New Guidelines Redefine Birth Years for Millennials, Gen-X, and 'Post-Millennials'

Universal Studios
Universal Studios

You hear about Millennials, Generation X, and the Baby Boomers all the time, but it’s not always clear who’s a part of these groups. In fact, all of these terms are fairly unofficial social constructs outside of the Boomers—the U.S. Census [PDF] actually defines them as the generation of people born between 1946 and 1964. Now, the Pew Research Center is looking to give more structure to these generational nicknames with a new set of guidelines that establishes where each person belongs depending on their birth year. This is what they’ve come up with:

  • The Silent Generation: Born 1928-1945 (73-90 years old)
  • Baby Boomers: Born 1946-1964 (54-72 years old)
  • Generation X: Born 1965-1980 (38-53 years old)
  • Millennials: Born 1981-1996 (22-37 years old)
  • Post-Millennials: Born 1997-Present (0-21 years old)

In addition to defining the birth years of Boomers and Gen-X'ers, Pew’s main focus with this research was to highlight where Millennials end and the yet-unnamed “Post-Millennial” generation begins. The new Millennial cutoff of 1996 is important because it points to a generation that is old enough to have experienced and comprehend 9/11, while also finding their way through the 2008 recession as young adults.

Those born between 1981 and 1996 will have been affected by the economic downturn in numerous ways: some would have had their early careers impacted, while others would have had their education influenced by it (perhaps through prohibitive tuition costs or a change in major to find a field with jobs). President of the Pew Research Center Michael Dimock said the recession’s effect on Millennials and the initial “slow start” to their careers “will be a factor in American society for decades.”

Technology also plays a factor in the dividing lines between generations. The study gives an example that the oldest “Post-Millennial” members would have been 10 when the iPhone was introduced, whereas many Millennials will still have memories of landlines, touch-tones, and rotary phones. As technology plays a more encompassing role in our lives, these societal developments are seen as a big enough distinction to draw generational lines through. Dimock points to Baby Boomers as a generation that saw TV become dominant, Generation X experienced a computer revolution, and Millennials grew up in an age where the internet became a new way of life.

Pew's new guidelines do alter a few others that came before. Some have put the Millennial generation from 1982-2004 (easily making it the longest generation), while others would have wanted to end it in the early '90s.

In establishing these guidelines, it also looks like the “Xennial” has been wiped from existence. This is a micro-generation that encompassed those born between 1977 and 1983—they identified themselves as people who grew up in a pre-digital world and later adapted to today’s technology. If this includes you, you’re now either a late-term Gen X’er or a grizzled veteran of the Millennial clan.

Dimock himself makes it clear that these “cutoff points aren’t an exact science.” They're simply tools to analyze the different shifts in how age groups are experiencing the world—socially, economically, politically, and technologically.

12 Essential Products to Keep in Your Bag at All Times

iStock/unomat
iStock/unomat

Pretty much everyone has been out and about and faced something they weren't prepared for, whether it was a gait-busting blister or a cringe-inducing wardrobe malfunction. But disaster doesn't have to strike! With these items in your bag, you’ll never be unprepared again.

1. SMIRTI Canvas Bag; $13

A small canvas bag
Amazon

First things first: A bag to keep all of your essentials secure and in one place so they’re easy to find. We like this one because it’s big and because it’s made of canvas, so you can hand wash it if it gets dirty.

Find it: Amazon

2. Scotch Essentials Instant Buttons; $7 for Four

The packaging of Scotch Essentials Easy Button Fix showing a woman in a white shirt and black pants on a blue background.
Amazon

You never want to find yourself in the embarrassing situation of being down a button with no way to fix it. Scotch’s Instant Buttons do away with the needle and thread—all you have to do is place the fallen button on the sticky surface of the pin, then stick the pin through your shirt and secure it with the provided backing. Lost your button? No problem: The pack comes with four buttons.

This isn’t the only wardrobe malfunction-busting product Scotch has made: The company's wardrobe strips, white mark eraser, and adjustable hem tape are on-the-go essentials, too.

Find it: Amazon

3. Baggu Bag; $12

A purple gingham baggu bag folded up in is packaging on a white background.
Amazon

Keeping a bag in your bag might seem silly, but you never know when you might have to lug a bunch of things home from the office or the grocery store. Baggu offers nylon bags in a variety of bright prints for every personality.

Find it: Amazon

4. Brush On Block Powder Sunscreen; $32

Brush on Block Powder suncreen in its blue packaging on a white background.
Amazon

Applying sunscreen before you leave the house is great, but its protective effects will likely wear off by your lunch break. Experts recommend reapplying sunscreen every two hours to protect your body’s largest organ from harmful UV rays. Keep this reef-friendly, vegan powder sunblock in your bag for those times when you need to reapply on the run (and don’t forget to dust your scalp and ears!).

