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Why do the dates of generations overlap?

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When you start to examine generations you’ll quickly note that there is an overlap in begin and end dates of all generations. The baby boomer generation started in 1943 but the builder / traditionalist generation did not end until 1944. The first member Generation X was born in 1961 it baby boomers are still being born until 1964. Many wonder why such an overlap exists.

It is all a matter of what creates a culture. Because each generation has similarities among its members they can be recognized as a culture. As with other cultures generational cultures derived from the shared experiences of the members of the culture. We easily see this with races, ethnicities and religions as they typically share similar experiences and challenges throughout their life. Such is true with generational cultures.

Consequently, in the final days of the outgoing generation or the initial phases of the new generation babies may take on the characteristics of either generation. This could be due to the generation of their parents or the influence of siblings. A baby born on the cusp of a new generation who is the youngest in the family has a tendency to adapt the outgoing generation. Another baby born on the same day may be the oldest and his or her family and through normal childhood development be more interested in the things of the younger siblings and therefore be more likely to share their experiences.

© Max Impact, used with permission.

Learn more about today’s generations:

  • Builders / Traditionalists, also known as the greatest generation, born before 1944
  • Baby boomers, sometimes relabeled the sandwich generation, born between 1943 and 1964
  • Generation X, born between 1961 and 1980
  • Generation Y, sometimes referred to as the millennial generation, born between 1977 and 2000
  • Millennials, sometimes referred to as generation Z, born after 1998

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