a shift from G to R ratings. They came of age curtailing the earlier rise in youth crime and fall in test scores—yet heard themselves denounced as so wild and stupid as to put The Nation At Risk. As young adults, they maneuvered through a sexual battlescape of AIDS and blighted courtship rituals—they date and marry cautiously. In jobs, they embrace risk and prefer free agency over loyal corporatism. From grunge to hip-hop, their splintery culture reveals a hardened edge. Politically, they lean toward pragmatism and nonaffiliation, and would rather volunteer than vote. Widely criticized as “Xers” or “slackers,” they inhabit a Reality Bites economy of declining young-adult living standards.”
The Millennials (born circa 1982 to 2001): “The Millennial Generation first arrived when “Babies on Board” signs appeared. As abortion and divorce rates ebbed, the popular culture began stigmatizing hands-off parental styles and recasting babies as special. Child abuse and child safety became hot topics, while books teaching virtues and values became best-sellers. Politicians defined adult issues (from tax cuts to deficits) in terms of their effects on children. Hollywood replaced cinematic child devils with child angels, and cable TV and the internet cordoned off “child-friendly” havens. While educators speak of “standards” and “cooperative learning,” school uniforms are surging in popularity.
With adults viewing children more positively, U.S. test scores are faring better in international comparisons.”
  Generation Z (born after 2001): Based upon the historic cycle explained in Generations this newest generation is expected to be adaptive and conforming, following the strong Millennials. In fact, they are sometimes referred to as the “New Silents”.