You have asked for some very intersting information! I have truly
enjoyed researching your question, but I must admit, the subject is
very broad and I could go on and on for days on end! I had to put a
stop somewhere, so I tried to organize the information for both
Generation X and Generation Y into some broad categories to help you
formulate a better understanding of each group.
WHO ARE THE GEN XR'S?
From "Generation X Definition." OnPoint Marketing and Promotions.
"Born between 1965 and 1980, generation x members number 50 million in
the U.S, comprising 17% of the population. Members of gen x spend $125
billion annually on consumer goods in the U.S. Generation x is
characterized by a propensity for technology, skepticism to
advertising claims, and attraction to personal style rather than
designer price tags.
"Members of generation x include a high percentage of entrepreneurs,
as well as employees who easily transition from one employer to
another. Since generation x members spend a lot of time in front of
the computer and are comfortable with e-commerce, high impact internet
marketing techniques can help compel gen x individuals to purchase
An Overview of Gen X Parents
From "Meet the parents - demographic information on views of 25-34
year old American on parenting, marriage, homeownership - Statistical
Data Included." American Demographics, Jan 1, 2002
"Reputedly the wave of youth that idealized extended adolescence,
glorified grunge and revived the goatee, Gen Xers are now sinking into
easy chairs and nesting in newly bought homes. They've taken more time
to establish their careers, increasingly delayed marriage and
postponed childbearing. But now, Gen Xers are beginning to establish
families: Of 18.6 million households - 37.8 million people - fully
half of men and 57 percent of women ages 25 to 34 (the closest age
breakdown to Gen X tracked by the census), a total of 9.4 million, are
married. In 2000, three-quarters of men and women were married by age
35. Nearly two-thirds of women ages 25 to 34 (65 percent) have had
"What is Gen X's approach to parenting? It is a blend of caution,
pragmatism and traditionalism - a mix of characteristics that were
shaped with the help of their parents."
From "And Now, the Hard Part: That sweet little thing is about to
commandeer your life. Be prepared," by Lauren Picker. Newsweek
"Most expectant couples are braced for sleep deprivation and dirty
diapers. But the reality is much, much harder in ways that even the
most informed new parents may find surprising. Research shows that
marriage takes a hit when baby makes three."
"Gen-X parents, in particular, are reeling. According to a 2003
analysis of 90 studies involving 31,000 married people, the drop in
marital satisfaction after the first baby's birth is a staggering 42
percent larger among the current generation of parents than their
predecessors. "The finding is particularly strong for women with
infants," adds Jean Twenge, an assistant professor of psychology at
San Diego State University and a coauthor of the review. Satisfaction
dips even lower (though only slightly) with each successive child.
Studies also suggest that one third to one half of new-parent couples
experience as much marital distress as couples already in therapy for
marital difficulties. No wonder the National Marriage Project at
Rutgers University concluded in its 2004 annual report, "Children seem
to be a growing impediment for the happiness of marriages."
"Tensions like these have probably been around since Neanderthal
parents grunted at each other. But for the current generation of new
parents - who tend to be older and already juggling careers - the
hurdles are higher because the expectations are, too. It's not enough
to raise a nice kid; she's got to be ahead of the developmental curve
and involved in arts and athletic activities (while fueled only by
nutritious, organic snacks, of course). The couples' individual roles
change as well. She becomes a diaper-changing lactation machine; he
feels pressured to earn big money. "A new baby often trips couples
back into stereotypical roles and gender expectations of each other.
It's a very hard thing to resist," says Barbara Risman, co-chair of
the Council on Contemporary Families in New York."
Gen Xr's are the least churched, but they plan to send their children
From "Ministering to Gen X Parents."
"Gen X is the least churched generation in America. According to
George Barna, only 28 percent of Gen Xers (ages 20-37) attend church
compared to 51 percent of Builders (58+). Even so, there is reason to
hope that more Gen Xers will attend church soon. Why? According to a
Special 2001 edition of Newsweek, "Eighty-one percent of mothers and
78 percent of fathers say they plan eventually to send their young
child to Sunday school or some other kind of religious training." Who
are these parents? Mainly they are Gen Xers. How old are the children?
