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A Brief History Of The Baby Boomer Generation

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Looking back, the beginning of the baby boom was, in one sense, an accident waiting to happen. Americans had been away from their loved ones, fighting in the Second World War, and were now able to return to their homeland of peace, if not prosperity. In almost exactly nine months after the end of the war, the birth rate shot up incredibly.

In 1946, 3.4 million babies were born in the US, which was a 20% increase on 1945. In 1947, this rose to 3.8 million babies, and 3.9 million in 1952. After that, the number of babies born in the US was over 4 million every year from 1954 until 1964.

After this, the boom finally tapered off, but by that time, there were over 76 million “baby boomers” in the country, making up near enough 40% of the population.

Historians have questioned why this baby boom should have taken place. Some have argued that it was part of a cold war campaign in order to outnumber Communists, but this seems very unlikely. Others say that it was a result of a desire to return to a normal life after more than 15 years of depression and war.

However, it seems that the most likely reason is that American soldiers returning from war were once more able to restore their family life after a period of several years.

Furthermore, developers such as William Levitt began to purchase land on the outskirts of major cities and build inexpensive houses there, using techniques of mass-production. These houses were perfectly designed for young families, with backyards and informal family rooms. The G.I. Bill meant that soldiers and sailors returning home from war could get low-cost mortgages which were often cheaper than renting a city apartment.

In addition, the baby boom had a considerable effect on young women who were urged by the media to stay at home and become wives and mothers, rather than taking on employment. Of course, it is only natural that many people will believe what they are told in the newspapers, and so it proved.

Today, those same baby boomers are in their 60’s and 70’s, and are a target for all sorts of advertisers. They have been persuaded to take out credit cards, buy new cars, televisions, hi-fi systems, and much more.

There is no doubt that the baby boom has contributed towards America being a much more affluent society, of which the boomers are a major part.

However, there is one problem ahead. This is that, as a result of the baby boom, the average age of the American population is increasing, and as a result, this will put more demands upon health care. The fact is that the baby boom has happened, and it is too late to do anything about it now.



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