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Gen X has many names. The Latchkey Generation. The Twentynothings. The MTV Generation. But in many ways, they remain a mysterious group, sandwiched between Boomers and Millennials (which get a lot more societal focus). Let's see what Generation X is really about.

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1. Did you know the term Generation X came from a novel? In his 1991 debut Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture, author Douglas Coupland wanted to recontextualize young members of the Baby Boomer generation, or people born after the end of World War II. He labeled the newer, more disenfranchised group Generation X after reading a 1983 book titled Class by Paul Fussell. Fussell used X to refer to people who wanted to distance themselves from the social struggle for class status and professional glory. It was perfect for Coupland’s cast of characters in search of their own identities.

Hi, I’m Erin McCarthy, Editor-in-Chief of Mental Floss, and this is The List Show.

2. Coupland’s book inadvertently created a label for those born between 1965 and 1980. Reflecting on the moment, Coupland said that buzzwords like slacker and grunge were hitting at around the same time and had many of the same connotations. The book’s initial printing wasn’t a big success, but Richard Linklater’s Slacker and the new Seattle sound created something of a cultural movement. As Coupland wrote, “Two’s nothing, but three’s a trend.” And thus, Gen X stuck.

Those are just two of 100 facts about Gen X we’ll be covering on this installment of The List Show. We’ll discuss the “latchkey kid” label, analyze their confounding religious and political beliefs, and even touch on why German Gen X’ers are known as Generation Golf. Let’s get started.

[Intro]

3. While Coupland made Generation X stick to a generation of people, the term did pop up in other places before his book. In the 1950s, war photographer Robert Capa titled a portfolio profiling young adults Generation X. And though rock musician Billy Idol is a Baby Boomer, he may have helped the Gen X term gain ground in pop culture. When Idol was first starting out on the punk rock scene, his London-based band was named Generation X after a 1964 book on—what else—sociology (though to be clear, that book was focused on the teenagers of 1960s England). Despite some assumptions, Douglas Coupland said Idol did not inspire the title

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of his book, although maybe he wishes it had been Idol getting all the credit. In 1995, Coupland said he was tired of being stereotyped as a Gen X-pert and had to repeatedly turn down invitations from politicians and consumer companies to advise them on how to reach the demographic. Considering some of these invites came with offers of $10,000 just to talk and he still said no, Coupland must really have been burned out on the topic. I’ll see if I can sympathize, 97 facts from now.

4. Before Coupland’s term became entrenched, pop culture pundits tried on a variety of different names to describe people in their twenties who wanted to break away from the Boomer generation. Some of the ideas that were floated included the forgotten generation, the baby buster generation, the lost generation, the doofus generation, the twenty-nothings, numb and dumb, the thirteeners—because some believe they’re the 13th generation, depending on when in American history you start counting—and the MTV generation. The latter may have been a bit of self-serving marketing on MTV’s part. Though they claimed they didn’t invent the phrase, the music channel aired a documentary titled The MTV Generation in 1991 that profiled young adults. Coupland himself wasn’t a fan, saying that calling the group the MTV Generation would be like “going through life with a big product placement tattooed on your head.”

5. In Russia, they’re referred to as “the last Soviet children,” seeing as they were the last kids to come of age while the Soviet Union was still intact.

6. In Germany, they’re known as “Generation Golf.” This name comes from author Florian Illies’s book Generation Golf – An Inspection, which used the Volkswagen Golf as a symbol for the age group. Illies felt that it was common for German children of “Generation Golf” to define themselves through brands. Illies considered them to be materialistic and superficial, but that didn’t stop the book from becoming popular with the age group.

7. Another German nickname is the “children of ‘Mauerfall,’” or “children of the wall coming down”—the wall, of course, being the Berlin wall.

8. Every generation plays favorites when it comes to names. Boomers were fond of Garys and Larrys,

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while the Silent Generation preceding them preferred Dolores and Billy. For Gen X, future meme bro Chad was a popular choice, becoming the 25th most popular baby name in 1972. Historically, most Chads are Gen Xers. The group also embraced Tammy, Tracy, Tonya, Todd, and Scott.