Newsweek focused on the first three years of life."
Gen X'rs are proving conventional and disciplined in their parenting
"Gen-X Parents Seek the Middle Ground to Raising Kids," by Catherine
Donaldson-Evans Foxlife. February 06, 2002
"If the so-called Gen-Xers were slackers in their youth, then they are
proving to be anything but in parenthood. In fact, if recent surveys
are any indication, the generation born in the late 1960s and '70s -
many of whom are only now starting to have families - are embracing a
much more conventional, discipline-oriented approach to raising
children than their baby-boom predecessors."
"They've looked at the baby boomers and felt that maybe they were too
permissive with their kids, gave them too many choices," said
Parenting magazine Executive Editor Lisa Bain. "There is a return to
certain traditional values, values of religion and spiritualism and
giving them a sense of home and place."
"But it's traditional with a twist. Gen-Xers don't seem to be falling
back on the ultra-strict, obey-without-questioning child-raising
philosophies their grandparents held dear."
"There has to be a balance," said Wayne, N.J., stay-at-home mom Judy
Salmanson, 35. She describes herself as the family disciplinarian
while her boomer husband opts for the familiar lenient-parenting
"You want to be your child's friend, so they're not scared to come and
talk to you about things," she said. "But at the same time, there have
to be rules and guidelines. They have to respect you."
"Because Gen-Xers grew up in an era full of divorce and latchkey-kid
syndrome, they tend to be more cautious and pragmatic about marrying
and having children, and more flexible about molding their careers so
they have time at home."
"One thing we've heard from our [Gen-X] readers is that they start
planning how they're going to be parents before they even get
pregnant," Bain said."
GEN X Moms
See "Gen X moms have it their way," By Karen S. Peterson, USA TODAY. 5/14/2003
"Moms like Faircloth are more willing to make trade-offs to preserve
family life than their baby-boomer mothers. The daughters of boomers
are less driven to break the glass ceiling at work and more willing to
drive children to soccer practices - and to expect the boss to
understand, social scientists say."
"As Mother's Day nears, these younger mothers are reshaping their
generation's parenting practices, the future of the American family
and a workplace that is slowly taking them into account. Their
footprints in the social sands are being tracked by demographers,
sociologists, publishers and business leaders."
GEN X Dads
Gen X fathers spend more time with their children than their own
father's did, but when given the opportunity to take more time off
work, are hesitant to do so for fear of being perceived as "weak."
From "Gen X dads struggle for balance," by Cindy Krischer Goodman.
Arizon Daily Star. 3/14/2005
"Juggling roles as a business executive, father and coach is all in a
day's work for men of Generation X. These new dads with new priorities
represent a broad shift from prior generations in their level of
involvement with their kids. And that involvement reflects in the
workplace: They are more likely to sacrifice pay, modify work travel
and refuse to move, all for the sake of family."
"Now some employers are reaching out to help men with balance,
considering them the silent stakeholder in the work/life debate. But
those employers who try often are baffled by the results: The men are
shunning benefits offered to them or reluctant to talk openly about
work-family conflict, often out of fear of being perceived as weak in
their commitment to work."
"Men still feel awkward about taking paternity leave or asking for
flexible work arrangements," Maria Ferris, director of work-force
diversity programs at IBM, said at a recent conference sponsored by
the Alliance for Work-Life Progress. The computer giant offers two
weeks of paid time off to new fathers, but "men are not using it as
much as we would like."
"At the same time, fathers of Gen X - the 60 million Americans between
ages 25 and 40 - spend at least an hour a day more involved in their
child's lives than the prior generation
Gen X Spending habits
Gen Xr's might not save be saving as much as their parent's did at an
early age, but they are enjoying their money.
