The baby boomer generation

The baby boomer generation comprises all those who were born during the post-World War II baby boom which occurred from 1946-1964. This baby boom saw birth rates in many countries increase drastically.

Interestingly, the baby boomer generation also goes by another name, the sandwich generation. This is because their parents have a higher life expectancy as a result of a reduction in mortality factors, such as eradication of various epidemics thanks to advances in medicine and science. The boomers’ children are having children at an older age, because establishing a career has become a greater priority. As a result they spend more years studying in order to ensure that they stand a better chance at getting a good job. With boomers’ parents living longer and their children taking a longer time before they are able to take care of themselves, they have to care for both their parents and their children. In a way they seem to be stuck between generations, and are thus termed the sandwich generation.

Some interesting studies have been conducted and various facts came to light. In 1993, it was found that over 40% of boomers decided to abandon their religion. Less than half continued to practise their faith, while 10% returned to their faith and resumed religious practices. Researchers also noted certain changes or features of those who strayed and returned to their faith. Even though they had resumed religious practices, they weren’t fully loyal to the belief system. More and more voiced opinions around abortion and homosexuality, and more and more felt that they didn’t have to depend on the church as much as they had previously.

Experts have also found that there is a cultural line that divides the first group of boomers and the second group of boomers. The first group was born between 1946 and 1954, and the second group between 1955 and 1964. It is suggested that a division is clear because of various key events that took place in these respective time periods.

The first time period was characterised by many protests and riots, and widespread experimentation with various intoxicating recreational substances. Whatever individuals seemed to do centred around discovering who they were, or fighting for specific causes such as saving the environment or women’s rights. The second time period is characterised by unfortunate events such as the Watergate scandal, the cold war as well as political uncertainty. This caused boomers to lose faith in government and be pessimistic about any government plan that is tabled.

As a member of the baby boomer generation you may well remember some interesting times in years gone by. We will all wait anxiously to see what our future generations hold.

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