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Birthday Gift to Obama - Your Generational Identity Revealed
Aug 04, 2008 (10:08 AM EDT)

NEW YORK, Aug. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- A new poll conducted on the occasion of Senator Barack Obama's birthday sheds light on the much-debated issue of his generational identity. While experts have clashed over whether he is part of the Baby Boomer generation or not, respondents who were born the same year as the senator -- 1961 -- are much clearer on the issue.

The survey, commissioned by ThirdAge, an established non-partisan website catering to midlifers, asked 500 people born in 1961 which generation they felt a part of: 57 percent responded to Generation Jones as defined in birth years in the survey, 22 percent reported Baby Boomer and 21 percent said GenX. Further, when asked which generation they believed Obama belonged to, 51 percent responded Generation Jones, 24 percent labeled him a Baby Boomer and 25 percent said GenX.

Traditionally defined, Baby Boomers are comprised of 76 million people born between 1946 and 1964. Through the study of this diverse population group, some experts have realized that there are actually two distinct cohorts that comprise this group. They are often further defined in generational terms as leading-edge boomers, the older set born between 1946 and 1953, and trailing-edge boomers, born between 1954 and 1965. Recently, the term Generation Jones was coined to describe those born between 1954 and 1965 as a way to define this group's unique characteristics. Generational studies have further indicated that GenJonesers have values and behaviors much more aligned with those of the younger generation that followed them, GenXers (those born between 1966 and 1978). In broad strokes, some experts generally describe Boomers as idealistic, GenXers as cynical, and GenJonesers as practical idealists.

"Having exclusively served Baby Boomers and the over 40 population for more than a decade, we greatly value the importance of further understanding the generational make-up of our visitors," said ThirdAge CEO Sharon P. Whiteley. "Although the majority of ThirdAgers are comprised of people between 44 and 66, traditionally regarded as Boomers, our audience in fact spans three different generations with people in their early 40s through early 70s. Many share the same values, attitudes and behaviors. However, they also differ in many significant ways as a result of generational differences and events that happened during their formative years."

After watching numerous experts debate this issue, ThirdAge decided to ask those who were actually born in '61 which generation they believed was the accurate one for them. Obama himself has been reported as saying that he is Post-Boomer, but has not identified which specific generation by name.

This Presidential election has other strong generational themes. Senator John McCain, who is unambiguously a member of the Silent Generation -- those born between 1925 and 1945 -- is the oldest presidential candidate in history, and the age difference between him and Obama is the largest ever between candidates. McCain's Silent Generation is also the only generation in U.S. history which has not produced a President ... so far.

The polling of a nationally representative sample of 500 U.S. adults born in 1961 was conducted by MarketTools, using their TrueSample technology, July 31 -- August 1, 2008.

ThirdAge Inc. is a leading online, media, marketing and consumer insight destination exclusively focused on serving the Baby Boomer and aging midlife audiences, and premiere marketers who want to build a trusted relationship with them. Pioneers in the arena, ThirdAge currently attracts over 1.1 million unique visitors a month with a core focus around community-based content in health and wellness, relationships, growth and enrichment, and life stage transitions.

Media Contacts: Hilary Allard 617.337.9524 Linda Walsh 617.337.9516

CONTACT: Hilary Allard, +1-617-337-9524,, orLinda Walsh, +1-617-337-9516, , both for ThirdAgeInc.

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