The term “baby boomers” applies to those born between 1946 and 1964, following the Second World War. After the war, there was a noticeable uptick in birth rates in the United States, largely because of increased economic prosperity. The term “boom” was first applied in 1951 after the 1950 U.S. census recorded an increase in population of 2.3 million people.
The term “baby boomer” to refer to an entire generation was first used in 1970. Baby boomers are often divided into two groups. The first, those born between 1946 and 1955, are known as Leading-Edge Baby Boomers. These are the individuals who came of age in the 1960s, the Vietnam War era. These baby boomers were college students in the late 60s, the hippies who protested the war and went to Woodstock.
Baby boomers born between 1956 and 1964 are called Trailing-Edge Boomers, sometimes known as “Generation Jones” and generally came of age in the 1970s. If Leading-Edge boomers were hippies, Trailing-Edge boomers were yuppies, although these are both broad cultural stereotypes. In the entire baby boom generation, some 76 million American children were born, and were the first generation to which marketing was directed. As a result, many believe baby boomers are more narcissistic than other generations. Additionally, some economists suggest that the economic slowdown that began in 2008 is partially the result of aging baby boomers, as the U.S. workforce is increasingly aging.