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Generations X and Y vary greatly in size, with generation Y being much larger. Both generations are well into the age of computers and cell phones with generation Y used to them from their births. Both generations face the uncertainties and adjustments caused by a shortage of jobs and job losses from downsizing.
Generations X And Y are the two generations which follow the baby boomers. While the years of the boomers are pretty clearly defined, the ranges for generations X and Y are more vague. It is accepted that generation X begins in 1965 because that is the year in which the birthrate began to decline. Some put the end of generation X as early as 1976, others as late as 1982. It is convenient to consider it to be about 1980 and to then define the period for generation Y as from 1981 until the turn of the century.
While generation X is quite small compared to the baby boomers, about one third smaller, generation Y is roughly the same size as the boomer population at about 78 million or so. With only an estimated 51 million members, generation X has neither the buying power or the ability to make an impact as the baby boomers and generation Y.
The members of generation X are comfortable with modern technology and use it willingly but those of generation Y are utterly immersed in it. Although personal computers in the home were growing in numbers as generation X matured, for generation Y they were already in the vast majority of homes. As of college age, those in generation owned their own computers 97% of the time.
Both generations X and Y use computer and cell phone technologies as part of their daily lives. Many of these two generations consider the familiar home telephone, even a VOIP phone, to be pretty much a dinosaur. They tend to use a cell phone for all of their calls and are much more comfortable with using text messages than the baby boomer generation.
In addition, members of both generations X and Y are frequent users of the various online social media sites. The may participate in special interest forums but most have a page on Face Book or My Space, if not both, and many communicate in the small sound bites on Twitter.
Another communality of both generations X and Y is a very dim job situation. Those in the generation X age group would in the past have expected to be well ensconced in reasonably secure jobs by now, but instead many are facing the possibility of companies downsizing and layoffs. Those in generation Y are at the beginning of their entry into the workforce, but at a time when there are already too many applicants for the jobs available. Economic experts forecast that both generations X and Y may have to accept that they will have a lower standard of living than did their parents.