9. But the most common names of the generation were Jennifer for girls and Michael for boys.

10. You may have noticed that a lot of movies and television shows are sequels, remakes, reboots, continuations, or otherwise related to something that was popular 30 to 40 years ago. Think Cobra Kai, Top Gun: Maverick, and another 400 things we don’t have time to list.

If you’re tired of rehashes, you can probably blame Gen X. According to a survey of YouTube users conducted by Google, 75 percent of Gen Xers like watching online videos that look back on culture or world events from their past. They search for music videos, movie scenes, and even commercials that remind them of a simpler time. 

Glen Weldon of the Pop Culture Happy Hour Podcast told NPR in 2017 that the nostalgia rush could also be due to Gen Xers becoming studio heads and network executives, looking to tap into their childhoods for fond memories that will appeal to people their age. 

11. J.J. Abrams is on the older end of the age group, and has expressed his nostalgia in films like Super 8...and the Star Wars reboot...and, also, the Star Trek reboot…

12. Writer Chuck Klosterman recently wrote a book called The Nineties, hardly his first foray into nostalgic cultural commentary.

13. The Ringer is a multimillion dollar media company founded by Bill Simmons, a writer who came to fame partially with his liberal use of references to Gen X cultural touchstones like the movie Teen Wolf. Simmons now hosts a podcast called The Rewatchables, which often covers films from the 80s and 90s.

14. Kevin Smith expanded the boundaries of success for low-budget independent movies and John Singleton became the first African-American filmmaker nominated for the Best Director Oscar.

15. John Hughes classics like The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off star Gen X characters, though Hughes is not a Gen Xer himself.

16. And, for the record, Mental Floss was founded by two members of Gen X,

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Will Pearson and Mangesh Hattikudur.

17. Gen X has been called the slacker generation (for the record, the director of the indie film, Slacker, is youngish Boomer Richard Linklater). Arguably playing against that stereotype, a large number of these supposed slackers went to college. The problem? It came with a lot of debt.

According to Pew Research, 65 percent of college students were borrowing to pay for their education in the year 2000, just as younger Gen X members were finishing up. That was up from one-third of people borrowing in 1977. And while they’ve generally been earning more than Boomers, it hasn’t had a positive effect on their debt. Pew reported that 9 out of 10 Gen X respondents claimed to have debt, the highest of any group.

18. In a CNBC survey conducted in the summer of 2022, different generational groups were asked about coping with inflation. It appears Gen X is taking it extremely seriously. 61 percent of Gen Xers said they were cutting discretionary spending, like eating out, compared to 37 percent of Millennials and 54 percent of Boomers. 41 percent said they’re trying to save on mandatory expenses, like groceries, compared to 26 percent of Millennials cutting back.

19. While the pandemic has shaken up virtually everyone’s financial status, it seems like Gen X has taken a hit more than other groups. The Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies found that 41 percent of Gen Xers were afraid their retirement funds would run out before they die, while a different survey found that only a third of Xers believed they were saving enough. 

According to Business Insider, one reason the group’s retirement may be shaky is because they’re a kind of middle generation, caring not only for their children but for older adults in the family, as well. That leaves less time for work.

20. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Generation X has more self-made billionaires than any other generation.

21. About a quarter of those billionaires made their money in the tech industry, as the internet and computing came to dominate the world economy towards the turn of the millennium.

22. Google was founded by two Gen X’ers. The founders of Google, for example—Larry Page and Sergey Brin—are both from Generation X.

23. So is Elon Musk. And though he's a naturalized American citizen, he was born outside the United States, which is not uncommon

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amongst wealthy members of the generation.

24. Gen X billionaires are more likely to be citizens of countries other than the United States, compared to other age groups.

25. It’s not just Gen X billionaires who feel secure in their jobs. Gen X’ers Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, and Ketanji Brown Jackson represent more than a third of the sitting Supreme Court justices.

