Baby boom

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For other uses, see Baby boom (disambiguation).

A baby boom is any period marked by a significant increase of birth rate. This demographic phenomenon is usually ascribed within certain geographical bounds. People born during this period are often called baby boomers; however, some experts distinguish between those born during such demographic baby booms and those who identify with the overlapping cultural generations. The causes of baby booms involves various fertility factors. The most well-known baby boom occurred immediately after World War II during the Cold War.It was a change of trend that was largely unexpected, because in most countries it occurred in the midst of a period of improving economies and rising living standards.[1]

The baby boom most often occurred in countries that experienced tremendous damage from the war and were going through dramatic economic hardships. These countries include Germany and Poland. In 1945 when the war ended, a huge amount of veterans returned home and began living the average life of any civilian. In order to make this process as easy and comforting as possible, the congress passed the G.I. Bill of Rights. The purpose of the G.I. Bill of Rights was to encourage home ownership and higher levels of education by having very low or no interest at all on loans for veterans. Getting settled in with a more comforting economic position allowed families to come together, have a place to live, be educated, and start having babies. "Now thriving on the American Dream, life was simple, jobs were plentiful, and a record number of babies were born." [2]

The U.S. birthrate exploded after World War II. From 1945 to 1961, more than 65 million children were born in the United States. At the height of this baby boom, a child was born every seven seconds. Factors that contributed to the baby boom consisted of young couples who started families after putting off marriage during the War, government encouragement of growth of families through the aid of GI benefits, and popular culture that celebrated pregnancy, parenthood, and large families.

Historians say that the baby boom was the resultant of couples holding off on having children due to the Great Depression and World War II. Once the baby boom began, the average woman started getting married around the age of 20 instead of 22. These couples were very eager to have babies after the war ended because they knew that the world would be a much better place to start a family.

Another leading cause that led to the baby boom was that people were able to afford moving out to the suburbs to raise a family instead of living in the heart of the city. Additionally, the cost of living out in the suburbs was very cheap, especially for those returning from the military. This was also the time period where women were encouraged to take on their "roles", meaning that they were encouraged to stay home and be a housewife along with being a mother while the husband works.

The market became a seller's market. Many families were adapting to popular culture changes that included purchasing TV's, opening credit card accounts, and little things like buying mouse ears to wear while watching Mickey Mouse. Overall, the baby boom time period was a blessing but it also had its flaws once economists realized how many children were being born. People began to worry if there would be enough resources available, especially when those born in the baby boom time period started having kids of their own. [3]

The issues of the baby boom time period are that it could hugely impact the population change and cause social and economic impacts. One of the economic impact of the baby boom is the concern that when baby boomers get older and retire, the dependency ratio will increase. The Census Bureau estimates that the dependency ratio in the United States will be 65 by 2020 and reach a history record breaking high of 75, the worst it has been since the 1960's and 1970's when those baby boomers were just kids.[4] The economics of an area or country could benefit from the baby boom. It could increase the demand of housing, transportation, facilities and more for the increasing population. With an increase in population, the demand for food also increased. If a country can not keep up with the rapidly increasing population, it could cause a food shortage and insufficient health care facilities to take care of babies. Without the sufficient supplies needed for the population, it could cause poor health that could lead to deaths of the people in that country. [5]


"According to the new UNICEF report, almost 2 billion babies will be born in Africa between 2015 and 2050 and the two main driving forces behind this surge in births and children are continued high fertility rates and rising numbers of women able to have children of their own." [6]

The HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa has contributed locally to a population boom. Aid money used for contraceptives has been diverted over the past two decades into fighting HIV, witch lead the number of babies born far outstripping the deaths from AIDS.[7]


For being in a long-term of low birth rates, France experienced the baby boom after 1945.[8] The sense that the population was too small, especially in regard to the more powerful Germany, was a common theme in the early 20th century. Put in a list policies were proposed in the 1930s and implemented in the 1940s.[9][10]

In addition, there was a steady immigration, especially from former French colonies in North Africa. The population of France grew from 40.5 million in 1946 to nearly 50 million in 1968 and just under 60 million by 1999. The farm population declined sharply, from 35% of the workforce in 1945 to under 5% by 2000. By 2004, France had the second highest birthrate in Europe, behind only Ireland.[11][12]


