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Michael 84

What Is A Millennial? – Generation Y Not Generation Z & The Cross-Over Age

Monday, 20th May, 2019

What Is A Millennial - The Age Ranges

For around 3-4 years we’ve heard this term banded around, it’s the word millennial, and wherever you go you seem to hear it; On radio, TV, social media, magazines. But who are the real millennials, and what does the word actually mean.

What is a Millennial?

You’ve heard of generation X, those are people born from around the 60s to very early 80s, but most specifically the 60s and 70s. Before those were the so called baby boomers, born around the  40s to very early 60s. And after X, comes Y, which has been dubbed the millennials.

In my opinion, a Millennial is someone born from 1980 – 1994. There needs to be a cut off year at some point, with a lot of people using the year 1999 or some suggesting even later as the end of the date of birth for a millennial. This is almost 20 years difference from one extreme to the other, which is far too big of a gap. You could also argue that the start date should be 1982 or even 1983, but the cut off should be no later than 1994, as I’ll get into below.

1994 is a much better representation of the cut off point between generation Y (millennials) and generation Z (post-millennial)

Why The Millennial Cut Off Should Be 1994?

I have chosen 1994 for one reason – the year 2007. When someone is born in 1994 and reaches the year 2007, they’ll be 13 years old, i.e. a teenager. This means they’ll reach their teens when:

  • The iPhone (and other smartphones) were released
  • Social Media really started to begin

These two things are huge and important point in life today. These two things are possibly the biggest change in popular culture and life which has happened in modern times. If you’re a teen and have never known an Internet-free or social media free world, you’re not in the same generation demographic as someone who didn’t grow up with the Internet.

That said, for people born 1980 – 1993, we didn’t grow up with social media, we almost certainly didn’t have the Internet in your early teens, and of course we didn’t have had a smartphone either.

So, if you’re reading this and you’re young, you’re probably Generation Z (also called post-millennial, iGen, digital natives etc.)

Millennial and a blanket word for the young

People, especially the media, are latching on to the popular term, and it appears they’re using it for anyone who’s young, which isn’t really true. That would mean someone who’s 18-21 is a millennial according to the media (or the 18-21 year olds themselves). This is not really true at all in my opinion. You have to have been born in the 80s until the early-mid 90s to be a millennial. The word is used to signify an entire generation, and I can’t say that I am from the same generation as a 21 year old, we’re from very different periods of time.

It’s kind of like when someone refers to themselves as a 90’s child, but were born in 1998. Well, it’s very unlikely you remember anything in the 90s, so how can you be a 90’s child? For me, a 90’s child is someone who lived through the 90s, rather than being born in it. They can remember it and have stories; They were probably born in the 80s. I am a 90’s child.

Are you a millennial? You’re only a millennial if you can relate to the following:

A Fun Millennial popular culture Quiz – How Many Can You Tick Off Your List?

What Is A Millennial? Take The Quiz

Fashion

  • You wore brands like Kappa, Calvin Klein, Tommy Jeans & Benneton (The first time round!)
  • You remember when shell suits were a thing (and owned one)
  • You’re go to style was a tracksuit
  • Bumbags were where you kept stuff

Music

  • You remember girl power, the Spice Girls and All Saints
  • Pop music was pop, there were endless numbers of manufactured pop groups in the late 90’s like Steps, 5ive, 911, Boyzone, B*Witched, Hanson etc.
  • You remember Britpop
  • You were either Oasis or Blur
  • You thought you were brilliant because you had a Sony Discman

Football

  • You remember the birth of the Premier League
  • You remember Italia 90 and England going out on penalties to the Germans
  • You watched Euro 96 and England going out on penalties to the Germans (again!)
  • Watching Gazetta Italia Football on Saturday mornings on Channel 4

Technology

  • You used dial up Internet with *that* sound
  • You remember getting shouted at by your parents for using the phone line and running up large bills
  • You owned either a Sega Master System, Megadrive, NES or SNES
  • You used to use ICQ and know what A/S/L means

TV

  • You used to come home from school and watch either CITV or CBBC when they didn’t have dedicated channels
  • Saturday morning TV was a big thing! Saturday Cartoons, Live and Kicking! Gimme 5, SMTV and CDUK
  • You remember Nickelodeon and the great cartoons and shows: Rugrats, Doug, Hey Arnold; Sister Sister, Kenen & Kel, Sabrina
  • You remember shows like Gladiators, and wanted to do the Fun Kart Grand Prix and enter the Fun House

The lists could go on and on. The 90’s was an amazing decade.

How much a millennial do you think you are after that quiz? This is of course just a bit of fun! 😉

You’re Probably Generation Z Or “Post Millennial”

The media has basically stolen the term millennial, and use it for anyone who’s young, 18-25. But if that’s your age, then it’s more than likely you’re not really a millennial at all (25 may just make the cut). So what comes next? After Y comes Z, and in fact you’re Generation Z.

This could also be referred to as a post-millennial, and also go by the name of the iGen.

You can check out this new article from Bloomberg which states millennials are born between 1983 – 1994, and Gen Z between 1995 – 2002, which I think is a good range. Other media and outlets have different born ranges, but I am pretty happy with the ones I’ve selected.

Generation X, Y, Z – Crossover points

There are of course cross-over points, and some people may identify themselves more from one generation than another. Since I was born in ’84 I was near the start of Gen Y and end of Gen X, so my whole life outlook and personality is far different from someone born only 10 years later; Those who’ve lived with the Internet from childhood to present, VS us who haven’t.

Conclusion

Of course it doesn’t really matter what you call it, what generation you’re from or anything like that. This is of course just a bit of fun, and since I love the 90’s so much it was good to reminisce about the fun and pop culture from back in the day.

Let me know your thoughts on the whole “Millennial” word and debate, and what you think is the age range of a millennial.


Michael Adams

About Michael

Michael Adams is the founder and editor of Michael 84, blogger and T-shirt designer from Newcastle, UK. Sharing men's fashion tips, style advice and lifestyle information for all guys.

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