Harris Interactive Survey Looks at Perceptions of Generations

A recent survey by Harris Interactive conducted for Charles Schwab and Age Wave asked almost 4,000 Americans aged 21 to 83 what they thought of different generations. The results show how very differently people view the different generations, with many people holding strong positive and negative opinions about them.

Among the findings:

  • Baby Boomers
  • The Silent Generation (33%) and the Greatest Generation (30%) are the most widely admired generations, followed by Baby Boomers (22%);
  • The Silent Generation (40%) and Baby Boomers (33%) are widely viewed as the most generous;
  • The two generations widely seen as the most productive are Baby Boomers (45%) and Generation X (32%);
  • A 53 percent majority (including a majority of Gen Y itself) believe Generation Y is the most self-indulgent, followed by Generation X (25%);
  • A 41 percent plurality sees Generation X as the most innovative, followed by Baby Boomers (25%) and Generation Y (22%);
  • There is no consensus as to which generation is most socially conscious, but Baby Boomers (34%) and Generation X (26%) top the list; would like to rename themselves the “Internet Generation” (32%). They really dislike being called “Generation Y” or “Millennials”; would choose to rename themselves “Generation Tech” (25%). They dislike being called “Generation X”;
  • Gen Y
  • Gen X
  • (35%) are most widely viewed as having a positive effect on society, followed by Generation X (25%);