People
Fact-checked

At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

Why Are Some Millennials "Geriatric"?

Margaret Lipman
Margaret Lipman
Margaret Lipman
Margaret Lipman

It’s a ridiculous concept in some ways, yet in others, it makes sense. Of course, millennials (generally understood as those born from 1981 to 1996) aren’t geriatric; after all, the oldest members of the cohort are still in their early-to-mid 40s. Yet the term “geriatric millennial” has been picking up steam ever since it was popularized in a Medium article by Erica Dhawan in 2021 to refer to individuals born at the start of the generation, roughly between 1981 and 1985.

While broad-stroke generalizations always leave room for exceptions and contradictions, the idea of giving older millennials a unique label has some merit. Unlike younger members of the generation, who grew up with the internet and smartphones, geriatric millennials spent their formative years in a much more analog world, learning cursive handwriting, playing outside, and talking on landline phones. Yet they were able to quickly adopt and adapt to new technology as it emerged. Contrary to what some younger people might think, geriatric millennials are adept not only at Facebook and Instagram (and MySpace and Friendster, of course) but also TikTok and newer social media platforms.

“Geriatric millennials” is the term for the micro-generation of people born in the early 1980s, at the beginning of the millennial generation (1981 to 1996).
“Geriatric millennials” is the term for the micro-generation of people born in the early 1980s, at the beginning of the millennial generation (1981 to 1996).

Notably, this makes geriatric millennials particularly well suited for leadership positions in business and politics, as they can bridge the gap between generations and have a broad understanding of varied contexts. According to Dhawan, “It’s beneficial to call on your geriatric millennials to help you translate the experiences of both digital adapters (baby boomers) and digital natives (Gen Z).”

Some notable geriatric millennials in the world of business include Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (1984), Reddit’s Alexis Ohanian (1983), and Airbnb’s Brian Chesky (1981). Numerous celebrities including Beyonce (1981) and Seth Rogen (1982) also fall into this group.

Generations, Alpha to Z:

  • Confused about where one generation ends and another begins? Various sources define them differently, but, give or take a couple years, it’s generally agreed that the Greatest Generation includes those born from 1901 to 1927, the Silent Generation is from 1928 to 1945, baby boomers are from 1946 to 1964, Gen X is from 1964 to 1980, millennials (also known as Generation Y) are from 1981 to 1996, Gen Z is from 1997 to 2012, and Generation Alpha is from 2013 to 2025 (approximately).

  • Other terms for individuals born soon after the Gen X cutoff in 1980 include “Cuspers,” “Xennials,” and “The Oregon Trail Generation.” Similarly, those born between 1993 and 1998, at the cusp of millennials and Gen Z, have been called “Zillennials.”

  • The term “geriatric pregnancy” has also gained notoriety for its (now uncommon) use to describe when a woman has a child over the age of 35.

Margaret Lipman
Margaret Lipman
Margaret Lipman is a teacher and blogger who frequently writes for WiseGEEK about topics related to personal finance, parenting, health, nutrition, and education. Learn more...
Margaret Lipman
Margaret Lipman
Margaret Lipman is a teacher and blogger who frequently writes for WiseGEEK about topics related to personal finance, parenting, health, nutrition, and education. Learn more...

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register:
    • “Geriatric millennials” is the term for the micro-generation of people born in the early 1980s, at the beginning of the millennial generation (1981 to 1996).
      By: SolisImages
      “Geriatric millennials” is the term for the micro-generation of people born in the early 1980s, at the beginning of the millennial generation (1981 to 1996).