Baby boomers, sometimes shortened to boomers, are the demographic cohort following the Silent Generation and preceding Generation X. The generation is often defined as people born from 1946 to 1964, during the mid-20th century baby boom. The dates, the demographic context, and the cultural identifiers may vary by country. The baby boom has been described variously as a “shockwave” and as “the pig in the python”. Most baby boomers are children of either the Greatest Generation or the Silent Generation, and are often parents of Gen Xers and Millennials, or Older Generation Z.
In the West, boomers’ childhoods in the 1950s and 1960s had significant reforms in education, both as part of the ideological confrontation that was the Cold War, and as a continuation of the interwar period. In the 1960s and 1970s, as this relatively large number of young people entered their teens and young adulthood—the oldest turned 18 in 1964—they, and those around them, created a very specific rhetoric around their cohort, and the social movements brought about by their size in numbers, such as the counterculture of the 1960s and its backlash.
Date range and definitions
A significant degree of consensus exists around the date range of the baby boomer cohort, with the generation considered to cover those born from 1946 to 1964 by various organizations such as the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, Pew Research Center, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Federal Reserve Board, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Gallup, YouGov and Australia’s Social Research Center. The United States Census Bureau defines baby boomers as “individuals born in the United States between mid-1946 and mid-1964”. Landon Jones, in his book Great Expectations: America and the Baby Boom Generation (1980), defined the span of the baby-boom generation as extending from 1946 through 1964.
* I was born August 1964 and am at the “end” of the boomers and “before” Generation X. At the cusp of a human definition.
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