26. Stuffing people into pre-defined boxes never gets old, and so Gen Xers have been further sliced up with alternative labels. Some nicknames for the quasi-generation at the cusp of Gen X and Millennials include “The Lucky Ones,” the “Oregon Trail Generation,” and “Xennials.” Xennials were born between 1977 and 1983 and were remarkable for having experience with both the clunkier technology of that era as well as the internet and social media while still in their prime socializing years in their twenties. This so-called micro-generation failed to catch on, though you may be familiar with its homophone, Zennials, who are born near the dividing line between Millennials and Gen Z.

27. Many members of Gen X gave birth to kids who now comprise Gen Z. Somewhere, no doubt, there is a Xennial parent raising a Zennial child.

28. Gen X was also actually more likely to have children later in life than any prior generation.

29. And many of them are so-called “helicopter parents,” highly involved in their kid’s upbringing. This could be a reaction against the relatively hands-off parenting style of Gen X’s parents.

30. Every generation has its own lexicon. If you’re young and on social media, you might find something based. Something could slap. A song could be a banger. Or, highly likely, those terms are already extremely dated and I’m unaware how the kids are talking today.

For Gen X, their vocabulary was often fixated on how best to describe stuff they were watching on MTV that had a punk or grunge focus. Words that grew popular or took on new meanings include chill pill, gnarly, headbanger, trippin’, rock—as in rock out—and to the max.

31. You might’ve heard that last phrase in Frank Zappa’s song, Valley Girl. His daughter, Moon, is a member of Gen X, and she

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actually recorded the song’s famous monologue. Though it was meant as a satirical take on the Valley Girl archetype, the song may well have popularized the like-filled diction and uptalking intonation that continue to influence American culture today.

32. Sticking to the current definition of Gen X as anyone born between 1965 and 1980, there are roughly 65 million people in this category in the United States today. That places Generation X at a slight population disadvantage. Baby Boomers are thought to number around 75 million, while the proceeding generation, Millennials, clock in with about 83 million.

33. According to the Pew Research Center, though, it’s possible Xers could finally outnumber Boomers by 2028, as Boomers age out of … um … life.

34. Perhaps because they’re sandwiched between two generations the media likes to opine on (Boomers and millennials), there seems to be a sentiment amongst Gen X that they’re a bit overlooked.

35. They were only the largest demographic in the U.S. workforce for a brief time, before being overtaken by millennials.

36. Even Gen X’s own self-image is a bit hazy. According to a Pew Research Survey from 2010, about 50% of respondents in that age group said their generation was unique, compared to around 60% of millennials and boomers.

37. Amongst the people who did say they felt their generation was unique, X’ers had less agreement on what it was, precisely, that made them unique: Technology use was the top choice, but that only represented about 12% of answers, while 24% of millennials agreed that their use of technology made their age group stand out.

38. If there was one signature Gen X fragrance in the ‘90s, it was CK One. The citrusy perfume was perceived as an antidote to the stronger scents of the ‘80s. And it had a very particular segment of the population in mind: Generation X.

In fact, Calvin Klein, which manufactured the fragrance, commissioned research into the group to see what would be most appealing. The company decided that marketing it as a unisex, or gender-free, scent would be best. A marketing campaign positioned it as a rebellious, anti-authority musk. 

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And it worked. Upon its release, CK One sold an average of 20 bottles a minute and racked up sales of $90 million annually.

39. A Google survey found that 75 percent of Gen Xers polled will call up a YouTube video to learn how to do something—fix a faucet, change oil, anything that could be considered a DIY task. This can-do attitude probably saves them money on repair bills.

40. Not every member of Gen X would be considered a digital native, but computing definitely came to the fore during their lifetimes. Personal computers didn’t make a big dent in the home market until the 1980s, which means Gen X was the first generation in history to have any type of widespread ability to grow up with a PC.

41. Lead is a heavy metal that used to be prevalent in daily life, from paint to gasoline. It’s a known neurotoxicant and exposure can be seriously detrimental for your brain. According to research conducted at Florida State University, it’s possible Gen X had exposure to a large amount of lead, mostly due to leaded gasoline that spewed damaging automotive exhaust. Use of leaded gas peaked between the late 1960s and early 1980s, the key formative years for Xers.

