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Generational Views - Survey

posted 8/21/2008 2:48:49 PM |
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  Wordsofwit

August 20, 2008 02:01 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Widely Held Attitudes to Different Generations

Generation Y Seen as Most Self-indulgent, Generation X as Most Innovative, and Boomers as Most Productive. “Silent Generation” and “Greatest Generation” are the Most Admired

ROCHESTER, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A recent survey by Harris Interactive conducted for Charles Schwab and Age Wave asked almost 4,000 Americans aged 21 to 83 what they thought of different generations. Specifically, they were asked about people aged 13 to 31 or Generation Y; those aged 32 to 43 or Generation X, Baby Boomers, aged 44 to 62; the “Silent Generation,” aged 63 to 83; and the “Greatest Generation,” aged 84 or older. The results show how very differently people view the different generations, with many people holding strong positive and negative opinions about them.

These are some of the results of a Harris Interactive survey, Rethinking Retirement, based on a nationwide sample of 3,868 adults aged 21 to 83 surveyed online in March and April 2008. Much of the survey was focused on retirement issues and retirement planning.

Some of the most interesting findings are:

Baby Boomers (35%) are most widely viewed as having a positive effect on society, followed by Generation X (25%);
The Silent Generation (33%) and the Greatest Generation (30%) are the most widely admired generations, followed by Baby Boomers (22%);
The Silent Generation (40%) and Baby Boomers (33%) are widely viewed as the most generous;
The two generations widely seen as the most productive are Baby Boomers (45%) and Generation X (32%);
A 53 percent majority (including a majority of Gen Y itself) believe Generation Y is the most self-indulgent, followed by Generation X (25%);
A 41 percent plurality sees Generation X as the most innovative, followed by Baby Boomers (25%) and Generation Y (22%);
There is no consensus as to which generation is most socially conscious, but Baby Boomers (34%) and Generation X (26%) top the list;
Gen Y would like to rename themselves the "Internet Generation" (32%). They really dislike being called “Generation Y” or “Millennials”;
Gen X would choose to rename themselves “Generation Tech” (25%). They dislike being called “Generation X”;
Baby Boomers are the only generation which seems to really like the name given to them (27%)
The Silent Generation would re-name themselves the "Responsible Generation” (44%). They strongly dislike being called “Silent” or “Invisible.”
So What Does This Mean? Myth versus Reality

These findings show that two widely-held views are false. One is that America is riddled with ageism and that younger people have no respect for older people. While there is surely some prejudice against older people which sometimes leads to age discrimination, the two oldest generations – the Silent and the Greatest Generations – are much more admired than any other generation. There are several reasons why there is so little hostility to older people or concern about what some people have termed “intergenerational equity”.

One is that they are our parents and grandparents. Another is that we all hope to get old one day. Furthermore, research has shown that older people are much more likely to give money to their children and grandchildren than vice-versa. While older people are the beneficiaries of Social Security and Medicare, and the taxes that are needed to pay for them, most people do not see them as a burden to younger generations.

Another common belief, shown to be false in this survey, is that Baby Boomers are widely seen as particularly self-indulgent or even greedy. In reality, Boomers get higher marks than other generations for being socially conscious, productive and having a positive effect on society.

Methodology

This study was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Charles Schwab and Age Wave between March 28 and April 22, 2008 among 3,868 adults (aged 21 to 83). Figures for age, sex, race, education, income, investable assets and region were weighted where necessary to align them with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. Full data tables and methodology for this study can be found at http://www.harrisinteractive.com.

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Comments:

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keepinganeyeout

Aug 21 @ 3:24PM  
Never knew this....
Good info!
Thanks Bruce.
StraddleMyNose

Aug 21 @ 3:47PM  
Bruce, the only thing I take issue with in your blog is you're off a little with the ages with each generation, especially Gen-X since each generation has about 17years in it.

Ages 9-26 are Gen-Y (people born in between 1982-2000)

Ages 27-44 are Gen-X (people born in between 1964-1982)

Ages 45-63 are Baby Boomers (people born in between 1946-1964

Ages 64-81 are the Grand Generation (people born in between 1929-1946
lunanegra

Aug 21 @ 4:00PM  
I..don't think he wrote the article Shawn,but yeah Gen-X encompasses a little bit after 1981. I don't identify with generational labels though,some experiences are relative,because you have kids my age who have ethics and viewpoints that echo with the older generation,and then you have older folks who who have the "youthful" and progressive spirit that seems to go along with the younger generation.

Did I make sense there? I don't know..
StraddleMyNose

Aug 21 @ 4:09PM  
Yeah, I know Bruce didn't write it. I think I read an article a few weeks ago in the business section that had the same listed generational ages as what I saw in this blog, but it had something to do with some other stuff. lol
StraddleMyNose

Aug 21 @ 4:14PM  
Generation Y Seen as Most Self-indulgent

Yeah, I can see this...

Baby Boomers (35%) are most widely viewed as having a positive effect on society, followed by Generation X (25%);

I'm going to have to agree with this one as well
Wordsofwit

Aug 21 @ 4:36PM  
Moving from the boomers backwards, I see big differences from the perspective of changes. From the boomers on back, there was less divorce between their parents and fewer people grew up in apartment complexes.

Coincidentally, I was discussing this via email with an LA family law attorney this afternoon. She pointed out the following: "According to statistics from the Department of Health and Human Services' National Survey of Family Growth, 15 percent of remarriages end in three years, 25 percent are over in five years. Other studies put the remarriage failure rate at 60-to-70 percent, especially if stepchildren are involved."
southerngent64

Aug 21 @ 5:06PM  
I wonder what the results would have been had this survey taken place before Gen Y was old enough to participate.

I would bet that, at a minimum, the Gen Xers would have been seen as "Most Self-indulgent" as this is a standard trait of those in their teens and twenties.

We'll see if Gen Z wins the title of "Most Self-indulgent" when they can be surveyed. Of course, I will have forgotten all this by then!
theSkwirl

Aug 21 @ 5:31PM  
According to this I was born a boomer, but grew up during the 'me' generation. 70's and 80's... I don't identify with any of them, however. Never did, never will I reckon. I'm kinda like a cork in a case of screw caps.
Wordsofwit

Aug 21 @ 7:10PM  
I always split my generation (boomers) in two between the Beach Boys and the Rolling Stones. Totally different cultures reflecting the generation gap.
Sunshine79

Aug 21 @ 10:06PM  
Good info Bruce...thanks for sharing that tidbit!

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Generational Views - Survey