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Study on Generation X Finds They Lead Happy, Balanced Lives

Grow old along with me.
The best is yet to be…
From Mary Chapin Carpenter and Grow Old Alone With Me

Big Slide

Generation X: Destined for Happiness | 1973 | Abandoned Big Slide | Coney Island | U.S. Archives

Jon Miller, a political scientist from the University of Michigan, has released findings from a major, 25-year study on Generation X. Turns out that despite the lingering stereotype of disaffected, cynical slackers, Gen Xers as a whole are mostly happy and lead balanced lives. Here is an excerpt from an article about the study on Live Science:

Miller polled 4,000 adults born between 1961 and 1981 (considered Generation X) yearly from 1987 to 2010 through the Longitudinal Study of American Youth at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research.

As a whole, the members of Generation X led active, balanced and happy lives. Miller explains that these results are very different from those hypothesized by Harvard University professor Robert Putnam in the book “Bowling Alone”…Putnam argues that Americans are increasingly socially isolated…”

In June 2009, I wrote a blog post, 8 Reasons The Future is Bright for Generation X. It’s not my favorite blog post, but I liked it, and I probably spent more time writing it than almost any other post I’ve ever written for this site. Here were the eight reasons I identified and then fleshed out. Which number do you identify with most?

  1. We Will Have More Opportunities. 
  2. We Will Have Cheaper Housing.
  3. We Will Have Smaller, Not Lower, Expectations.
  4. We Will Be Less Lonely.
  5. Our Children and Grandchildren Will Be Safer Than We Were.
  6. We Will Inherit Someone Else’s Wealth
  7. We Will Answer An Historic Calling.
  8. We Will Have More Time. (And, the air will be cleaner.)

Here is a webcast with Jon Miller explaining and exploring Generation X. This is one of the most hopeful assessments of Generation X I’ve ever read. Actually, it is THE MOST POSITIVE THING I’VE EVER READ ABOUT Gen X. It’s better than that book about Gen X getting the shaft, Slackanomics and Coupland’s Generation X.

The Generation X Report is a great study on Generation X. Check it out.


Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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  1. jennifer

    @FRIAR – Thanks for passing those along. I’ll check them out. Did you read the article in the Atlantic about Gen X women and marriage.

    @ANONYMOUS – I’ll check it out.

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