20 Extraordinary Facts About Generation X

After Baby Boomers but before Millennials is Generation X, the people born between the period of 1965 and 1980.

With fewer members than the Baby Boomer Generation that preceded it or the Millennial Generation (Gen Y) that followed, Gen X is sometimes overlooked.

Also read: All the Generation Names Explained: Millennials, Gen Alpha, and More

Find out more about Generation X's world below.


1. The term "Generation X" was first used in the early 1950s.
Douglas Coupland popularized the term "Generation X" when his novel of the same name was published in 1991; however, he didn't coin the phrase.
The term "Generation X" first appeared as the title of a 1950s Robert Capa photo essay, though legend has it that Coupland took the term from Billy Idol's former band Generation X.

2. Generation X is anyone born between 1965 and 1980.
Gen X is the generation that follows the baby boomers.
According to Britannica, Gen Xers are described as "resourceful, independent, and keen on maintaining work-life balance."

3. Chad is a common Gen X name, but it wasn't the most popular Gen X name.
The most common names of the generation were Jennifer for girls and Michael for boys.

4. People born into Gen X are sometimes known as the "sandwich generation."
The sandwich generation refers to people caring for both their children and aging parents. Many Gen X members fall into this category.
So, it should be no surprise that 2021 data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that Gen Xers were spending a whopping $83,357 yearly!

5. They're also called the "MTV Generation."
One of the major defining moments of this generation is the rise of MTV, which revolutionized the way music was consumed and pop culture was perceived. The impact of MTV on Generation X was immense, and it had a significant influence on the cultural landscape of the time.

6. They have a telling nickname in Russia.
In Russia, Gen Xers are referred to as "the last Soviet children," seeing as they were the last kids to come of age while the Soviet Union was still intact.

7. In Germany, they're known as "Generation Golf."
The name comes from author Florian Illies's book Generation Golf – An Inspection, which used the Volkswagen Golf as a symbol for the age group.

8. Gen Xers witnessed the invention of personal computers.
Gen Xers were the first generation to grow up with personal computers to some extent, thus becoming tech savvy. They were the first generation to grow up with cable television widely available.

9. ATMs were invented during this generation.
The invention of ATMs played a crucial role in the lives of Gen Xers since it made handling personal finance more convenient, thereby revolutionizing the way they accessed their hard-earned money.

10. "Chill pill" and "dude" are some examples of Gen X slang.
Gen X slang is probably the most creative and pervasive slang vocabulary of any generation.

11. People born in this generation tend to have higher lead exposure.
Gen X may be at greater risk for lead-related health problems—including reduced brain size, mental illness, and cardiovascular disease. This childhood lead exposure may have stolen an average of almost three IQ points per person, and nearly six IQ points on average for Gen Xers.

12. They're known for being independent.
Generation X has been called "the latchkey generation," a group of people whose personal identity was in part shaped by the independence of being left alone after school.

13. Managerial roles are common jobs for Gen Xers.
Since Gen Xers are inclined toward leadership and independence, choosing management as a career is a no-brainer.

14. Gen Xers tend to be renters.
According to the study, housing accounts for the largest portion of each generation's spending.
Here, too, Gen X spent more than the other generations at an average of $26,385 per year.

15. Work-life balance is a must for Gen X.
When it comes to the workplace, Gen X values authenticity, work-life balance and professional development. They respond better to flexible schedules that allow for caring for aging parents and children and prefer managers that empathize with those prioritie.

16. Gen X has the most self-made billionaires out of all generations.
Self-made billionaires are most likely to be Gen X. Over 80% of billionaires are in this category, including Google co-founder Sergey Brin and Mu Rongjun, co-founder of Meituan, a company similar to Yelp. At the same time, the most billionaires living outside of the U.S. (81%) were born in this generation.

17. Elon Musk is one of the most famous people from Generation X.
Elon was born on June 28, 1971, in Pretoria, South Africa. However, he left his hometown in 1989 to study abroad, graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 1991 with a bachelor's degree in physics and economics.
He's known for achieving numerous business feats, such as cofounding PayPal, investing in Tesla, establishing SpaceX, and buying X (formerly Twitter).

18. Gen X was the first generation to have more women with bachelor's degrees than men.
By 2001, 31 percent of Gen X women between the ages of 25 and 37 had completed a bachelor's degree program, compared to 28 percent of Gen X men. Boomers and members of the Silent Generation had the opposite tendency, with men outpacing women in college education.

19. Gen X isn't ready for retirement.
While the pandemic shook up virtually everyone's financial status, it seems like Gen X took more of a hit than other groups. The Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies found that 41 percent of Gen Xers were afraid their retirement funds would run out before they die, while a different survey found that only a third of Gen Xers believed they were saving enough.
According to Business Insider, one reason the group's retirement may be shaky is because they're a kind of middle generation, caring not only for their children but for older adults in the family as well. That leaves less time for work.

20. Gen X could soon overtake Baby Boomers.
According to the Pew Research Center, though, it's possible Xers could finally outnumber Boomers by 2028.

Wikipedia - Generation X / Forbes / Wikipedia - Personal computer / World Economic Forum / Wikipedia - ATM / Word Genius / West Bend / Faster Capital / Wikipedia - Elon Musk / Visual Capitalist / Entrepreneur / Psychology Today / Indeed / The History Channel / The Fact Site / Pew Research Center / ‎Business Insider / Transamerica Institute / Mental Floss