According to the study, people born between 1966 and 1975, a group that includes a lot of Gen Xers, lost around 5 IQ points on average. Now, intelligence is hard to objectively measure, but, yeah, inhaling lead is gonna be a problem.

42. One of the defining characteristics of Gen X was having parents who were working hard, and often. That left Gen X to fend for themselves after coming home from school, doing homework alone and often making their own meals. That led to another term for Gen X—the latchkey generation, because kids needed house keys to get back in their homes. There’s been debate over whether that lack of supervision may have affected education or other outcomes, but no strong evidence has ever indicated latchkey kids were at a disadvantage.

43. It may be just the opposite. There is a school of thought that says because latchkey kids, aka Gen Xers, were expected to be more independent at an earlier age, they might be made of sturdier stuff as an adult. “[Being a latchkey kid] defines

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our generation as being resilient, as being self-starters in a way,” Gen Xer and President of The National Endowment for Financial Education Dr. Billy Hensley told Forbes in 2019. “We were the kids who came home, made ourselves a grilled cheese or, if we were not allowed to use the stove, grabbed a popsicle out of the fridge. We watched Saved by the Bell reruns and entertained ourselves. It shaped us in being resilient and being self-reliant.”

44. If the Silent Generation and Baby Boomers were seen as can-do workers who helped the country prosper after World War II, Gen X was perceived as something else entirely. It wasn't uncommon for people to to characterize the group as being lazy and morose, possibly owing to the grunge aesthetic of the 90s. In 1990, Time magazine described twenty-somethings, or as-yet-unnamed Gen Xers, as “lazy” and “passive.”

Speaking with columnist Bob Greene in 1998, retail consultant Cynthia Cohen labeled Gen Xers as “grumpy” people who “tend to be sarcastic and cynical.” “They are just not hopeful people, as a group...they believe they have a very, very sophisticated sense of humor. And people who are not optimistic, who are not happy with their lot in life, do not like to listen to other people’s problems.” For these reasons, Cohen asserted that Gen Xers would fare poorly in customer service jobs. Specifically, she thought they’d make lousy flight attendants.

45. On a potentially related note: According to MetLife's Annual US Employee Benefit Trends Study from 2019, Gen X'ers were the least likely to say they felt a sense of purpose at work.

46. They were also the generation least likely to define purpose as "doing work that contributes meaning to your life," "Working on/for something that you are passionate about," or "Creating value for your company/employer."

47. Admittedly, 2019 feels like a lifetime ago, given how much the world has changed since then, but the published MetLife survey from more recent years hasn't presented data by generation in quite the same way. I can share, from MetLife's 2022 report, that 70% of Gen X respondents said they felt mentally healthy."

48. Still, those perceptions of Gen X workers—

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and the crunch of being sandwiched between Boomers holding onto senior positions and millennials pushing for career advancement—may stymie Gen X success in the workplace. While there’s obviously a great deal of variation, there does seem to be a discrepancy when it comes to promotion.

According to a 2018 study, over a five-year period 66 percent of Gen X supervisors received one promotion or no promotion at all. Millennials and Boomers were more likely to have received at least two promotions over the same period of time.

49. We know the stereotype of Gen X being listless, soft crybabies is an overgeneralization. Millions of them worked hard to get through college, start families, and give themselves financial stability. But that didn’t stop Coca-Cola from buying into their emo profile.

In 1994, Coca-Cola introduced OK Soda, a soft drink packaged in somber gray cans and morose copy. Pick up a can and you could read a little not-so-inspiring message: “What’s the point of OK? Well, what’s the point of anything?” Or, “Don’t be fooled into thinking there has to be a reason for everything.” Soda, or canned therapy session? Consumers weren’t sure, and the soda was discontinued around a year later.