Find it: Amazon

5. Zeiss Pre-Moistened Lens Wipes; $7 for 80

The white-and-blue packaging of the Zeiss lens cleaning wipe on a white background.
Amazon

Sometimes, breathing on your glasses and wiping them with a cloth just doesn’t do the trick. These wipes from Zeiss will leave your lenses crystal clear.

Find it: Amazon

6. Band-Aid Family Pack; $13 for 280 Bandages

A family pack of Band-Aids
Amazon

No one wants to get caught with a cut and no way to cover it up. This 280-package of various sizes and fabrics will keep you covered no matter what, or where, the injury.

Find it: Amazon

7. Compeed Blister Cushions; $17 for 10

Compeed blister cushions
Amazon

Sometimes, a regular bandage isn’t enough to take on a blister. Instead of limping along, make sure you have these cushioned gel blister bandages in your bag. Each case holds two pads for heels, two for the side of the foot, and one patch for the toe; the waterproof patches fit like a second skin, keeping the blister protected from dirt and bacteria and providing comfort.

Find it: Amazon

8. Everyone Hand Sanitizer; $15 for Six 2-Ounce Bottles

Every Hand Sanitizer gel on a white background.
Amazon

Not all hand sanitizers need to smell like the doctor’s office and leave your hands feeling extra dry. Instead, combat germs with these cruelty-free gels, which are rated 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon. They’re made with plant-based glycerin, jojoba oil, and essential oils, so they smell delicious and leave your hands soft.

Find it: Amazon

8. Kleenex Packets; $9 for Six

Six Kleenex Slim Packs
Amazon

These packets—which are slim enough to fit in the pocket of your jeans—have “very attractive multi pattern packages [to] bring out your personality,” according to one Amazon listing. Patterned packaging or no, you’ll want these on hand in the event of a runny nose.

Find it: Amazon (also available in packs of 18)

9. Portable Phone Fan; $10 for Four

Smartphone fans
Amazon

Yes, it seems silly. But should you find yourself stuck on a sweltering subway platform, or just out and about in a place with no breeze, you’ll be thankful you have this little phone fan in your bag. Just plug it into your Lightning port and feel instantly cooler. (If you’d prefer to listen to music and pretend to be Beyoncé, might we suggest this necklace fan?)

Find it: Amazon

10. Oral B-Floss; $6 for Two

A two-pack of Oral-B Glide floss
Amazon

There’s nothing worse than having something stuck in your teeth and not being able to get it out. If you have floss in your bag, you’ll never have to worry.

Find it: Amazon

11. Hydaway Collapsible Water Bottle; $26 to $32

Two green HYDAWAY Bottles—one expanded and one collapsed—on a white background.
Amazon

You might not necessarily need to drink eight glasses of water a day, but staying hydrated is still important. This water bottle will ensure you always have a vessel to prevent parchedness, and packs down small for when you’re not using it. (It’s great for travel, too!)

Find it: Amazon

12. Bamboo Cutlery and Straw Set; $13

A set of bamboo spoons, knives, and forks on a white background.
Amazon

Maybe your city has banned plastic straws and utensils, or maybe you want to do your part to help the environment. Either way, consider keeping a handy pair of reusable utensils in your bag. This set from Bambooster has two knives, two forks, two spoons, and two pairs of chopsticks, and two reusable straws with cleaners—all for just $13.

Find it: Amazon

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul Might Be Hinting About a Breaking Bad Reunion

Frank Ockenfels, AMC
Frank Ockenfels, AMC

Dust off your hazmat suits—Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul might have just hinted that there could be a Breaking Bad reunion in the works.

According to NME, the former co-stars tweeted identical photos of “drug mules” on their respective accounts mirrored with the same caption: "Soon." Peter Gould, one of the show’s writers, even reacted with his own tweet where he proclaimed: "Looking forward to this."

These tweets, along with previous talks regarding the development of a Breaking Bad movie, have reignited fan hopes that the paths of Jesse Pinkman and Walter White might somehow cross again.

Breaking Bad remains such a significant pop culture phenomenon that the show continues to inspire fan theories to this day, despite having officially ended in 2013 (though Better Call Saul has helped to fill the void for some viewers). When The Hollywood Reporter announced in November that Vince Gilligan, the show’s creator, was developing a two-hour film adaptation, fans promptly lost their minds with excitement. Some, however, were a bit dubious as to how this cinematic extension would pan out.

Much of this divisiveness stems from the series’s finale. Walter’s supposed death in the final moments of the show begs the question of just how involved Cranston could be in the film’s production. There’s also concern that any film adaptation—whether it’s released theatrically or on TV—would ruin what was widely viewed as a perfect ending to the series.

Whatever the case, the film’s production has largely been a hush-hush affair. Both Cranston and Paul have avoided giving direct answers regarding their involvement with the project, so much so that IndieWire is wondering whether the actors' identical tweets have anything to do with a potential movie at all. Luckily, there appears to be more evidence geared toward the show’s characters reuniting; here’s hoping Blue Sky finally gets its big screen debut.

[h/t NME]

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