baby boom

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baby boom,

a period in which the birthrate is significantly higher than in other periods, especially the post–World War II period in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. In the United States, the postwar baby boom was the largest demographic spike in the nation's history; more than 78 million Americans were born. Experts differ about the span of the U.S. baby boom, which the Census Bureau defines as 1946 to 1964; the number of births peaked in 1957. Some break the period into two sections: "Leading-edge Boomers" (1946–54) and "Generation Jones" (1955–65). Marriage and pregnancy were delayed during the 16 years that spanned the Great DepressionGreat Depression,
in U.S. history, the severe economic crisis generally considered to have been precipitated by the U.S. stock-market crash of 1929. Although it shared the basic characteristics of other such crises (see depression), the Great Depression was unprecedented in its
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 and World War II. After the war, births went up precipitously as the average ages at which people got married and began having children both went down. The baby-boom years were also marked by an expanding economy, increased educational opportunities, and population shifts to the growing suburbs. The baby boom ended in the late 1960s and by the 1970s America's birthrate had declined to 1930s levels.

Baby boomers are the largest generation in U.S. history, and have had a profound effect on many of the country's political, economic, and cultural trends. Many boomers reached young adulthood during the 1960s and contributed to and were affected by the period's antiauthoritarian and alternative hallmarks, such as political and social activism and rock music. Boomers also are united by such factors as television (they were the first generation to grow up with the medium) and consumerism (they have tended to be voracious commercial consumers). Many baby boomers have struggled to achieve the standard of living enjoyed by their parents because the large size of their cohort has tended to diminish economic opportunity, but the generation as a whole is the richest in American history. In the 21st cent. aging baby boomers are expected to present a significant challenge to the U.S. healthcare industry, MedicareMedicare,
national health insurance program in the United States for persons aged 65 and over and the disabled. It was established in 1965 with passage of the Social Security Amendments and is now run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
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, and social securitysocial security,
government program designed to provide for the basic economic security and welfare of individuals and their dependents. The programs classified under the term social security differ from one country to another, but all are the result of government legislation
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.

Bibliography

See P. C. Light, Baby Boomers (1990), N. A. Hamilton et al., Atlas of the Baby Boom Generation (2000), S. Gillon, Boomer Nation (2004); J. Goldsmith, The Long Baby Boom (2008)

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As workers in the babyboom population begin to retire and the smaller population of the "baby bust" generation enters the labor market, overall labor force growth will slow.
Women of the babyboom generation, the founders of women's music and culture, believed that they could construct a collective sense of what it meant to be a lesbian, and also develop representations of that collective identity.
Evidently, the negative effects of factors such as the decrease in marriage rates of household heads were stronger than the positive effects of the aging of the babyboom generation.
The "baby boomlet" or the "babyboom echo" is what demographers call the 20-year rise in births that started in the mid-1970s.
This problem is currently exacerbated by the fact that in the late 1980s and early 1990s resources have been strained by a population bulge of 18-year-olds, a product of the post-war babyboom (Hidetoshi, 1987, p.
This trend is expected to continue, particularly between 2010 and 2030, when the babyboom generation reaches 65 (Coleman and Militello, 1995).
At the other end of the experience spectrum, the number of older engineers rose until 1980, when the retirement of the postwar cohorts and the influx of the babyboom began.
Dooley and Gottschalk (1984), for example, argue that the large babyboom cohort drove up within-group inequality in the 1970s.
The problem is two-fold: After a babyboom peak in 1977, there has been a longterm decline in the number of high school graduates while the percentage of those pursuing engineering careers remains at a static 10 percent; the pre-college educational system is not doing a good job of fostering scientific literates.
The echo babyboom has exacerbated this polarization as less-affluent mothers bear children at an earlier age than do their wealthier sisters with higher job skills.
There is a tendency to interpret all of American culture as simply a function of how old die babyboom generation happens to be.
Critique: A first rate dystopian saga, "The Great Anti-American Novel" may be a work of fiction, but the philosophical questions embedded in Daniel Donatelli's deftly written text deals with issues that are very much up front in today's news -- diminishing privacy in an increasingly digital world, the consequences of a national economic collapse, the impact of a disintegrating culture, the inevitable destiny of the self-centered Babyboom Generation, and the critical importance of family for individual and collective survival.