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Generational Power: How Things Look Today & What They Could Look Like Tomorrow

I'm a big fan of Visual Capitalist for how they look to quantify and visualize complex data. Generational anthropology has been particularly hard to quantify, but their inaugural Generation Power Index is a fascinating look at three key realms of power these generations hold -- economic, political

and cultural. I'm sure that using basic intuition and a basic recall of some of the most popular memes on these generations you've seen, you could probably guess which generation has the lion's share of each, but this report offers a valuable look at where we are now so that we can better prepare for where we might head to next. What differentiates Gen Z from Millennials? What impact will Covid have on Gen Z as the oldest cohort are in the beginnings of their careers? How is wealth distributed differently in a future where baby boomers are 76 and over? Here is a look at the proportion of the population each generation currently represents.

Note here that Millennials are the largest distribution within the current population of the US at 22%, but as seen below, represent only 14.5% of the "overall power" according to this study. While they do overrepresent when it comes to cultural power, their representation when it comes to economic power is a paltry 9.6%, while Boomers command 47%.

Proportionally, Baby Boomers still reign supreme when it comes to political power as well, holding the most spots as Chief Justices and state governors. It can be expected that some of this power will start to shift in the coming years with Gen X taking the reigns.

Gen Z is so young, they're not even on the map of this power index. At 9 to 24-years-old, they're still making their mark and finding their footing in a world that has seen accelerated change. Just as access to the Internet has sped up the time we define these different "generational groupings," Covid has again hit the gas on the interval of what is considered a generational age range. A lot can happen in a 15 year generational timespan. The youngest Gen Z is 9 and it's no doubt that the evolution of Web 3 will be a defining force in their future, so we're going to see more seismic shifts in our generational studies as these intervals shorten to less than a decade and the segmentation lines become even more blurred.

The next couple decades will be pivotal for many brands as generational power shifts through the media we consume and where we consume it, who is driving our political agenda and who has the deepest pockets to shape our economy.

Read the full, in-depth 33 page report from Visual Capitalist here and keep me posted on how your company is filtering through generational data or thinking about segmentation.


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