  • Decreţei: (1967-1989), A baby boom in Romania caused by a ban on abortion, and contraception. Due to the baby boom in Romania, it is said that hospitals became way too crowded. From the Chicago Tribune on December 26, 1967, the article stated that a doctor had to beg a woman to have a home birth due to overcrowding at the hospital, "Please stay at home, we have no rooms". The column also stated how "pregnant women were having to share hospitals beds and sickly babies were being put into oxygen tents in groups". The baby boom in Romania caused problems that began affecting the health of its residents. [13]

United States[edit]

The term "baby boom" most often refers to the post–World War II baby boom (1946–1964) when the number of annual births exceeded 2 per 100 women (or approximately 1% of the total population size).[14] There are an estimated 78.3 million Americans who were born during this period.[15] The term is a general demographic and is also applicable to other similar population expansions.

United States birth rate (births per 1000 population per year).[16] The United States Census Bureau defines the demographic birth boom as between 1946 and 1964[17] (red).

Recent baby boom periods include the following:

Effects on dependency caused by the Baby boom (1946-1964)[edit]

During the Baby boom the U.S. experienced after World War II, the dramatic rise in births lead to a higher dependency ratio, which means that there is a large portion of the population under the age of 14 and over the age of 65 that relies on those in the work force (ages 15-64). The Cohort of this baby boom is expected to once again increase the dependency ratio once the majority is over the age of 65, as these people will no longer be part of the work force.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Reher, David S. ""Baby Booms, Busts, and Population Ageing in the Developed World."". Population Studies. vol. 69: pp. S57-S68. 
  2. ^ "Post–World War II baby boom". Wikipedia. 2017-03-25. 
  3. ^ "Baby Boomers - Facts & Summary -". Retrieved 2017-03-21. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Cromartie, John (2009). Baby Boom Migration and Its Impact on Rural America (PDF). United States Department of Agriculture. 
  6. ^ "Africa's Baby boom". 
  7. ^ Rosenthal, Elisabeth (14 April 2012). "In Nigeria, a Preview of an Overcrowded Planet". The New York Times. 
  8. ^ Leslie King, "'France needs children'" Sociological Quarterly (1998) 39#1 pp: 33-52.
  9. ^ Marie-Monique Huss, "Pronatalism in the inter-war period in France." Journal of Contemporary History (1990) 25#1 pp: JSTOR
  10. ^ Colin L. Dyer, Population and Society in 20th Century France (1978)
  11. ^ Colin Jones, Paris: Biography of a City (2004) p 438
  12. ^ Gilles Pison, "La population de la France en 2005," Population et Sociétés (March 2006) #421 Online
  13. ^
  14. ^ Bouvier, L. F. (1980-04-01). "America's baby boom generation: the fateful bulge". Population Bulletin. 35 (1): 1–36. ISSN 0032-468X. PMID 12309851. 
  15. ^ "Baby Boom Population: U.S. Census Bureau, USA and by State". Boomers Life. 2008-07-01. Archived from the original on 5 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-18. 
  16. ^ CDC Bottom of this page "Vital Statistics of the United States, 2003, Volume I, Natality", Table 1-1 "Live births, birth rates, and fertility rates, by race: United States, 1909-2003."
  17. ^ U.S. Census Bureau — Oldest Boomers Turn 60 (2006)
  18. ^ Leung, Rebecca (2005-09-04). "The Echo Boomers". 60 Minutes. CBS News. Archived from the original on 30 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-24. 
  19. ^ Marino, Vivian (August 20, 2006). "College-Town Real Estate: The Next Big Niche?". The New York Times. p. 1. Retrieved September 25, 2010. College enrollments have been on the rise as the baby boomers' children — sometimes known as the "echo boom" generation — come of age. This group, born from 1982 to 1995, is about 80 million strong. 
  20. ^ Colby, Sandra L., and Jennifer M. Ortman. "The baby boom cohort in the United States: 2012 to 2060." Population estimates and projections (2014): 1-16.

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