From "The new adults: the first Gen Xers will turn 38 this year, and
they're proving to be a different kind of adult than their Boomer
parents - demographics of Generation X - Illustration," by alison
Stein Wellner. Forecast, Jan, 2003
"Gen Xers like to spend money on their homes, since they're owning
their homes at an earlier age. And because a majority of Gen Xers have
children in the house, Gen Xers are devoting significant portions of
their budgets to kid-friendly items. In 2001, Gen Xers spent more than
average on children's clothing and footwear, and also on
entertainment, particularly on home entertainment like televisions,
radios, and sound equipment."
Scroll to page two of article to see a typical Gen X budget, salary
info, and more demographic data:
Marketing to Generation X
From "The ABCs of Selling to Generation X," by Karen E. Klein.
Business Week Online. April 15, 2004.
"How can entrepreneurs tweak their marketing and sales campaigns to
better reach today's young families? A new survey of 3,020 parents,
conducted in late 2003 by Boston-based marketing-strategy firm Reach
Advisors, lays the foundations for a better understanding of the
social and attitudinal differences between Generation Xers -- those
born from 1965 to 1979 -- and their baby boom parents. What follows
are some of the key points drawn from the survey, Generation X
Parents: From Grunge to Grown Up, and the lessons savvy businesses
will draw from them:
* "Better educated, downwardly mobile: Gen X parents have more
schooling than boomers yet are far more pessimistic about their
* "More family time, less contentment: Gen X moms and dads are more
likely than upwardly mobile boomer parents to turn their attention
from careers to put a greater emphasis on children and household
responsibilities. Still, the Gen X parents are less satisfied with the
amount of time they allocate to family ......
* "It's all about value: Generation Xers in the top 5% of household
income -- those with annual incomes of $150,000-plus -- tend to be in
industries that have seen layoffs and where income growth has stalled.
The consequent uncertainty leads to more cautious spending across the
entire income spectrum....
* "The "soccer mom" is history: Only 9% of Generation X mothers
describe themselves that way. Today's young moms are more difficult to
classify, given the variety of factors that shape their existence....
* "Dads do more at home. Today's fathers are less likely to draw a
hard and fast line between work during the week and family on the
Excerpts from "Generation X is having Babies...Do you know how to
market to them?" Baby Shop.
Understand the Characteristics That Define Them - "Marketers that want
to successfully reach Gen X need to hit them with messages that appeal
to their self-oriented and pragmatic nature...
Aim Right at Them - Advertising that works for Gen Xer is aimed right
at their love of "experiences," those activities that arouse their
sense of adventure and passion...
Market a Truly New Product - "A new product isn?t saddled with the
old "rules" of pricing and distribution that were based on past sales
Make It Funny - "Gen Xers love a good time and value humor in ads..
Maintain a quality attitude - "Gen Xers are a quality-conscious group...
Appeal to their new attitude towards work - "This generation has a
more balanced view of the role that work plays in their lives," says
Mr. Gronbach. "They are willing to work, but they also expect to have
lives outside of the office...
Most Generation Y children have not yet become parents, or even
married. In fact, the oldest members of Generation Y are barely out of
college and starting their first full-time jobs. Thus, little is
written about them as parents. However, the attributes ascribed to
them as young adults should help to define their future parenting
* There is one article at the end of my answer that touches on both
Gen X and Gen Y mothers, as well as one that speaks about the housing
preferences of both groups.
WHO ARE THE GEN Y'S?
An excellent demographic overview can be found in the following article:
"Who are the Gen Y students?" Chico State Inside. February 10, 2005.
Also see "The Gen Y Factor." CADM EF Academic Update. May 13, 2005
(click on each page to advance)
From "The Newest Adult Consumer."
"Generation Y-ers aren?t kids anymore. At least some of them aren?t. A
generation even larger than the much-ballyhooed Baby Boomers, the
first of the 80-million members of Gen Y were born in 1977. Today, the
oldest Gen Y-ers are 26 years old, and 44% are adults (18+).
