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Q: Generation Y ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Generation Y
Category: Relationships and Society
Asked by: blackbrook-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 04 Dec 2005 08:42 PST
Expires: 03 Jan 2006 08:42 PST
Question ID: 601253
What are the characteristics of people in "Generation Y?"  How is this
generation being defined?  I'd be happy to receive 2-4 excellent
articles that have been written on this topic over the last several
Subject: Re: Generation Y
Answered By: umiat-ga on 04 Dec 2005 15:14 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello, blackbrook-ga!

The following articles should help to provide an interesting profile
of Generation Y!


Generation Y defined:

"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...."


An excellent overview of the characteristics of Gen Y's can be found
in the following article:

"Who are the Gen Y students?" Chico State Inside. February 10, 2005.


For a good powerpoint presentation on Generation Y, see: 

"The Gen Y Factor." CADM EF Academic Update. May 13, 2005

 (click on each page to advance) 


Also see "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


Book Review:

"Managing Generation Y." Book Excerpt. Business Week Online. September 2001.

"Here they come: the fourteenth generation of Americans.
Self-confident and optimistic. Independent and goal-oriented. Masters
of the Internet and PC. Young adults who believe education is cool,
integrity is admirable, and parents are role models. They're blunt.
They're savvy. They're contradictory. They're the children of Baby
Boomers, the upbeat younger siblings of Gen X, and the 29 million
young adults who have been streaming into the workplace over the last
five years. Their presence will continue to grow every single year for
the next ten years."

"In Managing Generation Y, Bruce Tulgan and Carolyn A. Martin, Ph.D.
try to present a pocket guide to help managers understand the kids
born between 1978 and 1998 -- a group of employees with quite
different qualities from the Gen Xers before them."

Read further... 


The Microsoft website even provides some tips on how to reach Gen Y consumers:

"Tough customers: how to reach Gen Y," By Joanna L. Krotz.


More on Gen Y consumers:

"Gen Y Knocking At the Door of Ownership." Washington Times. November 18, 2005

"Hooking Up with Gen Y: Boost and Virgin are Showing Major U.S.
Wireless Carriers How to Tap One of the Last Big Cell-Phone Markets."
Business 2.0  October, 2003.

"Gen Y: A tough crowd to sell," By Bruce Horovitz, USA TODAY. 2002


I hope these are helpful!



Search Strategy

Gen Y
Generation Y
profile of Gen Y
Generation Y defined
studies on Generation Y
blackbrook-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $10.00
This was exactly what I was looking for.  Thanks very much!  (And the
speed of the turn-around wsa much appreciated.)

Subject: Re: Generation Y
From: umiat-ga on 04 Dec 2005 17:10 PST
Thank you for your kind comments and very generous rating and tip!
They are very much appreciated!
Subject: Re: Generation Y
From: geof-ga on 05 Dec 2005 01:50 PST
The term "Generation X" had a certain edginess to it, especially in
the context of Bret Easton Ellis's writing. "Generation Y" simply
sounds limp; and since its last members were supposed to have been
born in the mid-1990s presumably we're now into "Generation Z".
Hopefully, this way of describing under-25s will then be replaced by
something novel.
Subject: Re: Generation Y
From: bec78202-ga on 09 Feb 2006 07:57 PST
Another nickname, and a not-so-nice one at that, for Gen-Y is the
Ritalin Generation.  What I heard for the year ranges was 82-95,
though that clearly varies.  It would make more sense to me if the
generation AFTER Y were the millennium generation, with the years of
their birth actually surrounding Y2K....but that's just me.

As for characteristics of the Y generation, the reference to ritalin
really says it all - hyperactive, attention-seeking brats who really
need a good smack on the backside. Being born in '82 myself, I really
think it applies more to the 2nd half of gen-Y, but again, that's just

I think it somewhat dangerous, however, to group people together and
make assumptions about them, based on nothing but the year of their
birth.  Not everyone born in the baby boomer era is a stereotypical
baby boomer, nor is every Gen-X era person a stereotypical Gen-X-er. 
Likewise, not everyone born after 1980 requires ritalin to survive in
the big bad world.

People get up in arms about sterotyping based on race, gender, culture
or religion (etc etc etc), and in my opinion, this is no different. 
Sure, most Gen-Y people living in the so-called modern world own a
mobile phone, a computer, a digital camera and goodness only knows how
many other devices that our great-grandparents couldn't have even
conceived, but that's not because we were born after 1980.

We own mobile phones because they're more convenient (and if you get
the right deal, cheaper) than landline phones.  We own computers
because they're the cheapest and fastest way to do a hundred different
things, including keep in touch with family and friends on the
opposite side of the world.  We own digital cameras because we only
want to print the good pics, not the blurred shots of some idiot's
finger in front of the lens.  We don't own them because of when we
were born, we own them because they're superior to the alternatives. 
Perhaps THAT is a characteristic of Gen-Y - a demand for quality, and
value for money.


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