50. Gen X has a famously fraught relationship with consumerism and the concept of “selling out.” One film that dramatized the tension between commercial success and … I’m gonna say kissing a smelly Ethan Hawke? was Reality Bites. And though the movie is now considered an exemplar of its era, at least one star was firmly against calling it a “Gen X movie.” In a 1993 appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman, Janeane Garofalo said, “They’re gonna try, probably, to market it as a generation X story, which is like the stupidest thing. It’s not.” Which does sound like something a disaffected Gen X’er starring in a Gen X studio film would say…

51. Part of the generation’s supposed distaste for materialism is probably a matter of simple economics. Thanks to a recession spanning 1990 and 1991, it’s possible some young people decided they weren’t interested in flashy brand names around the same time they realized they couldn’t afford them.

52. By 2012, in fact, 

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American Express found that now-older Generation X was spending 18 percent more on luxury goods than their baby boomer predecessors.

53. Gen X even has a favorite brand, at least according to one 2021 poll: Apple.

54. In some ways, Gen X is like younger generations in their attitudes towards sex. Unlike boomers and elders, less than half of Gen X’ers “said sex was for uniting a man and a woman in marriage,” as Glamour summarized a 2016 survey.

55. Despite that overlap in attitudes, there’s some meaningful deviation between Gen X and their younger peers. Sexual promiscuity actually peaked with Gen X, as subsequent generations report having fewer sexual partners.

56. For what it’s worth, a higher percentage of Gen X’ers self-reported having good sex lives, compared to millennials, according to an international survey conducted by Viacom.

57. Members of Gen X value sex more highly than friendship, according to that same survey, unlike their millennial counterparts. And, for the record, the country in which Gen X’ers were clearest in that preference was Hungary.

58. Those preferences are somewhat borne out in the fact that the average member of Generation X reported having an average of 36 friends, which is 10 less than Millennials reported.

59. It may be a case of quality over quantity: Gen X’ers were 20 percent less likely to say they were lonely, compared to millennials.

60. Generation X was coming of age in the ‘80s. As a possible consequence of MTV, they were more interested in group fitness classes with enthusiastic and personable instructors—classes that were part exercise and part entertainment. The explosion of dance, Pilates, and indoor cycling classes can probably be traced to their zeal for colorful fitness, not just machines and weights.

61. As the generation ages, they’re fitness habits may be changing. According to the Global Health and Fitness Association, 33 percent of health club members fall into the Gen X category. Their favorite activities? The elliptical bike, free weights, and other resistance machines. They also tended to remain gym members for a full year longer than the national average.

62. That fitness enthusiasm probably helps, but it apparently wasn’t enough to outweigh countervailing forces in the United States. In fact,

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a 2021 study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology showed Generation X suffering worse health outcomes than their Baby Boomer predecessors, with mental health and obesity two areas of concern.

63. That latter issue may be exacerbated by Gen X’ers who don’t spend much time in the kitchen. According to flavor producer FONA, 73 percent of Gen X shoppers are in the habit of grabbing premade or pre-prepared food. They’re especially interested in rotisserie chickens. For what it’s worth, Gen X men report doing more cooking than their fathers.

64. As far as taste goes, Gen X likes meaty, cheesy flavors, with 10 percent fewer Xers interested in sweet foods than younger groups.

65. The AARP, formerly known as the American Association for Retired Persons, advocates for quality of life for those over 50. Since an increasing number of Gen Xers are hitting that age, AARP has turned their promotional skills to enticing them with mementos from their past. A 2021 ad featured a middle-aged man skateboarding on a half-pipe. Prior to that, they circulated a newsletter with hot ‘90s takes like how to throw an adult slumber party.

66. Former president Barack Obama was born in 1961, so is he the first and only Gen X president? Not really. For one thing, the timeframe for a Gen Xer in 2008 when he was elected was between 1964 and 1982, technically making him a Boomer. Obama actually said he identifies with something called Generation Jones.

That’s a term coined by Jonathan Pontell, a social commentator who wanted a new branch for people who were born late in the Boomer cycle and a little too early in the Gen X cycle. The Jones refers to the relative anonymity of the group—we imagine you probably haven’t heard much about it—and the fact that the group was looking, or jonesing, for success.

