BROWSE

Baby Boomer

Definition

Baby Boomers are the demographic cohort following the Silent Generation and preceding Generation X. There are varying timelines defining the start and the end of this cohort; demographers and researchers typically use birth years starting from the early- to mid-1940s and ending anywhere from 1960 to 1964.

What is a 'Baby Boomer'

Baby boomer is a term referring to a person who was born between 1946 and 1964. The baby boomer generation makes up a substantial portion of the North American population, representing nearly 20% of the American public. Baby boomers have a significant impact on the economy, and as a result, baby boomers are often the focus of marketing campaigns and business plans.

Explaining 'Baby Boomer'

After the end of World War II, birth rates across the world spiked. The explosion of new infants became known as the baby boom. During the boom, almost 77 million babies were born in the United States alone, comprising nearly 40 percent of the American population. The large increase in population produced a substantial rise in demand for consumer goods, stimulating the postwar economy.

History of the Baby Boomer Generation

Most historians agree that the baby boomer phenomenon most likely involved a combination of factors, including a tendency of women to marry at a younger age and older people becoming more open to having the families that they put off during World War II. A sense of confidence that the coming era would be safe and prosperous pervaded American society. The postwar economy saw increases in wages, thriving businesses, and an increase in variety and quantity of products for consumers.

Baby Boomers and the Economy

As of 2015, the millennial generation has slightly surpassed the baby boomer generation in overall population in the United States. However, many of the almost 75 million boomers have reached retirement age and are unprepared financially. Many plan to live almost exclusively on Social Security despite the ongoing depletion of the system. Many also plan to keep on working, at least part time, past the age of 65 to supplement their retirement incomes. Opinion is mixed as to whether this trend strengthens the economy by maintaining experienced workers in the workforce or weakens it by keeping younger workers from finding jobs.


Further Reading


Baby boomer retirement security: The roles of planning, financial literacy, and housing wealth
www.sciencedirect.com [PDF]
We compare wealth holdings across two cohorts of the Health and Retirement Study: the early Baby Boomers in 2004, and individuals in the same age group in 1992. Levels and patterns of total net worth have changed relatively little over time, though Boomers rely more …

Financial planning for retirement: An imperative for baby boomer womenFinancial planning for retirement: An imperative for baby boomer women
www.tandfonline.com [PDF]
We compare wealth holdings across two cohorts of the Health and Retirement Study: the early Baby Boomers in 2004, and individuals in the same age group in 1992. Levels and patterns of total net worth have changed relatively little over time, though Boomers rely more …

Determinants of risk tolerance in the baby boomer cohortDeterminants of risk tolerance in the baby boomer cohort
papers.ssrn.com [PDF]
We compare wealth holdings across two cohorts of the Health and Retirement Study: the early Baby Boomers in 2004, and individuals in the same age group in 1992. Levels and patterns of total net worth have changed relatively little over time, though Boomers rely more …

Assessing the baby boomers' financial wellness using financial ratios and a subjective measureAssessing the baby boomers' financial wellness using financial ratios and a subjective measure
onlinelibrary.wiley.com [PDF]
We compare wealth holdings across two cohorts of the Health and Retirement Study: the early Baby Boomers in 2004, and individuals in the same age group in 1992. Levels and patterns of total net worth have changed relatively little over time, though Boomers rely more …

The end of the long baby-boomer generationThe end of the long baby-boomer generation
www.tandfonline.com [PDF]
We compare wealth holdings across two cohorts of the Health and Retirement Study: the early Baby Boomers in 2004, and individuals in the same age group in 1992. Levels and patterns of total net worth have changed relatively little over time, though Boomers rely more …

The impact of the housing crash on the wealth of the baby boom cohortsThe impact of the housing crash on the wealth of the baby boom cohorts
www.tandfonline.com [PDF]
We compare wealth holdings across two cohorts of the Health and Retirement Study: the early Baby Boomers in 2004, and individuals in the same age group in 1992. Levels and patterns of total net worth have changed relatively little over time, though Boomers rely more …

Australia's “other” gender wage gap: Baby boomers and compulsory superannuation accountsAustralia's “other” gender wage gap: Baby boomers and compulsory superannuation accounts
www.tandfonline.com [PDF]
We compare wealth holdings across two cohorts of the Health and Retirement Study: the early Baby Boomers in 2004, and individuals in the same age group in 1992. Levels and patterns of total net worth have changed relatively little over time, though Boomers rely more …

Voices of older baby boomer students: Supporting their transitions back into collegeVoices of older baby boomer students: Supporting their transitions back into college
www.tandfonline.com [PDF]
We compare wealth holdings across two cohorts of the Health and Retirement Study: the early Baby Boomers in 2004, and individuals in the same age group in 1992. Levels and patterns of total net worth have changed relatively little over time, though Boomers rely more …

Organizing the baby boomer construct: An exploration of marketing, social systems, and cultureOrganizing the baby boomer construct: An exploration of marketing, social systems, and culture
www.tandfonline.com [PDF]
We compare wealth holdings across two cohorts of the Health and Retirement Study: the early Baby Boomers in 2004, and individuals in the same age group in 1992. Levels and patterns of total net worth have changed relatively little over time, though Boomers rely more …

Gender, wealth, and risk: Why are baby boomer women less risk tolerant than baby boomer men?Gender, wealth, and risk: Why are baby boomer women less risk tolerant than baby boomer men?
search.ebscohost.com [PDF]
We compare wealth holdings across two cohorts of the Health and Retirement Study: the early Baby Boomers in 2004, and individuals in the same age group in 1992. Levels and patterns of total net worth have changed relatively little over time, though Boomers rely more …



Q&A About Baby Boomer


What is the definition of a baby boomer?

A baby boomer is a person who was born between 1946 and 1964.

When did the post-World War II baby boom occur in America?

The post-World War II baby boom occurred between 1946 and 1964.

What does this phenomenon have to do with women marrying at a younger age or older people becoming more open to having families that they put off during WWII?

Most historians agree that there are multiple factors involved with why birth rates spiked after World War II including women marrying at a younger age and older people becoming more open to having families that they put off during WWII.

Who were some famous baby boomers?

Famous baby boomers include Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and George W. Bush.

What is a demographic cohort?

A demographic cohort is a group of people who share similar characteristics or experiences during their life cycle within an age range.

How many baby boomers are there in the United States today?

There are approximately 76 million baby boomers in the United States today.

What was significant about this period of time for Americans?

This period was significant because it marked an increase in birth rates after World War II ended and also because it marked an increase in immigration to America following World War II ended.

How many babies were born in the United States during the Baby Boom?

Almost 77 million babies were born in the United States alone, comprising nearly 4 percent of the American population.

How has this generation been described by others since they have become adults?

This generation has been described as being self-centered, materialistic, politically apathetic, narcissistic, soft on crime, hard on children, shallow and lacking civic spirit when compared with previous generations such as those born before them (the Silent Generation) or those coming after them (Generation X).

Where did the term ""baby boomer"" come from?

The term ""baby boomer"" came from a book by

Why did birth rates spike after World War II?

After World War II, birth rates across the world spiked due to an increase in consumer demand for goods and services.

Why did this period mark an increase in immigration to America following World War II ended?

Immigration increased due to new opportunities that arose with American economic prosperity at this time and also due to displaced persons looking for new homes after World War II ended.

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