"What?s Gen Y like? Sociologists and demographers tend to describe
Generation Y in a positive tone, unlike the sometimes negative picture
painted of the generation before them, Gen X. As one expert explains,
"In contrast to Gen X, the upper end of Gen Y came of age during an
eight-year period of unprecedented economic growth. In the late 1990s
they lived in sunny idealism with confidence about the future. They
are more trustful of parents and authorities than Gen X and are not
characterized as angry as Gen X often has been." Some experts describe
Gen Y as Gen X on fast-forward, with self-esteem.
Key characteristics of Gen Y include:
Young and trend-conscious
Idealistic, optimistic, and flexible
Hard workers; highly entrepreneurial
Socially responsible; particularly concerned about the environment
More ethnically diverse than any prior U.S. generation
Very comfortable with technology; like to multi-task
Have a hunger for feedback and rewards
Spiritually traditional: 89% of Gen Y state that they believe in God.
From "Managing Generation Y -- Part 1. Bruce Tulgan and Carolyn A.
Martin reflect on the latest wave of workers, consumers, and global
citizens -- the grown-up children of the late '70s and early '80s."
Book Excerpt. Business Week Online. SEPTEMBER 28, 2001
Gen Yers are upbeat and full of self-esteem
Gen Yers are the most education-minded generation in history
Gen Y is the most cross-culture, cross-creed, and cross-color generation in
Gen Y is leading a new wave of Volunteerism
They have grown up at a time when family is "fashionable" and time is
structured to the hilt. They are highly tolerant of individual
differences and reject prejudice. They expect convenience and are
always on the go...
Read "Call Them Gen Y or Millennials: They Deserve Our Attention."
Merrill Associates. May 2005.
Career is secondary to "a life"
Read "Gen Y work towards a life, not a career," by Adele Horin.
Fairfax Digital. June 4, 2005
And some Gen Y college students, called "Twixters", are not sure which way to turn:
Read "Twixter" undecided," By Brian Stelzer. J201 Reporter. Indiana
Women are determined they will put children before work
From "Integrating Gen-Y Into the Workplace," by Jim Carroll. The Boardroom
"According to a survey by Manchester, MA based Silver Stork Research
of woman aged 17 to 28, most think the most important thing they could
give to their children compared to what their parents gave them is
"time." That?s why 90% of them said they would even take a pay cut to
spend more time with their children. The survey went on to examine how
the workforce should change to support their ideals. 78% per cent said
flexible work schedules were a must, and 59% said that the
establishment of "parenting hours" (i.e. a workday that goes from 9am
to 3pm) would also be a requirement."
"That?s but one aspect of their work/life philosophy. They will come
to expect a career in which work is but a means to an end - rather
than a life in which the career defines who they are, they will live
with an understanding that their career or job is but one component of
an overall, rich, complex and busy life."
They've grown up in turbulent, confusing times
Read "For Gen Y, Turbulent Times Force Many to Ask, ?What do I do
now?? by Jason Thurlkill. The Politix Group.
In terms of future housing, they want to live near the action
From "Demographics changing real estate future." Rochester Democrat
and Chronicle. http://www.housingchoice.org/news%20stories/2005/02192005.htm
"The changing racial makeup of the United States is reflected in Gen
Y. "Ethnically diverse, Generation Y is 38 percent non-white," said
Elizabeth Gillespie, vice president of marketing in Atlanta for Jones
Lang LaSalle Americas Inc., a real estate firm. She spoke at an Urban
Land Institute seminar." "Above all, Gen Y is tech-savvy. Their
lifestyle is all about technology. They are consumed by entertainment
and accomplished at multitasking," Gillespie added."
"Pamela Hamilton, senior vice president of Centre City Development
Corp., the public agency for downtown San Diego's redevelopment,
described what Gen Y wants in housing. "Location is important; they
want to be where the action is, like when they were in college. They
want to be near coffee shops, clubs and shopping," she said."
Gen Y's have grown up with a lot of technology and continue to use it!
