The media loves to write stories about the differences between Millennials and Baby Boomers, Gen Z and Gen X.
But what's the truth about these age groups? Did the Silent Generation really work harder than Millennials when they were their age? Did Baby Boomers really party harder than their parents (or kids)?
In this quiz, we're going to ask you to match statistical facts with the generations they apply to. For instance, which generation uses the most screens? Which age group has a 75% dog ownership rate? Which generation has the highest number of college degrees?
You'll also be asked sociological questions, about gender roles, political views and shopping habits. For example, only 23% of men in a certain age group help with their household's laundry — which generation do they come from? Which generation's members are only 36% conservative? Which cohort prefers to make shopping a social event?
We guarantee that you'll be shocked by some of the answers to these questions. Even if you get most of the questions right, we'd bet there are a few that will stump you.
Think you understand the differences between the generations perfectly? Prove it by acing this quiz!
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Gen X households spent an average of almost $70k in 2016. This is because they spend the most on housing and education. Gen Xers spend more on mortgage interest than any other generation. Their education costs come from having children in college as well as their own student loans.
According to Pew Research Center, more than half of the millennial generation have never been married. When members of the Silent Generation were the same age as millennials are now, just 17% had never been married. However, that doesn't mean that millennials will remain single forever; they may just be choosing to marry later in life.
Business Insider reports that 59% of Gen Z members say they have friends with a different sexual orientation than theirs, versus 53% of millennials and smaller percentages of other generations.
According to Digital Trends, baby boomers share content more than any other generation, especially on Facebook. Surprised? Us too.
According to Business Insider, "More Gen Zers than anyone else (68%) feel the US is headed in the wrong direction, and fewer Gen Zers than anyone else (32%) feel the country is headed in the right direction."
Pew Research Center reports that 4 out of 10 millennials had a bachelor’s degree in 2016, as opposed to 32% of Gen X workers when they were the same age. Members of older generations had even fewer members with college degrees when they were in the millennial age range.
According to the 2016 Consumer Expenditure Survey From the Bureau of Labor Statistics, members of the Silent Generation spend more than other generations on written news and entertainment.
According to a Pew Research Study, "In 1965, when members of the Silent Generation were young, two-thirds (67%) lived in a metropolitan area, while one-third (33%) lived in non-metropolitan areas. And a similar share of baby boomers (68%) lived in metro areas when they were young. By comparison, more recent generations are residing in metropolitan areas at higher rates. More than eight-in-ten Gen Xers (84%) lived in metropolitan areas when they were young and about nine-in-ten millennials (88%) today live in metro areas."
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, while alcohol is the most commonly used drug across generations, followed closely by marijuana, almost 10% of boomers have abused sedatives and more than 20% of them have abused cocaine.
According to Pew Research Center, 47% of Silent Generation men are veterans, as opposed to just 4% of millennial men. However, the number of female veterans has increased over time.
The International Business Times reports that, "Whereas millennials use three screens on average, Gen Zers use five: a smartphone, TV, laptop, desktop, and iPod/iPad."
According to Pew Research Center, 49% of Silent Generation members were Republican in 2016, a large increase from 2008, when only 40% identified as Republican. Of this group, 36% currently identify as conservative Republicans, an increase of 9 percentage points from 2008, when only 27% of Silent Generation Republicans had those leanings.
According to Pew Research Center, most Gen Xers are conservative/moderate Democrats. However, only about a fifth of Gen Xers identify as liberal Democrats (21%).
The U.S. Department of Labor reports that millennials spend 47% of their food budget on eating out. The only question is, are they eating artisan avocado toast or Chipotle?
According to IRI, 65% of boomers are more worried about changes to Social Security than about running through their retirement funds, suggesting that they depend on Social Security in the absence of other income sources."
According to Pew Research Center, millennial women are more likely than women from other generations to say that males have it easier than females in our society. 52% of millennial women feel this way, as opposed to 37% or fewer of older women.
The Working Mother Research Institute performed a study that found that only 23% of boomer men help with laundry, as opposed to 35% of millennial men. Millennial men are also twice as likely as boomer men to take time off work to drive children to medical appointments, fill out permission slips and plan children's summer camp activities.
