MTV has a curious name for the post-Millennial generation

A group of children using their phones
(Image credit: iStock)

Step aside, Millennials — it's the dawn of the Founders. While 18- to 34-year-olds in the United States already have a (maybe derogatory) term to identify themselves, the youngest generation in America hadn't yet found a firm moniker. Thankfully, MTV has stepped in.

The network has been studying kids born after December 2000 for several years, and in a survey of 1,000 youths in March, they decided to try to find a better fitting name than some of those that have already been proposed: Gen Z, iGen, Posts, Homeland Generation, ReGen, or Plurals. MTV arrived at some finalists of their own, including the Navigators, the Regenerators, and the Builders, but ultimately settled on the Founders as their preferred label.

"[The Founders are] slightly more risk-averse. They've grown up without a safety net," MTV's senior vice president of consumer insights and research, Jane Gould, said. Generational theorist Neil Howe added that, "You have a whole generation that is going to represent the extreme endpoint of where Millennials were going in many respects: risk-averse, team-oriented, well-behaved."

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Research identifies the Founders group as being more pragmatic and independent than their Millennial counterparts, having grown up with realist Gen X parents rather than optimistic Baby Boomer mothers and fathers. MTV President Sean Atkins said the name specifically speaks to the fact that while the Millennials "disrupted," the younger generation has it on themselves to rebuild. What's more, they're diverse, they're comfortable standing out, and they've never known a world that wasn't digital. Not only that, but they're getting older — and will soon be the core target demographic of many companies, MTV included.

Learn more about the Founders below. Jeva Lange

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