Good summary: Why People Born 1955–1964 Aren’t Baby Boomers | by Nichola Scurry | Atta Girl | Medium

“Baby boom” was defined as 1946 through 1964. Those dates were picked on the basis of increasing births up through about 1960, and then declining after that. This growth was due to the post WW II baby boom. At the peak in about 1960, the fertility rate was almost 4 – meaning there were 4 children for each woman of child-bearing age.

By 1973, the fertility rate fell below 2.1 – or the population replacement rate, as shown in this chart:

U.S. fertility rate chart

The idea is to characterize a group, the “Baby Boomers” as having common characteristics. But the span – 18 years – is far too large.

Someone born in the late 1940s had very different experiences than someone born after 1960.

Our other generational labels (Millennials, Generation X) define groups having common characteristics.

But “Baby boomers” defined a group based on demographic data, having nothing to do with common characteristics. The latter is of use in marketing and government policies while the former is sort of useless.

Yet today, the media still lumps these people together as a monolithic group.

Fortunately, someone observed this disconnect and invented the term “Generation Jones”, identifying that those born late in the “Baby boom” had different life experiences, different views, different music and much more.

For example, I was born in about the peak year of births in 1960. Twenty years late as I was graduating from college and entering the work force, I was competing with the largest new young worker cohort in U.S. history. Take the 1960 peak and move that curve to 20 years in the future.

Those born in the early 1950s, by comparison, had an entirely different experience, entering the workforce with a growing number of new workers – but nowhere near a saturation peak – and doing this during the post WW2 economic boom times as the world rebuilt.

Those born in the early 1950s likely have memories of

  • First space launches
  • First orbital satellite launch
  • The Cuban Missile crisis
  • The assassinations of John F Kennedy and Martin Luther King
  • The Vietnam War

While those born near the end of that “Baby Boom” period likely have no or few memories of any of those things.

Clearly, the experiences of the first half and the 2nd half of the “Baby Boom” generation are very different and likely to influence their views on many subjects.

Coldstreams Skeptic