A series of publications from the MetLife Mature Market Institute provide a history of the generations born since the early 1900s. There are almost as many members of Gen Y (born 1977-1994) in the U.S. in comparison to the largest group, the Baby Boomers. Younger Baby Boomers, those 45-50, have the highest average income. All groups spend most of their money on housing and transportation. The youngest, Gen Y, say they are the healthiest; they are also projected to live the longest. The fastest growing sub-group is the over 85 group who number six million, including 99,000 centenarians. They have also seen the most change as some were born before cars, central heat and refrigerators were ubiquitous.

  % of U.S. Population Size % Non- Hispanic White Good to Excellent Health Major Generational Event Married
Gen Y (b. 1977-94) 25% 76,370,030 60% 95% World Trade Center Attacks 25%
Gen X (b. 1965-76) 16% 49,660,301 62% 93% Berlin Wall Falls 66%
Younger Boomers (b. 1959-64) 9% 27,403,993 69% 87% Watergate 66%
Middle Boomers (b. 1952-58) 10% 29,089,514 73% 85% Vietnam War 68%
Older Boomers (b.1946-51) 7% 20,491,763 76% 82% JFK Assassination 70%
65+ (b. 1944 and earlier) 13% 39,628,148 80% 75% Great Depression/WWII 56%

*All numbers are averages for the age segment. Further breakdowns by age can be found in the full profiles.

Individual profiles are available for Gen Y, Gen X, the Younger Boomers, Middle Boomers, Older Boomers and Americans 65+.

“The profiles provide a snapshot of four generations. They look at demographics and, perhaps more importantly, the events occurring during their teen and young adult years that influenced their values and their viewpoints,” said Sandra Timmermann, Ed.D., director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute. “These profiles will be useful tools for anyone studying the generations and for all of us interested in relating personally and professionally to those older and younger than we are. There are implications for parenting, caregiving, financial and estate planning, health care, relationships, employment, diversity and the economy.”

“While the younger groups have had advantages, like access to pre-school education, technology and advanced medical care, there are disadvantages as well. The economy has not been kind to those coming of age in the 21st century; they will struggle as they enter the job market during one of the most challenging times since the 1930s. Although previous generations have been relatively stable financially, many lived through war, the Cold War, Korea, and Vietnam, social unrest and discrimination,” Timmermann said.

The profiles, which pull together federal data from sources such as the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Labor, delve into information on population, life expectancy, health status, marital status, housing arrangements, racial/ethnic composition, geography, employment status, income level, spending preferences and generational influencers.

They list famous people born in each year from 1935 (Elvis Presley and Woody Allen) to 1989 (Joe Jonas and Daniel Radcliffe) and each profile contains a timeline of major events in the lives of a particular group.


The MetLife Mature Market Institute®
Established in 1997, the Mature Market Institute (MMI) is MetLife's research organization and a recognized thought leader on the multi-dimensional and multi-generational issues of aging and longevity. MMI's groundbreaking research, gerontology expertise, national partnerships, and educational materials work to expand the knowledge and choices for those in, approaching, or caring for those in the mature market.

MMI supports MetLife's long-standing commitment to identifying emerging issues and innovative solutions for the challenges of life. MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), through its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading provider of insurance, employee benefits and financial services with operations throughout the United States and the Latin American, Europe and Asia Pacific regions.

For more information about the MMI, please visit:

The Demographic Profiles can be downloaded from; on the home page, see "In Focus." The profiles can also be ordered by e-mailing, or by writing to: MetLife Mature Market Institute, 57 Greens Farms Road, Westport, CT 06880.


DJC Communications
Debra Caruso
Shalana Morris
Joseph Madden