Generational differences

Ipsos MORI has a fascinating piece of research looking at the generational differences in society called Generations.

It looks at four generational cohorts which have increasingly differentiated characteristics across a variety of metrics:


As the introduction to the full report sets out:

We’re at a key point in the influence of different generations on our society. We now have four sizeable and culturally quite distinct cohorts co-existing, as the chart below shows. It’s easy to miss this point when we discuss our national demographic profile, because we tend to focus on how the population is ageing. That is undoubtedly true – but it’s also vital to understand that the current old are still dying out, and they have very different values and attitudes to our future old.

In his book The Pinch, David Willetts talks about how we’re at a point of “generational equipoise” , where the median person is around 40 years old and can expect to live to 80. We’re also at a point of balance between generations – and changes in how much each makes up of the population are driving significant shifts in the national balance of opinion.

What particularly caught my eye was the data on internet usage shared by Bobby Duffy (@bobbyipsosmori), which highlights the rate of growth of mobile access which is something I seem to end up discussing most days now. In particular it’s striking how the usage of mobile is different across the four generational groups that the research looks at:


The full internet and technology section of the analysis is here. It’ll be interesting to see how this cohort-based analysis develops in the future.

This article originally appeared on Simon Wakeman’s communications, marketing and public relations blog at

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