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.
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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.