The Boomers And Other Generations of Our Times: 1901–2024

D.D. Delaney
13 min readSep 9, 2018

I know of two ways to define generations.

The first is by a formula some sociologists used, which came up with slight differences in dates and other criteria. In 2015, the Pew Research Center, seeking to balance the differences among several different estimates, distilled the most commonly cited categories into its own catalogue of the generations, which is very similar to others and probably as good as any. We hear about ourselves all the time under those labels, which seem to be based on each generation’s formative experiences, particularly with technology, which divided the generations from each other at least as much as any other factor.

Here’s the breakdown, according to Pew:

Those born between 1997 and 2015 are the Post-Millennials, a designation which will probably stick, but Gen Z and the New Silent Generation have both been used as well. This generation has grown up with smart phones and social media.

The Millennials, sometimes called Gen Y, born between 1981 and 1996, grew up with the internet.

Gen X (sometimes called “Thirteeners”) includes those born between 1965 and 1980. Their technology was the personal computer.

Baby Boomers span the years between 1946 and 1964. They grew up on television.

My generation, the Silents — 1928–1945 — grew up on radio. And before us the GI Generation, sometimes called the Greatest Generation, born between 1901 and 1927, witnessed a grim World War, lived through Prohibition and the Roaring Twenties, suffered the deprivation of the Great Depression, and fought in the Second World War.

So, coming into the world in 1940, I’m not a Baby Boomer, as are my two younger sisters, born in 1945 (we call her an “early Boomer”) and 1951, respectively. As I found out recently, I’m a younger member of the older group, the Silent Generation.

According to Wikipedia, we “Silents” (disappearing daily from the planet) have concerned ourselves with keeping our noses clean, preferring a place in existing society over social reform or activism. Growing up in the Great Depression followed by World War II, we learned economic austerity, proud militaristic patriotism, and conformity to authority, lest we be…

D.D. Delaney

D.D. Delaney is an actor, poet, and essayist currently living in Norfolk, VA, USA, with his partner Jala Magik.