Fact Sheet

Age range of Generation X (2021): 41–56

Generation X’s share of the U.S. population (2020): 19.9%

Birth years of Generation X: 1965–1980

65 million Americans currently fall under the Gen X age bracket

Share of Overall Power

Generation X holds 30.4% of Overall Power in the Generational Power Index

Generation X

As MTV proclaimed on its first day on air: “video killed the radio star”.

Gen Xers, those part of the generational cohort born between 1965 and 1980, might be particularly familiar with this reference, especially given that they are sometimes referred to as the “MTV Generation.”

Generation X is a group that grew up with punk rock, early hip-hop, and grunge; they know what teen spirit smells like and what transpired when Ferris Bueller had a day off. This is a cohort that witnessed the personal computing revolution first hand, including the early battles between IBM and Apple. They came of age during the Reagan and Bush Sr. years. Years later, during 9/11, it was largely Gen X firefighters and police that responded to the crisis.

According to some research, individualism is a defining feature of Gen X—this is exemplified by the generation’s pronounced entrepreneurialism. After all, Google, Amazon, YouTube, PayPal, Tesla, and other iconic companies wouldn’t exist without Gen Xers.

As of 2021, Generation X makes up 19.9% of the population. In our GPI, they punch above their weight with a 30.4% share of overall power in American society.

What’s in a name? The term “Generation X” has been used at different times throughout the 20th century to mean different things, including as a reference describing alienated youth. However, it was Canadian author Douglas Copeland’s release of the novel Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture in 1991 that made the term stick in this context.