There’s a term for people born in the early ’80s who don’t feel like a millennial or a Gen Xer. Here’s everything we know about it.

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Paramount Pictures

  • Xennials are a “micro-generation” born between 1977 and 1985.
  • This group has also been called the “Oregon Trail Generation.”
  • Xennials may have been hit hardest by the recession because of a combination of student-loan debt, job loss, and other factors.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

It’s hard not fitting in.

If you feel sort of but not quite like a millennial, and sort of but not quite like a Gen Xer, take heart: You might just be a “xennial.” That’s a term for the “micro-generation” born between 1977 and 1985.

The term was coined in 2014 by Sarah Stankorb in Good Magazine. People have started talking about xennials again, with self-proclaimed members of this demographic waxing (read: tweeting) nostalgic about “Oregon Trail” and flip phones. Merriam-Webster even labeled “xennial” one of its “words we’re watching.”

Below, Business Insider has outlined the defining characteristics of xennials and how they’re different from the generations that came before and after them.


Xennials are a “micro-generation” born between 1977 and 1985.

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“The Goonies”/Warner Bros.

Source: Business Insider


This group has also been called the “Oregon Trail Generation,” in reference to a computer game that was popular when they were growing up.

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screenshot

Source: Social Media Week


Xennials were the first generation to grow up with household computers and have internet access. (“You’ve got mail!”)

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Netflix

Source: Social Media Week


Xennials are naturals at social media, though they grew up without Facebook, Twitter, or even MySpace.

Source: GOOD Magazine


Many xennials didn’t get their first cellphone until they were in their 20s. Instead, they had to call their friends’ homes and talk to their parents first.

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Getty Images

Source: GOOD Magazine


By the time xennials were 20 years old, the music industry had changed completely. Instead of buying cassette tapes, you could download songs on Napster.

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Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Source: Social Media Week


Many xennials remember watching, and sometimes getting personally invested, in the OJ Simpson trial.

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Reuters

Source: GOOD


While xennials recall a time before the internet, they spent their formative years on AOL chatting and emailing.

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AOL

Source: Mashable


Xennials aren’t quite as cynical as the stereotypical Gen Xer but also aren’t quite as optimistic as the stereotypical millennial.

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Rich Fury/Getty Images for Coachella

Source: Vogue


Xennials may have been hit hardest by the recession because of a combination of student-loan debt, job loss, and other factors.

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Brian Snyder/Reuters

Sources: GOOD Magazine and CityLab


You can take a quiz from the Guardian to see whether you qualify as a xennial. There are questions about owning “New Kids on the Block” merchandise, making mix tapes, and remembering the advent of car phones.

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Wikimedia Commons

Here’s the quiz.

Source: The Guardian