Do you ever wonder how certain designations are assigned to different generations? Well, I did a little research and came up with the following thoughts. It seems, though, that there is some disagreement regarding the exact range of dates for each generation, since the transition can occur over a period of a few years. But here's what I came up with:
The Lost Generation are identified as those born between 1883 and 1900, who came of age during World War I and the roaring twenties and were members of the age classes called to duty in the "Great War."
The G.I. Generation, born between 1900 and 1924, came of age during the Great Depression and World War II. Their midlife accomplishments, subsidized by the G.I. Bill, included building gleaming suburbs, inventing miracle vaccines, and launching moon rockets.
The Silent Generation was born between 1925 and 1945, notably during the Great Depression and World War II, and includes most of those who fought in the Korean War. A 1951 article in Time magazine included this statement, "Youth today is waiting for the hand of fate to fall on its shoulders, meanwhile working fairly hard and saying almost nothing."
The Baby Boom Generation was born between 1946 and 1964 and were so named because they were part of the massive increase in births following World War II.
Generation X was born between 1965 and 1979 and was originally referred to as the "baby bust" generation because of the drop in the birth rate following the baby boom.
Generation Y births occurred between 1980 and 2000. They are sometimes called Echo Boomers, due to the significant increase in birth rates through the 1980s and into the 1990s, and because many of them are children of baby boomers. The origin of the name of Generation Y is vague, possibly just referring to the next generation succeeding Generation X.
But I think French Canadian cartoonist, Marc Beaudet, has eloquently summed it up with this cartoon: