Before that, there was Generation X, aka “the MTV Generation.” Now there’s a strong interest in Generation Z ― the mysterious“Euphoria” cohort.
But what comes after X, Y and Z? Some consider the final nature of those labels to be a perfect metaphor for the state of the world.
I love that the generation after millennials is called Generation Z like we all kinda know this whole thing is wrapping up soon— Chris Scott (@iamchrisscott)December 8, 2017
Still, as long as people are continuing to procreate, there must be a name for the generation that follows Generation Z and some sense of its defining characteristics.
So what are those characteristics? HuffPost spoke to demographers and other experts studying generational shifts to find out.
Meet ‘Generation Alpha’
In 2005, social researcher Mark McCrindlecoined the term “Generation Alpha”to identify the group born after Generation Z. He defines the generation as those born from 2010 to 2024, while Gen Z spans 1995 to 2009 and Gen Y spans 1980 to 1994 (though many push the millennial birth years back a bit later).
“The emerging generations these days sound a bit like alphabet soup,” McCrindle told HuffPost over email. “Just over a decade ago, when I was researching my first book ‘The ABC of XYZ: Understanding the Global Generations,’ it became apparent that a new generation was about to commence and there was no name for them. So I conducted a survey to find out what people think the generation after Z should be called.”
While the survey produced many names, Generation A was the most commonly mentioned, but that term didn’t sit well with McCrindle. “[It] didn’t make sense that this new generation, the first to be fully born in the 21st Century, and which will see many of them live into the 22nd Century, to be labelled by going back to the beginning,” he wrote.
Instead, he looked to the model of hurricane names. There were so many storms during the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season that the names ran through the usual Roman or Latin alphabet and had to use the Greek alphabet.
“In keeping with this scientific nomenclature of using the Greek alphabet in lieu of the Latin, having got to Generation Z, I settled on the next cohort being Generation Alpha ― not a return to the old, but the start of something new,” said McCrindle.
While the traits that come to define generations often don’t start to manifest until their members’ adolescence or early adulthood, it’s possible to identify certain notable features of Generation Alpha at this point.
“The share of this new generation spending at least part of their early formative years in living arrangements that do not include both of their biological parents is higher than any generation observed in the previous century,” said Elwood Carlson, a demographer and professor of sociology at Florida State University. “When you look at a child in this generation, you never know what kind of family life they have experienced.”
Carlson also noted that this newest generation in the U.S. will have a high share of children with foreign-born parents and children who are foreign-born themselves, representing more countries around the world than previous generations.
“This generation of children will be shaped in households that move more frequently, change careers more often and increasingly live in urban, not just suburban, environments.”
- Social researcher Mark McCrindle
Racial diversityis another feature of the newest generation, according to William H. Frey, a demographer and current senior fellow with the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution. “Already Generation Z-ers [in the U.S.] areminority white. But I think as we get into this new generation, this will be something that in a way defines them in terms of their ability to accept people of different backgrounds, and the idea of racial division may not exist to them to the extent that it exists in our country now,” he said.
Frey and Carlson also noted that the newest generation will face more economic inequality.
“The range of household incomes experienced by the children in this new generation is wider than for any previous generation in at least half a century, for two reasons,” said Carlson. “First, the inequality of wealth and income has been growing wider and wider in American society generally, and second, the births of children have been concentrating among the have-nots. The people with the money don’t have children, and the people with the children don’t have money.”
McCrindle echoed some of Carlson’s and Frey’s observations.
“The Alphas are largely the children of Generation Y and as parents are older, having fewer children, more culturally diverse and earning more (generally two-income earning) than their parents’ generation,” he said. “This generation of children will be shaped in households that move more frequently, change careers more often and increasingly live in urban, not just suburban, environments.”
yall the scariest generation is the generation right after gen z. those fucks are like 5 and already terrifyingly aware. also they’re apparently called “gen alpha” like what kind of metal rock band name ....— em (@buckobornes)November 15, 2018
McCrindle also believes those in Generation Alpha will stay in education longer, start their earning years later and thus live at home with their parents later than was previously the case ― even into their late 20s.
They’re Also ‘Generation Glass’
Another element that helps define Generation Alpha is technology. McCrindle’s birth year start date of 2010 happens to be the year the iPad was released, Instagram was launched and “app” was theAmerican Dialect Society’s word of the year. He believes the omnipresence of technology in those formative years leads to increased digital literacy and gamification of learning but also shorter attention spans and impaired social formation.
“[They] have been raised as screenagers to a greater extent than the fixed screens of the past could facilitate,” said McCrindle. “For this reason, we also call them Generation Glass because the glass that they interact on now and will wear on their wrist, as glasses on their face, that will be on the Head Up Display of the driverless car they are transported in, or the interactive school desk where they learn will transform how they work, shop, learn, connect and play.”
These advancements mean that technology for Generation Alpha “is not something separate from themselves, but rather, an extension of their own consciousness and identity,” said Natalie Franke, the head of community at the business management platform HoneyBook. She believes many people in this generation may prefer the virtual world to the physical world and that they’ll also have more opportunities for creativity.
Primary school kids have iphones. Man when i was their age i used to spread PVA glue on my hands, wait for it to dry and peel it off.— SOLSKJAER FC🏁 (@SkrillerZiller)March 22, 2018
“As apps, AI and even self-driving cars reduce the time it takes to shop, do chores, get places and even go to the doctor, Gen Alpha will find themselves with more time than the generations before them,” she told HuffPost. “I predict this will lead to an unprecedented rise in creativity, education and self-care with Gen Alpha spending more time exploring their passion, prioritizing mental wellness and seeking education for the simple joy of learning.”
Franke also believes technological advancements, combined with the rising cost of college, will allow Generation Alpha to reject traditional education and pursue learning through other avenues. That attitude promotes “the passion economy” as younger generations may continue the growing trend of freelancing and starting their own businesses.
Does It Have To Be ‘Alpha’?
While names like Generation X and Generation Alpha may seem boring, timing-based labels like Baby Boomers or Millennials are actually aberrations, according to McCrindle.
“I have found from my generational research that generic labels rather than descriptive ones are likely to last,” he said. “A label like Gen X, Gen Y, Gen Z or Gen Alpha provides a blank canvas on which a generation can create their own identity rather than have a descriptive label, relevant for just a segment of the cohort or for a period of time, pinned on them. And while some Gen Xers bemoan that label, for a while there it was ‘slackers’ and ‘baby busters,’ and labels like ‘latch key kids’ and ‘the MTV generation’ as they were also called seem ridiculous for this generation who are now entering their mid-fifties.”
Similarly, labels like “the dot com kids” and “the iPod generation” for millennials (aka Gen Y) have come to seem short-sighted, McCrindle added.
“This newest American generation displays unprecedented diversity in almost every dimension one can examine ― ethnicity, nativity, income, family arrangements, you-name-it.”
- Elwood Carlson, demographer and professor of sociology
Carlson, however, prefers generational names with descriptive value rather than “this ‘ABC’ stuff” which he believes makes these groups “sound like interchangeable parts in a factory” and betrays a general lack of imagination.
“This newest American generation displays unprecedented diversity in almost every dimension one can examine ― ethnicity, nativity, income, family arrangements, you-name-it,” he said. “If they are going to have a name, it should be a name that reflects this disunity, this diversity, this growing inequality of life chances. In fact, this unprecedented diversity of life experiences is going to make it more problematic than ever to say that they have any common denominator as a generation ― except perhaps this diversity itself, which may prevent any clear or coherent generational identity from taking hold among them.”
Carlson offered “the Divergents” as a possible label befitting this generation.
What Comes After Alpha?
If the members of Generation Alpha are coming into the world today, it may also be time to look forward to what the following generation will be.
“Generational definitions are most useful when they span a set age range and so allow meaningful comparisons across generations,” said McCrindle, emphasizing that he identifies Generation Alpha as spanning the years 2010 to 2024.
“So it follows that Generation Beta will be born from 2025 to 2039,” he continued. “If the nomenclature sticks then we will afterwards have Generation Gamma and Generation Delta. But we won’t be getting there until the second half of the 21st Century, so there is plenty of time to reflect on the labels!”\r\n\r\n","\r\n\r\n","\r\n\r\n"],"adCount":0}}">
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What birth years define Generation Alpha? The term Generation Alpha refers to the group of individuals born between 2013 and 2025. This is the generation after Gen Z.What will the generation after Gen Alpha be called? ›
That is why the generations today each span 15 years with Generation Y (Millennials) born from 1980 to 1994; Generation Z from 1995 to 2009 and Generation Alpha from 2010 to 2024. And so it follows that Generation Beta will be born from 2025 to 2039.What is Gen Alpha age? ›
Who is Generation Alpha? Generation Alpha is the generation following Generation Z and currently includes all children born in or after 2010—the same year the iPad was born. The majority of this demographic is under 13 years of age, but the oldest of them will become teens in 2023.Is Gen Alpha after Gen Z? ›
Generation Alpha (Gen Alpha for short) is the demographic cohort succeeding Generation Z. Researchers and popular media use the early 2010s as starting birth years and the early-to-mid 2020s as ending birth years (see Date and age range definitions).What is Generation Alpha known for? ›
Generation Alpha is characterised by being digital natives and spending hours and hours in front of screens. The technological advances that humanity has been experiencing throughout the 21st century are changing the planet and its inhabitants, both socially and economically.What is after Gen Omega? ›
Generation Omega bears the seeds of another generation, a Generation Alpha, because generations always do. That Generation Omega is as yet provisional—that we may bear or even become Generation Alpha—gives me hope, and even faith.What age group is Gen Y? ›
GENERATION Y OR THE MILLENNIALS: DIGITAL NATIVES
Also known as digital natives, millennials are those born between 1982 and 1994 and technology is part of their everyday lives: all their activities are mediated by a screen.
As Gen Z enters early adulthood, Gen Alpha is still squarely in the beginning stages of life, relying on their parents to shop for them. That doesn't mean they don't have purchasing power, according to a Morning Consult report, which defines Gen Alpha as consumers ages 0 to 9.Is Gen Z alpha a thing? ›
… so let's talk about Generation Zalpha.
Zalpha refers to 9-14-year-olds – a combination of gen z and gen alpha children. As children of millennials, this hybrid generation has picked up several familiar traits such as digital savviness, social goodness, will power, and economic resilience.
The Oxford Dictionaries define Generation Z as "the group of people who were born between the late 1990s and the early 2010s, who are regarded as being very familiar with the internet."
Regardless of their differences, there's one thing that Gen Z and Gen Alpha have in common: growing up in a digital world. Technology certainly has its benefits; it will be essential to include technological delivery and research methods in curriculum for both generations.What is the youngest generation name? ›
Gen Z: Gen Z is the newest generation, born between 1997 and 2012. They are currently between 9 and 24 years old (nearly 68 million in the U.S.)What will the alpha generation be like? ›
They're passionate about inclusivity. According to the US Census, Gen Alpha will be the most diverse generation in history, and it's shaping kids' expectations. They're looking for representation and inclusivity, and helping people is the number 1 priority for 12-15s in the States.Who are the famous Gen Alpha people? ›
Notable Gen Alphas
Prince George of Wales, Princess Charlotte of Wales, and Prince Louis of Wales are all members of Generation Alpha. All of the children of the Kardashian sisters born thus far, except Mason Disick, are also Gen Alpha.
Generation Alpha are looking to parents and leaders for guidance. Parents need to give Generation Alpha confidence, as many young people face insecurities and mental health issues about an uncertain future that is constantly being painted for them. Parents should encourage Generation Alpha to invest in the future.What is after Gen Xer? ›
Baby Boomers (circa 1946 to 1964) Generation X (circa 1965 to 1980) Millennial Generation (circa 1981 to 1996) Gen Z (post-Millennial) (circa 1997 to 2012)What generation is millennium? ›
Millennials, also known as Generation Y or Gen Y, are the demographic cohort following Generation X and preceding Generation Z.How many years is a generation? ›
A generation refers to all of the people born and living at about the same time, regarded collectively. It can also be described as, "the average period, generally considered to be about 20–30 years, during which children are born and grow up, become adults, and begin to have children."Why is the Silent Generation? ›
The Time article used birth dates of 1923 to 1933 for the generation, but the term somehow migrated to the later years currently in use. A reason later proposed for this perceived silence is that as young adults during the McCarthy Era, many members of the Silent Generation felt it was unwise to speak out.Why do they call the Silent Generation? ›
The term “Silent Generation” was first documented in a 1951 Time magazine article, which claimed that the most startling fact about this generation was its silence: “By comparison with the Flaming Youth of their fathers and mothers, today's younger generation is a still, small flame.” The generation's “silent” behavior ...