To date, there hasn’t been a Gen X president. Let’s see what happens with future candidates and if any of them can credibly claim to have jammed out on a Sony Walkman as an ‘80s teen.

67. There are 23 Gen X senators, as of early 2023, including Oklahoma’s James Lankford and Georgia’s Raphael Warnock.

68. Over a third of the House of Representatives is made up of Gen X’ers, 

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spanning virtually the entire generation range, from Alabama’s Terri Swell—born January 1, 1965—to Colorado’s Yadira Caraveo, whose birth came in just under the generational wire on December 23rd, 1980.

69. In terms of the politics of Gen X, as a whole, it’s a bit tough to draw hard-and-fast conclusions, especially since political sentiments tend to shift with age. But according to a 2022 Gallup poll, 44% of Gen Xers identified as politically independent, representing a higher rate of nonpartisan identification than preceding generations. 

70. When it comes to voting habits in the U.S., at least, it does seem that the group moved to the right over time. A Marist/NPR poll from May 2022 revealed that Generation X had the lowest overall approval rating for President Joe Biden. The head of a Democratic data firm, TargetSmart, concluded that Gen X was actually “ ... the most conservative generation, surpassing the Boomers in their rightward tilt.”

71. In the States, many Gen-X-ers came of age during Republican presidential administrations, from Ronald Reagan to George H.W. Bush.

72. Those political winds may have given rise to fictional characters like Family Ties’ Alex P. Keaton. The Federalist called the character (played by Michael J. Fox) “the first Gen X conservative.” Though Fox himself is actually a Boomer, his character was born in 1965, qualifying as an older member of Generation X.

73. In the United Kingdom, a similar conservative trend played out during Gen X’s formative years. Margaret Thatcher was the country’s Prime Minister throughout the entire ’80s, when Gen X would’ve been anywhere from infancy to their early 20s. That’s given rise to the name “Thatcher’s children.”

74. Rap music may have been invented by boomers, but early luminaries from the genre often came from Gen X. KRS-One, Lil Kim, all of the original Wu-Tang Clan and the members of A Tribe Called Quest are part of the generation. So are genre-crossing icons like Lauryn Hill and Mary J. Blige.

75. As Alex Williams pointed out in a piece for The New York Times, the generation might’ve had an even larger cultural footprint if tragedy hadn’t intervened. Gen X’ers who died early include Tupac Shakur

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and the Notorious BIG, Jeff Buckley, Brandon Lee, Aaliyah, River Phoenix, and Kurt Cobain.

76. The characters on the sitcom Friends were all Gen X’ers—or, at least, that generally seems to be the case. Researching this script, I learned that the Friends writers’ room was pretty flexible with birthdays over the run of the show. But the group’s uncanny ability to spend countless hours at a coffee shop might seem like a Gen X Trait.

Speciality coffee shops like Starbucks certainly proliferated throughout the United States in the 1990s, when many Gen X’ers were young adults.

77. For what it’s worth, though the data isn’t overwhelming (and doesn’t fit neatly into standard generational divides), the National Coffee Association’s report from Fall 2022 pegged 40-59 year-olds (most of whom would be considered Gen X) as the age group most likely to have consumed coffee in the past day.

78. If you’re wondering how members of Gen X entertain themselves, it turns out, they’re not too different from their younger counterparts. A study from 2021 shows that about 60 percent of Gen Xers are “gamers.” This is compared to 77 percent of millennials and 81 percent of Gen Z. 

79. The average amount of time playing video games a week for Gen X? About four and a half hours. This is nearly double the playtime of Baby Boomers, who clocked in about two and a half hours.

80. The main difference in gaming tendencies seems to be the motivation behind playing. A majority of Gen X gamers play mobile games, and many of them regard gaming simply as a method to fill time. Candy Crush, you win again. But, there’s still a fair number of people who consider themselves real gaming fans, if not all out fanatics.

81. Surprisingly, research from Nielsen suggested that members of Gen X actually spend more time on social media each week than Millennials.

82. Their favorite platform, as a group, is Facebook, with YouTube coming in second, and Instagram following close behind in third.

