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Who Are Baby Boomers?

If you were born between 1946 and 1964, you are a member of the Baby Boomer generation.

Why Are We Called Baby Boomers?

Almost exactly nine months after World War II ended, more babies were born in 1946 than any year in American history. 3.4 million little “boomers” were born in 1946, 20 percent more than were born in 1945! Guess those boys were glad to be back home aye?

This elevated birthrate continued through the next 18 years until it finally tapered off in 1964. By the end of the year there were 76.4 million “baby boomers” in the United States. We made up almost 40 percent of the nation’s population.

By 2030, about one in five Americans will be older than 65. Because of our generation’s size, we have a significant impact on our nation’s economy and growth, but at the same time there is concern that our aging population will also place a strain on social welfare systems. (“Baby Boomers” History.com)

How Could a Typical Baby Boomer Be Described?

Is there really any “typical”? We are a diverse group, but this is a general collection of our beliefs and character traits.

+ We believe anything is possible.

+ We are extremely loyal to our children.

+ We are ambitious.

+ We are ethical and loyal.

+ We are willing to take on responsibility.

+ We are competent multi-taskers.

+ We work efficiently and have good communications skills.

+ We are willing to take risks and are driven.

+ We believe in equal rights and equal opportunities.


I feel that the below traits that a lot of us Boomers share, although not all desirable traits, were borne from the music and culture of our times. With so many of our generation in VietNam, fear ran rampant.

Make Love Not War“, “Give Peace a Chance” became mantras. We experienced Woodstock, free love, drugs, love-ins, the hippie culture, flower children and music to express ourselves and find peace.

We developed a fierce determination to create happiness and find peace in whatever way worked for us. To become your own person without judgement was the norm of our times. We ran with it.

> We have a “spend now, worry later”, “buy now, pay later” attitude

> We are competitive.

> We challenge authority.We become judgemental when disagreed with.

> We don’t like conformity and rules – we challenge the status quo.

> We tend to be workaholics – we invented the 50-hr work week.

> We expect everyone else to be workaholics.

> We can be self-centered – personal growth is important to us.

> We’re not great with finances (see #1 above).


Where We Fit In the Current Generations

Generations Before and After Us

Born 1945 and Before

“Traditionalists” or “Silent Generation”

Baby Boomer

Born 1946 to 1964

“Baby Boomers”

Generation X

Born 1965 to 1976

“Generation X”

Millennials

Born 1977 to 1995

“Millennials” or “Gen X”

Centennials

Born 1996 and Later

“Centennials”, “iGen”, or “Gen Z”

Events That Shaped Us as a Generation

The events that transpire during our lifetime will naturally affect each of us in different ways. The Baby Boomers have had a lot to digest so far in our lives and whether it be subtly or drastically, these events will have an effect on how we look at life, raise our children, form our opions, and determine the lifestyle we will lead. Below are just a few.

1954 – McCarthy hearings begin
1955 – Rosa Parks refuses to move to the back of the bus
1957 – First nuclear power plant
1960 – Kennedy elected President
1962 – Cuban Missile Crisis
1963 – Martin Luther King leads march on Washington DC
1963 – President John Kennedy assassinated
1964 – Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed
1965 – United States sends ground troops to Vietnam
1966 – National Organization for Women founded
1967 – American Indian Movement Founded
1968 – Martin Luther King assassinated
1968 – Robert Kennedy assassinated
1969 – First moon landing
1970 – Kent State University Shootings

We’ve been described as restless.We are sometimes referred to as  the “Me Generation”. We were promised the American Dream growing up, and we’re still looking for it.

As with each generation before and after us, a lot has changed in our lifetimes. Some of it has been frightening, but most changes have been enlightening and exciting.

Personally speaking, computers and Google are two of the best discoveries that have happened in my lifetime! I can have an answer to my every question right at the tips of my fingers any time of the day or night.

As much as I embrace our new technological world, I always feel a little pang of loneliness when I think of my pretty little pink princess rotary phone with the party line. I loved that phone. It was the physical representation of my entry into my tumultuous teenage years. But shared memories of my childhood and teenage years from the late 50’s to the mid-70’s is for another day and another blog post.

As you read through the above summary of Baby Boomers, are there things that you’d like to add? I value any additional information or memories from your point of view. Please feel free to add them in the comment section below.

Until next time…Peace out.

Patti Huck image and signature

 

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Baby Boomers - The Restless Generation | Women Over Fifty Network