Here’s a look at what you need to know about the Baby Boomer generation, the generation of Americans born between 1946, the end of World War II, and 1964. They are the largest generation of Americans born in U.S. history.
75.4 million Baby Boomers (as of 2015)
1946 – post World War II
3,411,000 – the number of babies born in the U.S.
9,345.2 per day
389.38 per hour
6.49 per minute
1954 – post Korean War
4,078,000 – the number of babies born in the U.S.
11,172.6 per day
465.53 per hour
7.76 per minute
1957 – the year the boom peaked
4,300,000 – the number of babies born in the U.S.
11,780.8 per day
490.87 per hour
8.18 per minute
1964 – the end of an era
4,027,000 – the number of babies born in the U.S.
11,002.7 per day
458.48 per hour
7.64 per minute
Approximately $8.4 trillion will be inherited by boomers from their grandparents, parents and others.
December 31, 2029 – The last of the boomers will turn 65. The 65+ population segment is projected to double to 71.5 million by 2030 and grow to 86.7 million by 2050. Possibly more than 80 million will be on Medicare and Social Security.
1945-1947 – World War II veterans return home from Europe and the Pacific in droves. The wounded had begun returning earlier.
July 27, 1953 – Korean War ends and veterans return home.
May 17, 1954 – U.S. Supreme Court desegregates schools in Brown v. Board of Education. Boomers are the first elementary school generation to attend integrated schools.
June 23, 1960 – The FDA approves an oral contraceptive, Enovid (The Pill), for sale in the U.S.
1964-1975 – Vietnam War, the war boomers fought in and protested against. The average age of combat soldiers is 19.
Summer 1967 – The “Summer of Love” and the hippie counterculture of sex, drugs and rock n roll.
1968 – Women’s Liberation and the feminist movement begins. The oldest boomers are 22.
August 15-18, 1969 – Woodstock, a music festival in Bethel, New York takes place, where more than 400,000 people attended and more than 30 acts perform.
December 1, 1969 – The first Selective Service lottery since 1942 is held. The lottery is for armed forces inductees for 1970. Only males 18-26 are eligible. September 14 is drawn first. The oldest the boomers are 23.
January 22, 1973 – Roe v Wade makes abortion legal in the United States.
March 12, 1975 – The last Selective Service lottery. The oldest boomers are 29. The system is suspended on April 1 and registration for the draft is suspended in January 1976.
1979 – The year the U.S. divorce rate peaks. There are 2,331,000 marriages and 1,181,000 divorces, according to the U.S. Census, and the first of the boomers turn 33. Thirty years later, 39% of boomers have been divorced and the national divorce rate is declining.
July 1980 – Selective Service registration is revived for all males born 1960 and later. The youngest of the boomers will be 16 by year’s end.
March 9, 1983 – Legislation passes raising the retirement age, with full Social Security benefits, from 65 to 67 to begin in 2000.
January 20, 1993 – Bill Clinton (August 19, 1946), is sworn in as the 42nd president of the United States, the first boomer in the White House.
January 1, 1996 – The first of the baby boomers turn 50.
January 1, 2011 – The first of the boomers turns 65. Approximately two-thirds of all seniors 65 and over and 60% of those 50-64 have at least one chronic disease.
June 25, 2015 – Millennials outnumber baby boomers with 83.1 million people in the U.S. born between 1982 and 2000.