According to Pew Research Center, "Gen Xers are the most likely to get their news from websites or apps, millennials are most likely to get it from social networking sites and baby boomers are most likely to get it from local TV."
According to the Harvard Business Review, the average high-tech company founder is in their early forties. Entrepreneurs in other fields have a median age of 45.
According to “The Multi-Generational Leadership Study", 25% of Boomers take a year to find a new job. Their job searches tend to be longer than those of millennial or Gen X workers.
According to research in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, millennials have fewer sexual partners than baby boomers or Gen Xers and are less sexually active.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most families have a Gen X head of household. These Gen X households have an average of 3.2 total people, including 1.2 children under 18. Millennials have 2.6 people per household while baby boomers have 2.1 people per household.
Business Insider reports that, "Less than half (48%) of Gen Z respondents agreed with the statement "My parents followed through with discipline if I broke the rules," and only 26% said they got parental help with homework."
Forbes Magazine reports that 81% of Gen Xers are on Facebook and 5.9 million Gen Xers have Snapchat accounts. They primarily use these apps to communicate, rather than to self-promote.
According to Smart Insights, baby boomers spend 27 hours per week online — two more hours per week than millennials or Gen Z members! Makes you wonder, doesn't it?
In 2016, millennials made up 25% of the population, vs. Gen X at 21%, baby boomers at 24%, Gen Z at 21% and the Silent Generation at 9%.
According to Pew Research Center, "Across generations, boomer women who say they have experienced gender discrimination are particularly likely to cite situations related to hiring, pay or promotion as examples: About half (51%) cite these as examples of ways in which they have been discriminated against, compared with 36% of Gen X women and 26% of millennial women".
According to Retail Assist, 84% of Gen Z members see shopping as a fun, social activity, such as part of a day out on the town.
According to the research firm Mintel, older millennials make up a large portion of U.S. dog lovers, with 75% of consumers ages 30-39 owning at least one dog. Cheaper than a baby, right?
According to IRI, only 55% of baby boomers had money saved for their retirement in 2016. Maybe that's one reason they're so worried about the future of Social Security.
According to Inc, 22% of people ages 13 to 21 report making money through sites like Amazon and Etsy. This can be through sales of used items or handcrafted goods.
According to Pew Research Center, U.S. millennials are more likely to have visited a public library in the past year than any other adult generation. Note that this statistic does not include academic libraries, but applies to public libraries only. Wow!
Accounting Web reports that only 27% of Gen Z members use job boards to find work, as opposed to millennials, 34% of whom use job boards. Gen Z members instead place a greater emphasis on their personal connections. 28% of Gen Zers use their own or their parents' personal connections to find jobs, something that only 20% of millennials attempt.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Regarding entertainment, baby boomers have the largest average annual expenditure ($3,286). However, this amount is only about $55—or less than 2 percent—larger than that spent by Gen X ($3,231), and the difference is not statistically significant. On average, millennials spend only about two-thirds ($2,186) of the amounts spent by Gen Xers and baby boomers, and their expenditure is comparable to that of the Silent Generation ($2,276). However, it is nearly 2.5 times the amount spent by the GI generation ($884), whose lower spending may be related more to age than to income, family size or other factors."
According to Pew Research Center, 67% of baby boomers own smartphones, compared to 92% of millennials, 85% of Gen Xers and 30% of the Silent Generation.
Marketo reports that 76% of Gen Z members wish their hobbies could be full-time jobs. We would have thought this would be true of all generations, but nope! Maybe Gen Z members have the best hobbies?
According to Pew Research Center, 1 in 4 baby boomers report playing online video games. Did they play original Nintendo with their kids, too?
A study called "Declines in Sexual Frequency among American Adults, 1989–2014" reports that, "With age and time period controlled, those born in the 1930s (Silent Generation) had sex the most often, whereas those born in the 1990s (Millennials and Gen Z) had sex the least often."
Forbes Magazine reports, "82% of boomers who use the internet have at least one social media account, and they have an average of 4.6 social media accounts, with Facebook and LinkedIn as the leading platforms."
According to Pew Research Center, 96% of Silent Generation members have been married at least once, as opposed to 90% of baby boomers, 81% of Gen Xers and 28% of millennials.