Gen X Proves Boon To Marketers

People-generation-x-A.Cast as idle and anti-establishment, marketers didn’t have high hopes for Generation X when it started entering the workforce over 25 years ago. As new research shows, however, U.S. consumers born between 1965 and 1976 are now as affluent, stable and responsibility-ridden as their parents were at the same age.

Now approaching or in middle age, Gen Xers have an average of 2.5 children, while most (70%) live with a spouse or partner, according to a new study from the MetLife Mature Market Institute.

A full 82% of Gen-Xers own their own home, although 17% of those report that the value of those homes is less than the debt attached to them.

“Because [Generation X] followed the baby boomers, it took a while for them to make their mark,” said Sandra Timmermann, director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute. “That was also due to the fact that they’re small in number -- just 50 million compared to 77 million boomers -- and entered the workforce later than their predecessors."

Regarding the careers, 43% of Gen Xers have remained in the same type of career throughout their working years, while just over 40% have been with the same employer for 10 years or more. Today, 75% are working full or part-time, and most are part of a dual-earner household.

According to Timmermann, the economy has not been too tough on the group -- now ages 36 to 47 -- as just 19% earn less than $35,000 per year and fully 29% earn more than $100,000.

What’s more, just 50% of Generation X says it is behind on its retirement savings, with relatively high ownership rates of 401K plans (66%).

Also worth noting, the majority (63%) of Gen Xers still have both parents living, and almost two in 10 regularly provide care for their aging parents.

As for their own futures, most Gen Exers would like to retire at age 62, but believe working until at least age 67 is inevitable.

For the study, GfK Custom Research North America interviewed 1,000 Gen Xers by phone on behalf of the MetLife Mature Market.

3 comments about "Gen X Proves Boon To Marketers".
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  1. Comment7 A. from CA, April 25, 2013 at 4:54 p.m.

    The report says Gen Xers are born between "1965 and 1976".

    However, a generation isn't an 11 year span. It's at least an 18 to 25 year span. Gen Xers are the largest U.S. generational population. They're born between the years 1961 - 1981. The total U.S. Gen X population is approx. 93,000,000 people. See New York Times bestselling book titled "Generations" by experts Strauss and Howe (page 318).

    H&S project the Millennials, born 1982 – 2004, at 76,000,000 people in the U.S. (updated to approx 90-95m) -- see page 336

    Baby Boomers, born 1943 - 1960, are estimated at 79,000,000 people in the U.S. -- see page 300 (see U.S. Census for updated number)

    The "Silent" generation, born 1925 - 1942, is at 49,000,000 people in the U.S. -- see page 280

  2. DG T from Viewthrough Measurement Consortium, April 26, 2013 at 6:03 p.m.

    Comment7, seems a little nit-picky but you are and the book that you are hyping are wrong.

    Last I heard, the years were 1946 to have leading-edge up to 1955 and then trailing edge. Isn't Generation X also known as the Baby Bust? Anyway, that means Gen X is started in 1965 as Gavin wrote in the first place.

    Check the US Census for Yourself

    Gavin "responsibility-ridden?" really...? Sounds so negative...

  3. A T from Ad Something, April 27, 2013 at 12:11 p.m.

    Agreed Donenico, I've had this argument with a number of folks. It seems that there are a few definitions of what constitutes membership in a particular generation. However, GenX'rs really are those who were born in the late 60's through mid 70's and came of age in the 80's.

    There seems to be a lack of identity for those born earlier, between the Boomers and the X'rs and they're the ones who for some reason feel left out... go figure. For us X'rs its pretty clear when the lines are... I do have to say that the data cited here seems off based on my own view for most of my friends and peers dont fit into the segments and percentages cited.

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