Who are the baby boomers?
Young males returning to the United States, Canada, and Australia following tours of duty overseas during World War II began families, which brought about a significant number of new children into the world. This dramatic increase in the number of births from 1946 to 1964 (1947 to 1966 in Canada and 1946-1961 in Australia) is called the Baby Boom. In the United States, approximately 79 million babies were born during the Baby Boom. Much of this cohort of nineteen years (1946-1964) grew up with Woodstock, the Vietnam War, and John F. Kennedy as president. In 2006, the oldest Baby Boomers are turning 60 years old, including the first two Baby Boomer presidents, ...view middle of the document...
It’s amazing that 1957 and 1961 are the peak birth years in raw number of births for the nation even though the total national population was 60% of the current population. Obviously, the birth rate among Americans has dropped precipitously. The birth rate per 1000 population in 1957 was 25.3. In 1973, it was 14.8. The birth rate per 1000 rose to 16.7 in 1990 but today has dropped to 14. The dramatic increase in births during the Baby Boom helped to lead to exponential rises in the demand for consumer products, suburban homes, automobiles, roads, and services. Demographer P.K. Whelpton forecast this demand, as quoted in the August 9, 1948 edition of Newsweek.
When the number of persons is rising rapidly it is necessary to prepare for the increase. Houses and apartments must be built; streets must be paved; power, light, water, and sewer systems must be extended; existing factories, stores and other business structures must be enlarged or new ones erected; and much machinery must be manufactured. And that’s exactly what happened. The metropolitan areas of the United States exploded in growth and led to huge suburban developments, such as Levittown.
Preceding the Baby Boom was the cohort called the Silent Generation (including those born from 1925-1945). Following the Baby Boom was Generation X (1964-1979). Generation Y followed Generation X (1980 to the mid-1990s) and some are suggesting a Generation Z for the babies of the late 1990s through today.
In 2007, the total number of births in the United States surpassed the record number of births previously reached in 1957. The total number of births in the U.S. in 2007 totaled 4,317,119.
The Baby Boomer Generation represents people born between the years 1946 and 1964 - now between the ages of 44 and 62.
Why are baby boomers special as in terms of a profound demographic change?
Baby boomer is a term used to describe a person who was born during the demographic Post‐World War II baby boom. Many experts now believe that two distinct generations were born during this baby boom; the older generation is usually called the Baby Boom Generation and the younger generation is typically called Generation Jones. The baby boom had profound demographic, cultural, economic, and political implications. The term baby boomer is used around the world, however it can have very different implications in different areas; in some areas it refers merely to the time period, rather than an actual "baby boom." The term "baby boomer" is sometimes used in a cultural context, and sometimes used to describe someone who was born during the post‐WWII baby boom. Therefore, it is impossible to achieve broad consensus of a precise definition, even within a given territory. Different groups, organizations, individuals, and scholars may have widely varying opinions on what constitutes a baby boomer, both technically and culturally. Ascribing universal attributes to a broad generation is difficult, and some observers...