"Baby Boomers" are a key generational grouping in many established economies. Their name is derived from the sharp rise in the birth rate observed in the years immediately following the Second World War among the key combatants – most notably the US, the UK and Old Commonwealth countries (Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand), France, Germany and Japan. This boom was however experienced across most of the world.
As the precise year of peak births differs between countries, the birth window used to define Baby Boomers can vary. The key period they all cover is from the end of the war until the mid sixties, as this includes the initial surge in births as well as a secondary boom that occurred in the early sixties; for instance, Pew Research Center defines Baby Boomers as those born between 1946 and 1964. Ipsos defines Baby Boomers as those born 1945-1965.
Baby Boomers are declining as a proportion of the population – in 2016 Millenials displaced them as the largest generational grouping in the US population, with 75.4 million millennials to 74.9 Baby Boomers. However, they exercise an outsize influence on the politics and tastes of many established economies and will continue to do so for some time.
This is due to a number of factors, most notably their size and longevity relative to older generations, as well as the historically unprecedented explosion in earnings and living standards they experienced during the mid to late twentieth century. As a result, in many established countries this cohort combines democratic strength with a disproportionate share of the national wealth.
As one or both of these features are lacking in many emerging markets, the characteristics of those defined as Baby Boomers in these countries may differ. In line with other generational groupings, it is important to bear in mind that generational analysis is based on the experince of established, "western" economies.
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