What you need to know

Gen X is often referred to as the “forgotten” generation – not nearly as flashy as Millennials or Gen X, and not as famous as Boomers. These adults, aged 45-56, comprise 15% of the US population, and are a demographic worth watching. Gen X households tend to have higher than average household incomes, but they are strapped with both saving for retirement and potentially paying the high costs of raising children or caring for aging parents. COVID-19 has upended some Gen X families’ savings, and it has made them stressed about debt and maintaining their employment. These adults are looking for way to help provide for their families as well as remain financially secure into the future as they become empty nesters.

Key issues covered in this Report

  • The impact of COVID-19 on Generation X consumers and their finances

  • Financial priorities for Gen X households

  • Financial behaviors of Gen X consumers

  • Gen X attitudes toward their finances and debt


Mintel defines Generation X as the generation born between 1965 and 1976. In 2021, Gen Xers are between the ages of 45 and 56.

COVID-19: market context

This Report was written in late 2020. Consumer research was fielded in July 2020 and reflects consumer attitudes during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The first COVID-19 case was confirmed in the US in January 2020. On March 11, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global health pandemic, and on March 13, President Trump declared a national emergency in the US. 

Across the US, state-level stay-at-home orders rolled out throughout the months of March and April, and nonessential businesses and school districts across the nation closed or shifted to remote operations. At the time of writing, all 50 states have relaxed restrictions, allowing businesses to operate with varying levels of social distancing measures in place. However, a resurgence of COVID-19 infections has driven some states to slow down or reverse course on reopening plans. The availability of a COVID-19 vaccine is currently limited, but wider distribution is expected in the coming months.

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