|Lost Generation||1883-1910||Progressive Era-WWI, Roaring '20s; Electricity/Auto|
|Greatest Generation||1911-1944||Depression; WWII|
|Baby Boomers||1946-1965||Post WWII, TV: Cold War/ Nuclear; 1950s and 1960s Civil Rights and anti War|
|Generation X||1966-1986||Mass Media and Computers|
No official commission or group decides what each generation is called and when it starts and ends. Instead, different names and birth year cutoffs are proposed, and through a somewhat haphazard process a consensus slowly develops in the media and popular parlance.Why are millennials not called Gen Y? ›
They're called millennials because the oldest members of this generation were reaching adulthood at the turn of the millennium. They're also sometimes referred to as Generation Y, or Gen Y, because they came after Generation X and before Gen Z.What are 35 year olds called? ›
Anyone born between 1981 and 1996 (ages 23 to 38 in 2019) is considered a Millennial, and anyone born from 1997 onward is part of a new generation.What is the largest generation? ›
Millennials were the largest generation group in the U.S. in 2022, with an estimated population of 72.24 million. Born between 1981 and 1996, Millennials recently surpassed Baby Boomers as the biggest group, and they will continue to be a major part of the population for many years.Which generation is considered the best? ›
The Greatest Generation commonly refers to those Americans who were born in the 1900s through the 1920s. The Greatest Generation members all lived through the Great Depression and many of them fought in World War II. These individuals have often been described as driven, patriotic, and team-players.Are Gen Z and Zoomers the same? ›
A zoomer is, in the newest use of the word, a member of Generation Z, the generation of people born in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The zoomers follow the millennials (also known as Generation Y), who follow the Gen Xers, who follow the baby boomers.What generation is being born now? ›
In 2024, by McCrindle's definition, the last of Generation Alpha will be born, making way for Generation Beta, whose birth years will span from 2025 to 2039.What are the micro generations? ›
Micro-generations are sub-groups of macro generations that provide a deeper level of understanding into each generation. For example, Gen Z is divided into Z Tribe and Z Alpha, while Millennials are divided into Pro, Mid, and Nouveau Millennials.What is the oldest age in Gen Z? ›
|Gen Z||1997 – 2012||11 – 26|
|Millennials||1981 – 1996||27 – 42|
|Gen X||1965 – 1980||43 – 58|
|Boomers II (a/k/a Generation Jones)*||1955 – 1964||59 – 68|
Generation Z is the demographic cohort that begins after the end of millennials. It refers to the generation born between 1997 to 2012. This generation is also called zoomers. This puts the age group for Gen Z in the range of 6-24 years old in 2021.What is the personality of a Gen Z? ›
Some may call them lazy or work shy, but in reality, Gen Z are just really good at setting boundaries. Like really good. Having a work life balance is paramount for this generation. 72% of Gen Z are protective of their work-life boundaries.Are Gen Z smarter than other generations? ›
A CM Group consumer research effort that polled 1,000 consumers found Gen Z consumers are better educated, more practical, more ambitious and more skeptical than Millennials.How old is Gen Alpha 2023? ›
According to research and media, Alpha Generation years are between 2010 and 2025. Therefore, the Gen Alpha age range in 2023 is between 13 years and newborns.What is the smartest generation? ›
Gen Z is also the smartest and best educated generation. Having an unlimited wealth of information at our disposal has not gone to waste. In America, 57 percent of Gen Z is reported to have enrolled in a two-year or four-year college, compared to 52 percent of Millenials and 43 percent of Gen X.What age is the Silent Generation? ›
The silent generation (age 77-94) is often characterized as thrifty, respectful, unassuming, and loyal. Baby boomers (age 58-76) are portrayed as demanding, self-assured, independent, and competitive.What are Gen Z kids called? ›
Generation Z, also called Gen Z, zoomers, iGeneration, centennials, post-millennials, or Homelanders, term used to describe Americans born during the late 1990s and early 2000s.Will Gen Alpha live forever? ›
Gen Alphas will live longer than previous generations (World Bank) Increased life expectancy has been a trend throughout human history, and there are already half a million centenarians alive today. The average human born in 1980 can expect to live for 63 years.Will Gen Alpha be depressed? ›
Both the Millennial generation and Gen Z have exhibited a trend toward increased levels of anxiety and depression. It's likely that this trend will continue with Generation Alpha.Will Generation Alpha be smart? ›
Generation Alpha is smarter than the past generations, not due to evolution; instead, confounding variables such as improved diets and health, modernisation of communities and social awareness all lead to more intelligent generations. Generation Alpha will reach a peak that no other generation has reached yet.