83. During the pandemic, Gen X-ers kept themselves occupied by watching dramas more than any other genre of television.

84. They watched animation the least.

85. They don’t spend all their time looking at screens, of course. Penguin Random House took the liberty of compiling a list of quintessential Gen X books. Here are some highlights: American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis, Palm

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Sunday by Kurt Vonnegut, Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen, The Firm by John Grisham, and The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. If it wasn’t already clear, those books apparently appealed to Gen X readers, they weren’t necessarily written by members of the generation.

86. Gen X is the generation most likely to spend at least one hour outdoors per day, with 39 percent reporting they did so in 2021.

87. OK, I know what question you’re really here for. Do members of Gen X care about crypto? The answer: not really! According to one study, the VAST majority of crypto buyers are young. A whopping 94 percent of the crypto-trading pie is made up of people aged 18-40. Gen X makes up less than 5 percent of crypto buyers. 

88. But, oddly enough, when a member of Gen X DOES buy crypto, they spend, on average, more than any other generation. Their rough average is about nine and a half thousand spent over 12 months, compared to, say, the 6000 spent by Gen Z.

89. According to Drizly, the top-selling wine amongst Gen X consumers was a Cabernet Sauvignon from Josh Cellars. I’m sure the fine people at Josh make a lovely product, but I personally am happy to finally know who is buying wine from the most oddly named beverage brand I’ve ever seen.

90. In the UK, at least, there’s data suggesting that Gen X engages in more extreme drinking behavior than overall trends would suggest. As author Bobby Duffy said, “In terms of risky drinking, there’s a really strong Office for National Statistics chart, a bulge going through the age range that more or less tracks generation X.”

91. They also seem to use tobacco products more than other generations. According to a GlobalData consumer survey from 2021, Gen X respondents were the most likely to use tobacco products regularly and the least likely to have never tried them.

92. Let’s pray those unhealthy habits die off as the generation enters senior citizenship. Or, we can leave the praying to Gen X itself—more than half of them pray daily, according to Pew Research.

93. Eighty-four percent of Gen X’ers say they are fairly certain or absolutely certain that God exists.

94. But only about a third of them attend religious services at least once a week.

95. While Baby Boomers 

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often tended towards religious disaffiliation—that is, being raised in a religious tradition but then abandoning it later in life—a 2010 study found that Gen X’ers who were raised with a specific religion were more likely to persist in that faith into adulthood.

96. Because fewer of those adults were raised with religion to begin with, though, their overall religiosity is lower than their predecessors.

97. When it comes to the technology of the future, Gen X differs a bit from their younger counterparts. Both Gen Z and millennials ranked virtual reality as one of the more exciting technology advances in the workplace, while Gen X were a little bit more grounded. They’re looking forward to utilizing new project management tools, and in certain countries like Japan and Russia, their enthusiasm spreads to cloud computing and e-learning programs as well.

98. Gen X was the first generation to have more women than men with bachelor’s degrees. By 2001, 31 percent of Gen X women between the ages of 25 and 37 had completed a bachelor’s degree program, compared to 28 percent of Gen X men. Boomers and members of the Silent Generation had the opposite tendency, with men outpacing women in college education.

99. In 2021, approximately 4.2 percent of Gen X adults identified as belonging to the LGBTQ+ community. Those Gen Xers, along with Millenials and Gen Zers, are also more likely to identify as bisexual than their older counterparts.

100. Gen X is more philanthropic than other generations of adults, at least when it comes to their time. In 2018, approximately 30 percent reported that they volunteered through an organization. About 26 percent of Boomers reported volunteering in that same year, and only 22 percent of Millennials did.

101. If you’re a Gen Xer starting to feel the pinch of approaching old age, this last fact isn’t going to help. In 2023, the Illinois State Museum has a temporary exhibition titled Growing Up X. To quote the museum, it “explores the toys, technologies and cultural touchstones surrounding Gen Xers in their childhood.” Now Gen Z can stroll through a museum and regard Gen X as literal museum fossils. That’s just great.

Thanks for watching this episode of The List Show. We'll see ya next time.