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Baby Boomers: By The Numbers

Updated on May 8, 2016
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Eloquent. Aesthetic. Starter. Magnetic. Spiritual. Strong. Determined. Ambitious. Freethinking. Leader. Confident. Adventurous. Managerial.

Introduction

The term baby boomers derives from the large spurt in US births following demobilization after allies defeated Nazi Germany and Japan in World War II.

For nearly two decades, a massive increase in the population occurred, in that America added approximately 77 million people to the world.

In America, baby boomers were responsible for revolutions that changed the nation.

They protested segregation laws, fought for environmental protection, and played an imperative role in pressing the issue of women's rights.

Baby boomers ultimately created the culture of "cool". They were the first to bring trends that were internationally copied (e.g., blue jeans).

Population Also Known As

1.) Baby Boomers

2) Boomies

3.) The Bulge

4.) "Pig-in-a-Python" generation

Baby Boomers: Who Are They?

Retirement: Baby Boomer Breakdown
Retirement: Baby Boomer Breakdown | Source

Sociological Research Definition

Who Are The Baby Boomers?

They are the largest generation of Americans born in U.S. history.

  • Early boomers span the years 1946-1955
  • Late boomers span the years 1956-1964
  • Baby Boomers make up 35% of the American adult population
  • In 2015, those aged 50 and older will represent 45% of the U.S. population

Unlike their parents who grew up during the Great Depression, Boomers became the great consumers. They became famous for spending all their earnings.

This was the first Western Generation to grow up with two cars garages and chickens in every pot.

Baby Boomer spending and consumerism has fueled the world economies.

They were also the first generation to experience:

  • Achievement, optimism, prosperity, and stability
  • Increased educational, financial, and social opportunities
  • The Cold War, fear of a nuclear attack from Russia, bomb shelters and hiding under a desk at school
  • Putting a man on the moon
  • The assassination of President John F. Kennedy
  • The assassination of Martin Luther King
  • The War in Vietnam
  • The Berlin Wall going up
  • The Women's Movement
  • The Civil Rights Movement
  • The Sexuality Movement

Baby Boomer Characteristics

A website dedicated to serving Baby Boomers regarding the Issues they're facing while reminiscing about the times that shaped their lives.
A website dedicated to serving Baby Boomers regarding the Issues they're facing while reminiscing about the times that shaped their lives. | Source

Did You Know Someone Turns 50 ≈ Every 7 Seconds?

(That equates to 12,500 people daily)

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US Census Data on Baby Boomers

In May 2013, the US Census Bureau reported interesting estimates and projections of baby boomers:

  • There were 41.4 million baby boomers in the US at the time.That was up from the 40.3 million, which was reported on April 1, 2010 (Census Day).
  • But, a mere 2.4 million was the projected number of baby boomers in 2060. At that time, the youngest baby boomers will be 96 years old.
  • Nearly 17% is the projected percentage of the global population that would be baby boomers in 2050, which is up from the reported 8 percent in 2013.
  • In the year 2056, the baby boomers will outnumber people under age 18 in the U.S, for the first time ever.

Baby Boomer Trivia


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The Entitled Generation

“The Baby Boomers are the most self-centered, self-seeking, self-interested, self-absorbed, self-indulgent, self-aggrandizing generation in American history,” - Paul Begala
“The Baby Boomers are the most self-centered, self-seeking, self-interested, self-absorbed, self-indulgent, self-aggrandizing generation in American history,” - Paul Begala | Source

Baby Boomers are Workaholics

Traits and Characteristics of Baby Boomers in the Workplace
Traits and Characteristics of Baby Boomers in the Workplace | Source

Baby Boomer Health & Fitness

Boomer Fitness 1953-2013. Jane Fonda starred in her first workout video in 1982.This interactive timeline features boomers that helped lead "the golden era of health."
Boomer Fitness 1953-2013. Jane Fonda starred in her first workout video in 1982.This interactive timeline features boomers that helped lead "the golden era of health." | Source

The "Second Act"

Retired baby boomers find second acts in encore careers
Retired baby boomers find second acts in encore careers | Source

The Peace Sign

Although it is a sign that baby boomers identify with, it has cross-generational appeal. "Children of today easily identify it. They may not know its original meaning, but they know it stands for good things – be nice to friends, be kind to animals,
Although it is a sign that baby boomers identify with, it has cross-generational appeal. "Children of today easily identify it. They may not know its original meaning, but they know it stands for good things – be nice to friends, be kind to animals, | Source

Baby Boomer Profile

Baby boomers are the original teenagers.

They were rule breakers.

Individuality over conformity is a common baby boomer motto.

