Baby Boomers Rule
by Larry Steward
If you were born between 1946 and 1964, you are considered a baby boomer. This group represents the largest generational birth cohort in U.S. history–nearly 76.5 million in total. Starting in 2011, Boomers began to hit the traditional retirement age of 65. According to AARP, Boomers will turn 65 at a rate of 10,000 a day over the next 18 years! Baby Boomers make up about 26 percent of the population. California has the highest population of Baby Boomers (9 million), followed by Texas (5.6 million), New York (5.1 million), Florida (4.6 million) and Pennsylvania (3.4 million). (55places.com)
I feel left out - I was born in 1943.
How and why did this tidal wave of births happen?
Almost exactly nine months after World War II ended, “the cry of the baby was heard across the land,” as historian Landon Jones later described the trend. More babies were born in 1946 than ever before: 3.4 million, 20 percent more than in 1945. This was the beginning of the so-called “baby boom.”
In 1947, another 3.8 million babies were born; 3.9 million were born in 1952; and more than 4 million were born every year from 1954 until 1964, when the boom finally tapered off. By then, they made up almost 40 percent of the nation’s population.
Older Americans, who had postponed marriage and childbirth during the Great Depression and World War II, were joined in the nation’s maternity wards by young adults who were eager to start families.
(In 1940, the average American woman got married when she was almost 22 years old; in 1956, the average American woman got married when she was just 20. And just 8 percent of married women in the 1940s opted not to have children, compared to 15 percent in the 1930s.)
Many people in the postwar era looked forward to having children because they were confident that the future would be one of comfort and prosperity. In many ways, they were right: Corporations grew larger and more profitable, labor unions promised generous wages and benefits to their members, and consumer goods were more plentiful and affordable than ever before. As a result, many Americans felt certain that they could give their families all the material things that they themselves had done without.
Looking forward, by 2030 it is predicted that about one in five Americans will be older than 65, and some experts believe that the aging of the population will place a strain on social welfare systems.
Here are 10 facts about boomers you may not know:
On December 31, 2029, the last of the Boomers will turn 65. The 65+ population segment is projected to double to 71.5 million by 2030 and grow to 86.7 million by 2050. Possibly more than 80 million will be on Medicare and Social Security. (CNN)
There’s a widely paraded myth that Baby Boomers have a lot of wealth. They don’t. Sure, they have more discretionary income than any other age group. However, in 2007, before the housing bubble burst, older households (between 55 and 64) had a median net worth of $266,000. By 2010, that shrunk dramatically (33%) to $179,400. (Governing.com)
Boomers financially support their adult children. Almost 60% of Baby Boomer parents provide financial support to their adult children, including living expenses, medical bills and paying off loans. (Forbes)
Baby Boomers are the Web’s largest constituency. They make up over 30% of US internet users. They spend 16 hours per week watching T.V. and 19 hours per week online. (Google/Ipsos)
Search and email are the top two online activities among Boomers. A DMN3 survey of online Boomers found that 96.1% of use search, while 94.8% of Boomers use email. They often use the Internet to research health and wellness information, as well as plan and book leisure trips. (DMN3)
Boomers contribute more positive online product reviews than other generational groups. They contribute 45% of the total online product opinions and assign 3% more five-star ratings. (Bazaarvoice)
Boomers love Facebook. An astonishing 84.9% of Boomers said they use Facebook. (DMN3)
Boomers are comfortable with online transactions. Almost 9 out of 10 Boomers have made an online purchase. (eMarketer)
Baby Boomers are confident, independent and self-reliant. This generation grew up in an era of reform and believe they can change the world. They went from Hippie to Yuppie. Baby Boomers understand that the world doesn’t owe them anything. They’re not afraid of confrontation and will not hesitate to challenge authority and status quo. (About.com)
Just because the boomer population is aging doesn’t mean they’re necessarily slowing down. Baby boomers are expected to heavily influence the entire world for decades to come.
Doesn’t it feel great to be part of something so big?