Busters & Mosaics

Baby Boomers were born from 1946 to 1964, worse news may be in the wings. Meet the baby bust, that small group of young adults born from 1965 through 1976, who fill the 14-to-25 age gap.

Nestled between the baby boom and the baby boomlet, busters' demographics have resulted in there being fewer young adults today than at any time since 1973. During the 1990s, the ebb tide of the baby bust will drain the 25-to-34 age group. The oldest baby busters turn 25 this year and 35 in 2000. Today there are 44 million people age 25 to 34. By 2000 there will be only 37 million, a 16 percent decline.

Who Are The Baby Busters?

There are just 30 million to 35 million people who were born between 1965 and 1982. Unlike the boomers, Roper's The Public Pulse reports that the busters "grew up in relative obscurity under television's supervising eye. Even now, as the bust vanguard turns 22 and leaves college for jobs, none of the boom hoopla marks the milestone. They're the Lonely Crowd of the 1980s."

They've been called "the Reagan Generation" and compared to the older and larger baby boom generation, they are a very different type of Americans. They tend to be cautious, conformist, anti-intellectual and pessimistic; many are fearful, frustrated, angry and believe they will be exterminated in a nuclear war.

They aspire to the traditional values of career, home and family. Many are the children of divorced or two working parents. While on one hand they are even more accepting of dual-career marriages, they are more inclined to plan to have larger families than did the baby boomers.

Busters are decidedly "pro-business," and more than three-quarters of them--compared to 69 percent of today's baby boomrs--have favorable opinions of large business corporations. This is even more impressive when you compare that 21 percent of young adults have a "highly favorable" opinion of large companies, compared to just 12 percent of the baby boomers now and the same number of them in 1978.


You have opened the research archive relating to the latest findings on generational differences. The statistics and analysis in this archive come from national surveys conducted by Barna Research.

For more information about generational differences, be sure to check out the related resources and news releases featured on this page. Also, watch for new information to be added to this archive in the months to come.


  • Mosaics - those born between 1984 and 2002
  • Buster - those born between 1965 and 1983
  • Boomer - those born between 1946 and 1964
  • Builders - those born between 1927 and 1945
  • Senior - those born in 1926 and earlier


  • Mosaics are less likely than any other generation to volunteer time to their church (12% of Mosaics report volunteering). Conversely, 23% of Busters, 29% of Boomers, 34% of Elders (Builders and Seniors) have volunteered at a church in the past week. (2006)
  • Small group participation appears to be positively correlated with age, with 26% of Elders, 24% of Boomers, 19% of Busters and 20% of Mosaics reporting that they participated in a small group in the past week. (2006)
  • Compared to 60% of Elders who have a "quiet time" during the week, 54% of Boomers, 39% of Busters and 35% of Mosaics do the same. (2006)
  • 33% Mosaics, 43% of Busters, 49% of Boomers, 53% of Elders attend church on a given Sunday. (2006)
  • In a typical week, 32% of Mosaics, 42% of Busters, 47% of Boomers, 58% of Elders (Builders and Seniors combined) read the Bible. (2006)
  • Mosaics are the age group least likely than any other age group to pray to God. In a given week, we found that 65% of Mosaics, 82% of Busters, 90% of Boomers, 88% of Elders (Builders and Seniors) report praying to God. (2006)


  • Boomers emerge as more likely and Mosaics as less likely than any other generation to be born again (33% of Mosacis, 38% of Busters, 53% of Boomers are born again, compared to 48% of Elders). (2006)
  • Mosaics are the least likely age group to inidcate that faith is a very important part of their life. Only 51% of Mosaics say their faith is very important in their life, compared with 62% of Busters, 73% of Boomers and 79% of Elders. (2006)
  • 61% of Mosaics, 67% of Busters, 77% of Boomers, 74% of Elders believe that God is the all-powerful, all-knowing, perfect creator that rules the world today. (2006)


  • Busters are more likely than the other generations to be searching for meaning in life: 44% of Busters compared to 32% of all others are searching for their purpose in life. (2001)
  • Busters are the generation most likely to feel "too busy." Compared to 53% of Busters who maintain that they are too busy, 49% of Boomers, 32% of Builders and 27% of Seniors feel the same. (2001)
  • Older individuals are also more likely than younger individuals to describe themselves as a "born again Christian." 49% Seniors and 47% of Builders call themselves born again, compared to 42% of Boomers and 31% of Busters. (2001)
  • Financial comfort appears to come with age. We found that 38% of Busters say they are personally struggling with finances, compared to the 32% of Boomers, 23% of Builders, and 20% of Seniors. (2001)
  • Busters are almost twice as likely as are Seniors to indicate that they are stressed out (41% to 22%, respectively). Likewise, 32% of Boomers and 27% of Builders said that "stressed out" is an accurate description of them. (2001)

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