They always have done things differently than they were done before.

They created a new life-stage; one defined by the values of the age group such as, rebellion, individualism, risk taking, leisure, entertainment, etc.

The sheer size of the age group is noteworthy. The planet has never contained such an abundance of older people.

Two thirds of all baby boomers are alive today.

Baby boomers remodeled society and have always set the cultural agenda. They played a pivotal role in changing many aspects of American life.

They were brought up in an abundant, healthy post-war economy and became an egocentric generation that triggered social changes, which were ultimately a result of self interests teetering on the edge of philanthropy.

Baby boomers saw the world revolving around them. Nuclear families were their norm and work has been a defining part of their self worth as well as their evaluation of peers.

They live to work. As such, tensions arise between baby boomer and other generations (e.g., X, Y, and Z), as they expect others to have the same work ethic and hours as they do (e.g., 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. workdays).

In the future, a larger population of baby boomers relative to the working age population will increase old-age dependency.

This may present challenges to the government, families, and businesses as they attempt to meet the care giving needs of the growing older population.

The majority of baby boomers are non-Hispanic, White alone. Declines due to mortality are projected for this group as they reach advanced ages.

This is projected to contribute to simultaneous decreases in the percentage of the population in the non-Hispanic White alone category.

Increases in immigration and births to minority populations is projected to produce an increasingly diverse population in the coming years among Americans.

Aging of the baby boomers is also projected to shift the age structure of the whole American population.

Baby Boomers witnessed changes in values on health. The commercialization of exercise and fitness (e.g., rise of chain gyms and work out VHS tapes) made this group recognize the importance of being healthy.

They also witnessed the popularization of healthy eating (e.g., dieting trends, kitchen appliances and celebrity nutritionists).

Despite becoming health conscious, age is physically taking its toll on baby boomers. They become more susceptible to illness and it is harder for them to stay fit.

Grey hair and wrinkles is common for baby boomers now. They tend to have less energy in older adulthood, which is a surreal experience for most because they know their bodies are aging yet their minds are still vigorous, like teenagers.

They may begin to experience some ageism for the first time now, which is also surreal given their generation rebelled against the traditionalism of their parents generation.

Beside, wisdom and experience, baby boomers have many other benefits. Despite the recession, they are still the most financially secure generation.

Most have reached the peak of their careers and shifted their focus away from achievement to simply enjoying their new adventures. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, baby boomers are at the top of the pyramid.

Most baby boomers have few safety, social and self esteem issues. After retirement, they become busy ‘self actualizing’ or pursuing their personal interests as well as taking care of others, especially their (adult) children.

In many ways, baby boomers experience the ‘Second Act’, which resembles adolescence, with a responsibility free life, full of an abundance of idle time explore, travel, adventure, discover, and experiment with new things.

However, the 'Second Act" is driven by a powerful desire to remain active, healthy, and youthful, which often turns into an obsession with vitality.

Baby Boomers pioneered free love and normalized dating as well as divorce more than any other generation.

Whether married or single, they continue to enjoy active sex lives.

Now that many are empty nester's, they have more time and opportunities to explore and experiment with sex at this stage in their lives as they did when they were teenagers.

And, many baby boomers are the heads of inter-generational households. They are friends as well as parents, and grandparents who often socialize and go out together with their offspring and others.