Read "Growing Up Digital: Gen Y Technology Usage Trends." Zell Center
for Risk Research Conference Series.
Also see "To Be About To Be." American Demographics, Sept 1, 2003
"Whatever attitudes and distinguishing features characterized the Gen
Y cohort throughout childhood and the teen years, demographers and
trendspotters will inevitably note how those attitudes evolve with
each successive life stage change......"About-To-Be behavior."
"Yet one thing 21-year olds are attached to is technology.
Telecommunications, television and the Internet are so ubiquitous in
their lives that they bounce seamlessly from one to another, sometimes
consuming several media simultaneously. MTV found evidence of this
when it recently asked 18- to 24-year-olds how many hours a day they
spend surfing the Web, downloading music and e-mailing friends. The
company's researchers were shocked when they added up the hours and
found that the average time totaled more than 24 hours a day. "Young
people manage to squeeze 31 hours into a 24-hour period," says Betsy
Frank, executive vice president of research and planning for MTV
Networks, in New York. "They'll read a magazine while watching TV
while going online. They're the masters of multitasking."
"Add wireless technologies to the mix, and you have the most mobile
generation ever. Twenty-one-year-olds are the most likely to throw
away their home answering machines and to "cut the cord" on wired
phones, relying entirely on cell phones and voice mail. They're
jugglers who place high value on being both footloose and connected.
Seeing this as a new kind of lifestyle - and perhaps as the wave of
the future - the advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi has come up with
a name for it: "connexity." To cope with this new world, businesses
are moving as fast as they can to develop products and marketing
targeted to today's "connexed" 21-year-olds."
MARKETING TO GENERATION Y
From "Generation Y Defined." On Point Marketing and Promotions.
"Born between 1981 and 1995, generation y members in America are more
than 57 million strong. The y generation is the largest consumer group
in the history of the U.S. Other names for gen y include Echo Boomers
and the Millennium Generation."
"Member of the y generation have annual incomes totaling $211 billion,
according to a study from Harris Interactive. The study found that
generation y spends $172 billion per year and saves $39 billion per
year, and drives many adult purchasing decisions. Consequently, the y
generation represents the future market for most consumer brands. The
study also found that pre-teens (ages 8-12) spend $19.1 billion
annually, while teens (13-19) spend $94.7 billion annually and young
adults (20-21) spend $61.2 billion. 87 percent of income for children
under age 13 years is adult-supplied, compared to 37 percent of teens
and 7 percent of young adults, with teens and young adults relying
mostly on jobs for their income."
From "Tracking Young Adults with the 2000 U.S. Census," by Mary
Marczak. U of MN Extension. Census 2000 Extension Project.
"Echo-Boomers..Millennials.. Gen-Y?s.. whatever label one attaches to
the young adult population (usually categorized as ages 18-24),
organizations from religious groups to corporate marketers are very
interested in this population. According to a June 2001 article in
American Demographics, this group is becoming a consumer force. The
new group of youth (kids of baby boomers) are just graduating from
college and 56% of these college graduates plan to live with their
parents for some period of time after they graduate. According to the
article, these post collegiate nesters, unencumbered by survival costs
(e.g. room and board), are financially savvy and ready to spend.
Corporate marketers are becoming quickly aware that people most able
to afford toys are the college graduates who move back home....
From "Trend Talk: Get to Know "Gen Y" Future Homebuyer," by Kathy
Lamancusa. Reality Times.
"How do you catch their attention? Relate to them. Generation Y likes
to be entertained. They care about causes that cater to the
preservation of the environment and spend a lot of time with radio,
television and the Internet. They prefer street marketing, or
localized and personalized marketing that includes free giveaways,
samples and special events."
Also read "Tough customers: how to reach Gen Y," by Joanna L. Krotz.
Microsoft Small Business Center.
While this article applies primarily to teens, you can gather some
hints as some Gen Y's are parents now...
