Generation X (ages 33-48) encompasses roughly 50 million Americans born between 1965 and 1980. This generation is sandwiched between two much larger generations - the Baby Boomers and Gen Y.
There are almost 80 million Baby Boomers (born 1946 to 1964) and bit more than 75 million Gen Yers (born 1980 to 2000).
We often refer to Gen X as the Rodney Dangerfield generation. Because it's relatively small, it gets no respect.
Both Baby Boomers and Gen Y get a lot more attention from researchers and the press. Which is one reason why we recently worked with MBO Partners on a study of Gen X Independent Workers (freelancers, temps, self-employed, etc.).
America's Gen X Independents: Working to Live, Not Living to Work examines the motivations and challenges of America’s Gen X independent workers. The key findings include:
Gen X Independents Chose This Path: 70% are independent because they want to be, and 90% are satisfied with the independent work path. Only 8% are independent due to the inability to find permanent work and 88% plan on staying independent.
Gen X embraces the control and freedom independent work provides: 57% listed work/life flexibility as a reason for being independent, 60% said to control their career and 64% listed "to do work I love".
Gen Xers are creative: About half of all creative independent workers (those that self describe as artists, writers or performers) are Gen Xers. They also are much more likely to work in the media and entertainment industry than other cohorts.
Gen X is the mid-career cohort and reaching their peak earnings and influence years. For more on this important but often overlooked group, click here.