Generation Baby Boomers represented the children born in the period from shortly after WWII until about 1964. They were born into a period of prosperity and emphasis on youth and education. Growing up they witnessed many watershed changes in American society and now are a very large group facing the challenges of aging and retirement.
The generation baby boomers falls within those born of the post war baby boom between 1946 and 1964. (Some authors and some other countries have used slightly different time ranges for this generation.)
The name most likely comes from a book about the baby boom in America written by Landon Jones. In fact, the last half of the baby boomers years is sometimes referred to as the “Jones Generation.”
So, who are the Generation Baby Boomers?
After years of World War II and the fiscal recovery that followed, families were imbued with a sense of hopefulness and contentment that fostered the desire to start or expand families. Beginning in 1946, and continuing until 1965, over 3 million babies were born each year. A great many families were able to purchase homes of their own as a result of the VHA program for veterans, and many heads of household were able to pursue higher educations as a result of the G.I. Bill. This meant more financial security and this usually encourages having children.
As these children grew up, there were different expectations than in prior generations. That children would attend college was more of a norm rather in than it was in the past. American society became a culture that was focused on youth and their potential. Even techniques in child rearing underwent change. Television also greatly increased its penetration in to even modest homes and brought with it an explosion in information.
Many significant events colored the maturation of generation baby boomer. The 1960’s were characterized by the Space Race and the use of satellites. The Cold War spiked interest in the use of nuclear weapons and that implication on survival. The Civil Rights movement became prominent and political protest became commonplace.
Even music changed radically with the emergence of Rock and Roll as the most common form. The Vietnam War was the first warfare ever extensively covered by television and this generation did not hesitate to speak out for or against that involvement. A substantial number of the baby boomers who were of draft age fled to Canada to avoid fighting.
Generation baby boomer was more educated and more outspoken that previous generations. It was also financially successful, controlling as much as 80% of the wealth in the United States. Now generation baby boomer faces the challenges of aging and retirement with all the changes in lifestyle that implies.