GEN X AND GEN Y MOTHERS
The following excerpts are from an article about magazines geared
toward the new type of mothers, but I have excerpted a few interesting
tidbits. You will probably want to read the entire article for more
From "Working Mother." Media Press Room, BYLINE: By Jill Garbi.
February 1, 2004. http://www.workingmother.com/pr_2_1_04_folio.shtml
"Thirty years ago, women wanted it all: family and career. And they
still do. But many Gen X and Y-ers - moms in their 20s and 30s - want
even more: balance."
"As of 2000, there were about 15.6 million Gen X moms, according to
the Census Bureau. Gen Y is also on the cusp: 92 percent of women age
18 to 24 are or plan to be mothers, says Marta Loeb, founder of Silver
Stork Research, which studies the market. Nearly half of that
percentage plan to have a child by 2008, which could result in a 17
percent rise in the birthrate over the next 10 years, Loeb says. Peter
Kreisky of Kreisky Media Consultancy says, "Having kids is directly
linked to huge economic expenditures that only start with diapers. New
parents are responsible for expenditures not just for themselves but
also for their burgeoning families. Reaching them and gaining their
interest and loyalty is like hitting a mother lode for advertisers."
"Who are these new parents? Unlike the working moms of the '80s and
'90s, those in Gen X feel entitled to move in and out of the workforce
as they raise their children. They expect options like flextime or
part-time hours, telecommuting - and the freedom to leave the
workplace entirely if they can afford it. "Flexibility is the most
important factor for employees today," says Carol Evans, CEO and
president of Working Mother Media, whose magazine tracks the 100 best
firms for working moms. "Generation X moms may want to work only one
day a week, but they still think of themselves as career women." Adds
Loeb: "If you are a mainstream women's magazine not currently speaking
to this sector, you will miss out."
"The different attitude toward motherhood is also evident in how Gen X
and Y women approach pregnancy. "In the last 10 years, there has been
a revolution in the way pregnancy is perceived, and the way women
themselves perceive it," says Nicole Gregory, executive editor of Fit
Pregnancy. "Ten years ago, the standard look was a navy-blue tent
dress with a bow. Now every top designer has a maternity line. And
while we used to beg for celebrities to appear on our cover, pregnant
Gen X celebrities are now coming forward and asking to be on the
GEN X AND GEN Y (ECHO BOMMERS) HOUSING PREFERENCES
Members of both sets desire larger, more luxurious homes.
See "Gen-X Dominates New Home Market," by NAHB press release. CNR News 06/05
Excerpt: "Previously there was speculation that younger buyers would
be more thrifty than their parents with respect to their housing
choices, but our research shows just the opposite is true," said NAHB
Director of Research Gopal Ahluwalia. In fact, many overwhelmingly
favored options support the idea of a "move-up mentality" for younger
buyers. For example, both echo boomers and Gen-Xers say they would
like to have a home that is about 50 percent larger than their current
"Other housing preferences of younger buyers also show the inclination
for a more luxurious lifestyle. For example, 61 percent of
echo-boomers and 67 percent of Gen-Xers say they would prefer to have
four or more bedrooms in their next house, compared to 40 percent of
baby boomers and 26 percent of seniors."
"In all, we find that the preferences of younger buyers tend toward
greater space and more sophisticated amenities than those of their
forebears," said Howard."
Again, this has been a fascinating bit of research (especially since I
have three children in the Gen Y category!!)
I hope I have touched on some information that you will find helpful
in marketing your new product. If I can clarify anything more
specifically, please let me know and I will see what I can find.
Best of luck!
the Gen X parent
the Gen Y parent
Gen X parenting styles
Gen Y parenting styles
Gen Y lifestyles
Gen X lifestyles
how many parents are from Gen Y?
Gen X parents of new babies
Gen Y parents of new babies
attributes of Gen Y parents
gen Y as future parents
gen Y as the youngest parents'
gen Y AND values
gen X AND values
favorite gadgets of Gen X parents
favorite gadgets of Gen Y parents
favorite products of GEN X parents
favorite products of GEN Y parents