The Quick Report

Ten Reasons Why Gen X is the Most Underrated Generation

Born between the huge cohort of Baby Boomers and the digital natives, Millennials, Gen X (people born between 1965 and 1980, making them anywhere from their late 50s to their mid-40s now) is often overlooked. Here are ten reasons why they’re the most underrated generation.

Bridge Generation

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco California
Photo by Modestas Urbonas

Were it not for Gen X, there would be no “bridge” between Millennials and Boomers. The youngest Boomers, born in 1964, have almost nothing in common with the oldest Millennials, born in 1981. Seventeen years might not sound like a long time but think about how much had changed in the interim.

Between the Extremes

clear glass case inside room
Photo by Rafał Naczyński

Since there are so many Boomers, there are also a ton of their kids—Millennials. By getting sandwiched between these huge demographics, Gen X can often be forgotten or overlooked. This is doubly true for marketers, who largely lump the younger side of the generation in with Millennials and the older side in with Boomers.

Fiercely Independent

silhouette of person walking under white clouds
Photo by Jad Limcaco

The “MTV Generation” grew up in the first era when it was common for both parents to work until 5 o’clock. This made them the “latchkey keys” who would let themselves in after school and be left to manage their own time—a first for American society.

Distrust for Authority

blue bmw car in a dark room
Photo by Scott Rodgerson

Is it any surprise that a generation that grew up at the end of the Cold War has a healthy amount of distrust for authority? From punk rock to hip hop, it’s clear in the music this generation listened to and created that they’re not big fans of the status quo.

Finding Community

person in red sweater holding babys hand
Photo by Hannah Busing

Still, since Gen X grew up in a pre-Internet, pre-smartphone era, the tight bonds of community are still important to them. This is vital when you’re always second-guessing authority figures. Rather than letting other people tell them how to organize, Gen X figures it out on their own.

Fans of All Sounds

teal and brown electric guitar
Photo by Simon Weisser

And, speaking of their diverse musical tastes, a lot of Gen X’s love for the old and the new comes from their unique place in time. While rock is well and truly dead these days, it was still in full swing in the 80s. And hip hop was bursting onto the scene in that same decade, making it easy for Gen X to quickly adapt to the changing airwaves.

Managing Themselves

person holding white mini bell alarmclock
Photo by Lukas Blazek

Gen X is really good at managing their own time and activities. Why is that? Well, they were one of the last generations who had parents that let them just run and play outside by themselves. They had to learn to be good at getting home before the streetlights came on!


a person using a laptop
Photo by Windows

Gen X is nothing if not flexible. This is a generation that learned how to use computers when they were basically glorified calculators and now handles software development and project management from their smartphone. No other generation claims that honor.

Read More: 10 Skills Gen X Has the Rest of the World Should Master


two person shaking hands near white painted wall
Photo by Chris Liverani

Gen X is also a generation that has lived to see minority groups go from being marginalized and underrepresented to being treated (somewhat) better on the big and small screen. There’s still a lot of work left to do, but the generation as a whole knows which direction we need to be heading in.

Read More: 15 Ways Life is Different for Millennials than Baby Boomers


silhouette of man standing on mountain peak
Photo by Julentto Photography

And last but not least, Gen X is capable of great feats of responsibility. A generation raised on taking the initiative and making a better world for themselves is one that can stay responsible and clear-eyed even in the face of uncomfortable truths. Is it any surprise that many workplaces are now looking to Gen X to be the next generation of leaders?

Read More: Ten Things People Don’t Know About Gen X