Famous Baby Boomers

Names
Birthdays
Descriptions
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
04/16/47
Retired professional basketball player
Bruce Jenner
10/28/49
Former track and field athlete and current television personality
Stevie Wonder
05/13/50
Musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist
Michael Jordan
02/17/63
Former professional basketball player
Oprah Winfrey
01/29/54
Media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist
Chaka Khan
03/23/53
Singer-Songwriter
Denzel Washington Jr.
12/28/54
Actor and filmmaker
Sugar Ray Leonard
05/17/56
Former professional boxer, motivational speaker, and occasional actor
Geena Davis
01/21/56
Actress, film producer, writer, former fashion model, and a women's Olympics archery team semi-finalist
Drew Carey
05/23/58
Actor, comedian, sports executive, and game show host
Bill Clinton
08/19/46
Politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001
Natalie Cole
02/06/50
Singer, songwriter, and performer
Johnny Depp
06/09/63
Actor, producer, and musician
Vanna White
02/18/57
Television personality and film actress best known as the hostess of Wheel of Fortune since 1982
Meryl Streep
06/22/49
Actress
Aresenio Hall
02/12/56
Comedian and talk show host
Bill Gates
10/28/55
Business magnate, philanthropist, investor, computer programmer, and inventor
Gianna Versace
12/02/46
Italian fashion designer and founder of Versace
Kathie Lee Gifford
08/16/53
Television host, singer, songwriter, comedian, and actress
Al Gore
03/31/48
Politician, advocate and philanthropist, who served as the 45th Vice President of the United States, under President Bill Clinton
Whoopi Goldberg
11/13/55
Comedienne, actress, political activist, writer, producer, and television host
Sally Field
11/06/46
Actress and director
Al Sharpton
10/03/54
Baptist minister, civil rights activist, television/radio talk show host and a trusted White House adviser
Arnold Schwarzenegger
07/30/47
Austrian-born American actor, model, producer, director, activist, businessman, investor, writer, philanthropist, former professional bodybuilder, and politician
Rosanne
11/03/52
Actress, comedian, writer, television producer, director, and 2012 presidential nominee of the California-based Peace and Freedom Party
Dolly Parton
01/19/46
Singer-songwriter, instrumentalist, actress, author, business woman, and philanthropist
Katie Couric
01/07/57
Journalist and author
Demi Moore
11/11/62
Actress, filmmaker, former songwriter, and model
Elton John
03/25/47
English singer, songwriter, composer, pianist, record producer, and occasional actor
Tommy Lee Jones
09/15/46
Actor and film director
Diane Keaton
01/05/46
Film actress, director, producer and screenwriter
Madonna
08/18/58
Singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman
Courtney Love
07/09/64
Alternative rock singer, songwriter, musician, actress, and visual artist
Famous Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers & Modern Technology

Baby boomers have played a large role in technological change.

Today, it is almost customary for a TV to be in every home (perhaps in every room too).

There has been a rise in devices that ease and automate almost everything, such as laptops and cellphones.

And, Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple, Inc. was a baby boomer.

However, baby boomers are not in the forefront of the social media revolution.

There is a big “disconnect” between baby boomers and social media.

For two years in a row, Pews Internet Research reported that baby boomers straggle behind younger generations in their adoption of social networks.

Merely five in 10 baby boomers aged 50-64 use social networking sites, that is compared to the eight in 10 users aged 18-29 and seven in 10 aged 30-49 years old.

Embrace Modern Technology

Embracing technology will help Baby Boomers age in place
Embracing technology will help Baby Boomers age in place | Source

Gadgets Every Baby Boomer Needs

“The Boomer” is a column written for adults nearing retirement age and those already in their “golden years.”
“The Boomer” is a column written for adults nearing retirement age and those already in their “golden years.” | Source

RealPad by AARP

Portable, handheld tablet with easy built in tools designed to help keep senior citizens connected.
Portable, handheld tablet with easy built in tools designed to help keep senior citizens connected. | Source

Telikin

Simple, Easy to Use, Touchscreen Computers for seniors
Simple, Easy to Use, Touchscreen Computers for seniors | Source

Baby Boomers Are Using More Technology

Despite their uncertainity, baby boomers are starting to use more social networking.

It has been reported that the number of users has doubled from 25% in 2010 to 51% in 2011, which is the fastest growth rate of any generation.

More baby boomers are interested in social networking for a number of reasons such as,

  1. To keep in contact with their children and grandchildren
  2. To send emails
  3. To sign up for Facebook and online dating sites
  4. To check their medical information
  5. To do online banking
  6. To check online news sites
  7. To read e-books
  8. To make travel arrangements
  9. To participate in online health forums
  10. To reconnect with people from the past

These are just a few reasons that sparked the interests of baby boomers but they are often still uncertain and uneasy about how to use the technology especially with the constant changes and upgrades to devices, programs, software, etc.

The good news is there are great products on the market to help simplify technology for the baby boomer generation and anyone who is a beginner to modern technology and wants to stay connected.

Also, when helping a baby boomers with modern technology, patience is a virtue. Remember they are trying to adapt to something totally new.

As long as they are willing to adopt something new, which has always been apart of their character as a group, baby boomers can go from tech novices to techies in due time.

Age Poll

Which Generation Are You?

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Conclusion

Baby boomers created a new lifestyle, lingo, and perspective about getting older.

And, Baby Boomers are here to stay.

Every day, approximately 10,000 of us are turning 62 years old and this will continue for another 17 years!

Life is no longer seen as going downhill in older adulthood. It is now seen as rather a time of rediscovering yourself.

It is less of a finale and more like the beginning of a journey toward self-discovery.

Although some baby boomers might be beginners on the workings of new technology, they show great potential via years of excellence in the workforce in addition to revolutionary living experiences!

As a unified group they have clout, a voice and power in numbers. Now they leisurely seek meaning, purpose, ways to give back, and renewal.

Just Kidding Around

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