The Quick Report

Ten Things People Don’t Know About Gen X

Generation X, the generation of people born between 1965 and 1980, is sandwiched between two much larger demographics. There are far more Baby Boomers and Millennials and Gen Xers, which means there are a lot of things about this generation that most people don’t know.


a pile of twenty dollar bills laying on top of each other
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Many Gen Xers are much poorer than their parents were by this point. The youngest Gen Xers are around their mid-40s now, while the oldest are pushing 60. Comparatively, many Boomers and Silent Generationers were far wealthier by this stage of their lives.

Two Huge Shakeups

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Two major events hurt Gen X’s financial fortunes: the 9/11 terror attacks and the 2008 Great Recession. Both of these huge events upended the generation right as many of them were only just getting into the work force or getting ready to buy their first homes.

Ignored by Marketers

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Many marketers just assume that anyone close to the younger end of Gen X is a Millennial and anyone on the upper end is a Boomer. In fact, only a small number of people born between 1965 and 1980 even identify as “Gen X,” as the term was coined for them in 1991.

Housing Market Crash

white and red wooden house miniature on brown table
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The housing market crash in 2008 was brutal for the generation that just bought starter homes in the early 2000s. A lot of people who are in their 40s and 50s now are still struggling to shake off the debts they incurred when the houses they bought during a bubble burst out from under them.

Gen X Women Earn More

20 us dollar bill
Photo by Blogging Guide

Interestingly, Gen X is one of the first generations to see women broadly earning more than men in some fields. Recent surveys show only around 14% of Boomer men make less money than their wives, compared to nearly 20% of Gen X men.

Behind on Saving

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Surveys of Gen X show that they’re largely way behind on retirement on average—something they share in common with Millennials. They could end up being the first generation to show downward mobility in retirement, a potentially troubling sign for the country’s economy.

Boomers Aren’t Moving

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Frustratingly for Gen X (and the generations younger than them) Boomers have stuck around in high-paying jobs for far longer than many analysts expected. Even after many higher-paid Boomers retired, Gen Xers were passed over for promotions in favor of Millennials or even Gen Z hires who are more “current.”

The Digital Natives

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The swiftness with which Millennials and Zoomers took to the internet and new technology is frustrating for Gen Xers looking to move ahead in their careers. Since employers view younger people as more tech-savvy, it makes them more likely to excel in tech-driven fields.

What American Dream?

white and blue house beside fence
Photo by Gustavo Zambelli

In a turn that sounds familiar to Millennials, Gen Xers say they’ve given up on the “American Dream.” The idea that you can do better than your parents’ generation and own your own home is largely behind us as a country, according to most people under 50.

Read More: 20 Phrases You Didn’t Know Were Offensive Now 

Zoomer Kids

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via Unsplash

Most of Gen X’s offspring fall in the Zoomer, or Gen Z, generation. They’re an interesting group, defined by growing up in an era dominated by social media and having little to no knowledge of a world without the internet.

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

Political Diversity

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Another interesting note about Gen X is that it’s a very politically diverse cohort. Its members have been historically very hard to predict, going for Democrats or Republicans in equal measure in different elections. Of course, this splits someone cleanly along age—the younger side of the generation leans a bit more to the left, and vice versa.

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