Generation Alpha includes all children born in or after 2010, and they've earned quite a few nicknames, including Gen A, Generation Glass and Upagers.Who is alpha male in the world? ›
At the top of the hierarchy is the alpha male, who is seen as the most confident, dominant, and successful individual. Below the alpha male are the beta males, who are seen as less dominant and successful but still possess some leadership qualities.Who is the most popular celebrity for Gen Z? ›
Pop artist Billie Eilish is arguably one of the most popular Gen Zers. By the age of 19, her album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? has been streamed billions of times and she has won multiple Grammys – five at the 2020 Grammy Awards alone.What comes after Gen Beta? ›
So it follows that Generation Beta will be born from 2025 to 2039. If the nomenclature sticks, then we will afterwards have Generation Gamma (the children of Generation Alpha) and Generation Delta, but we won't be getting there until the second half of the 21st century!What is the glass generation? ›
A new term has been coined to describe children born after 2010, as educational psychologists are calling them the "glass generation" because they are both more transparent but also much more fragile.What year is generation Gamma? ›
Generally-speaking, the Alphas are the children of the Millennials (born 1980-1994), the siblings of Gen Z (born 1995-2009) and they'll be the parents of Generation Gamma (born 2040-2054). Generation Beta will follow the Alphas (filling in the years 2025-2039).What are the 6 types of generations? ›
Here's a look at six generations of Americans in the 20th century: the Greatest Generation (or GI Generation), the Silent Generation, baby boomers, Generation X, millennials and Generation Z.What is generation Delta? ›
Generation Delta is an Office for Students/UK Research and Innovation funded project running from 2022 - 2026, led by six Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) female professors: Professor Donna Chambers (Northumbria University/ University of Sunderland) Professor Uma Kambhampati (University of Reading)What is generation Omega? ›
Edit. The omega generation of Pokémon games is a fan-created installment of the Pokémon video game series, created by Spindini ((who I affectionately refer to as Spinny) and myself ~Rotamaster Chaos), and starting with Pokémon Spin and Solve and continuing with Pokémon Lemyourinrin and Pokémon Chaos.Who is a famous person in the Alpha generation? ›
Notable Gen Alphas
There are already a few famous Gen Alphas - including the heir to the British monarchy. Prince George of Wales, Princess Charlotte of Wales, and Prince Louis of Wales are all members of Generation Alpha.
|Third generation Oldsmobile Omega|
|Manufacturer||Oldsmobile (General Motors)|
- The Greatest Generation – born 1901-1924.
- The Silent Generation – born 1925-1945.
- The Baby Boomer Generation – born 1946-1964.
- Generation X – born 1965-1979.
- Millennials – born 1980-1994.
- Generation Z – born 1995-2012.
- Gen Alpha – born 2013 – 2025.
The term “Silent Generation” was first documented in a 1951 Time magazine article, which claimed that the most startling fact about this generation was its silence: “By comparison with the Flaming Youth of their fathers and mothers, today's younger generation is a still, small flame.” The generation's “silent” behavior ...What years are the Silent Generation? ›