There’s been a lot of generation talk lately, mainly in marketing and advertising statistics or in the ongoing and jesting battle between the tech-savvy Millennials and their counterpart, the Baby Boomers. However, the truth is that understanding the generations and the unique characteristics of each can provide a broader look at the behavior, values, attitudes, and identities of different groups of people.
In today’s world, most discussion about generations focuses on the new and upcoming ones, the “Gen Zer’s” who have never known a world without cell phones and the internet. What about the older generations, though? People tend to group anyone born pre-WWII into one generation, but three separate ones come with this time:
- The Greatest Generation
- The Silent Generation
- Baby Boomers
Senior Solutions Management Group offers independent living, assisted living, and memory care services throughout the southeastern United States and is looking deeper at each of these generations.
What Generation Am I?
If you were born between 1900-1924, you are part of:
The Greatest Generation
The Greatest Generation is the oldest living generation, growing up without modern conveniences like electricity, radio, and airplanes. Individuals born during this time experienced both the Great Depression and WWII during adulthood, resulting in honorable characteristics like strong work ethic, resilience, and personal responsibility.
These are the men and women who lived through both economic turmoil and international crisis. Instead of pursuing personal goals, they put their dreams aside to fight in the war or work in the factories to support the greater good.
The term “Greatest Generation” was coined in a book of the same name by journalist Tom Brokaw. Brokaw, and many other prominent figures like Ronald Reagan, believed that this generation saved the world by fighting for their country, growing the workforce and productivity, and eventually, rebuilding the economy.
Today, it’s estimated that there are approximately 1.7 million members of the Greatest Generation.
If you were born between 1924-1945, you are part of:
The Silent Generation
Also known as the Traditionalists, members of the Silent Generation were children during the Great Depression and WWII and came to age during the post-war happiness. The time following the war was what some people would call “traditional”—with women staying at home with the children and men being extremely loyal and committed to their career, typically with tremendous economic payoff.
Members of the Silent Generation are known to be hard-working, cautious (so cautious that young adults during this time were hesitant to have children, making this generation smaller than both the Greatest Generation and Baby Boomers), civic-minded, and conforming to the status quo. The term “silent” comes from a Time magazine article that described members as “working fairly hard and saying almost nothing (Time Magazine, 1951).”
Still, the Silent Generation era had many significant and influential moments: the Lindbergh and Earhart flights, jazz and swing, the Golden Age of Hollywood, and the birth of the Civil Rights Movement. It’s estimated that there are over 20 million members of the Silent Generation today.
If you were born between 1946-1964, you are part of:
The Baby Boomer Generation
The largest generational group in history (until recently), the Baby Boomer Generation represents almost a quarter of the American population, causing them to have a considerable impact on society and the economy. In contrast to the Silent Generation, the era in which Baby Boomers grew up was one of nonconformity and speaking out against the system. More women started working, divorce rates went up, and young people began protesting wars and other political movements.
In addition to being confident and dedicated, Baby Boomers also tend to be resourceful, competitive, and strong communicators. People in this generation are in the unique position of not having grown up with technology but becoming tech-savvy as they have gotten older. This allows them to appreciate the importance of technology on productivity while not relying on it for connectivity as some members of the younger generations do.
There are approximately 70 million Baby Boomers today. As this population gets older, the United States is expected to see more adults over 65 years old than ever before, reshaping the economy, society, and retirement.
Of course, not everybody born within a range of given years will exhibit the same sets of characteristics. Still, knowing what was happening in society at the time can give you a good understanding of why you value, or don’t value, certain things. Being aware of the different generations can also help you better understand those of a different age group from yourself, leading to appreciation, acknowledgment, and respect for one another.
Whether you’re a part of the Greatest Generation, the Silent Generation, or the Baby Boomer Generation, Senior Solutions appreciates and welcomes you! We provide independent living, assisted living, memory care, and respite care services throughout Louisiana, Tennessee, Georgia, and South Carolina. We invite you to visit our website for more information on our communities and our care.