2011: The oldest Xers turn 50

Beverly Hills 9021OhmImage by mike fischer via Flickr
There is a significant amount of fiery debate over what years define a generation. One of the broadest definitions of Generation X is from Neil Howe and William Strauss. They defined the 13th Generation as beginning in 1961 and ending in 1981. Several other sources including the U.S. Census Bureau cite 1964 to 1976.

There is a current debate under the Generation X discussion tab on Wikipedia in which some leading generational theorists maintain that Gen X actually ends as late as 1982. I came across a definition the other day that defined Xers as people born simply from the 1960s to the 1980s. I’m firmly planted in every definition, so it’s not a point over which I feel compelled to split hairs. I might feel differently, however, if I was born in 1960 or 1982. At any rate, based on Howe and Strauss‘s definition, the oldest Xers, those born in 1961, turn 50 this year.

On January 2, Gabrielle Carteris turned 50. Carteris played Andrea Zuckerman on 90210. She was 29 when she was cast in the role of the 16-year-old.

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  1. James says

    You gotta include 1977 for sure with Gen X. Both my wife & my sister were born that year and they are most certainly Xers

  2. says

    @ANDI – I loved 90210. I was addicted – and I was 23 at the time!

    @HEYRAY – I agree- 64-76 is the undeniable Gen X demographic. Every other year seems to beg debate, but never 64-76. Glad I’m in that group!! I’d hate to have an even bigger identity crisis. =)

  3. says

    I struggled with what I thought was the ‘true’ GenX range when designing the logo for my site, since I wanted to include the years on it. I opted for the broad ’61-’81, but have noticed that the majority of my readers are in the narrower ’64-’76 range.

    Most of the people I’ve talked to about it who were born in ’80-’81 were surprised to be included in GenX, the identified more with GenY.

    One of my readers was born in ’61, and at one point she was my Sunday school teacher. I realize that her experience growing up was extremely different than mine (even though we were in the same small hometown, attended all the same schools, etc.), so I tend to want to narrow the range now.

  4. says

    My hubby turns 50 this year and he is a cusper – I tell him he sometimes acts like a Gen X’er, at other times a Baby Boomer! I was 100% totally and completely addicted to 90210! Don’t watch TV now, but I don’t think I could bring myself to watch the new one!