Silent Generation

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For the album, see The Silent Generation (album).

Silent Generation is a label for the generation of people born during the Great Depression and World War II.[1] The label was originally applied to people in North America but has also been applied to those in Western Europe, Australasia and South America. It includes most of those who fought during the Korean War. In the United States, the generation was comparatively small because the financial insecurity of the 1920s and 1930s caused people to have fewer children.[2]

While there were many civil rights leaders (such as Martin Luther King, Jr.), writers (such as Gloria Steinem), and artists (such as the Beat Generation), the Silent Generation is called that because many focused on their careers rather than on activism, and people in it were largely encouraged to conform with social norms. Time Magazine coined the name in a 1951 article entitled The Younger Generation, and the name has stuck ever since.[2][3]


The Silent Generation has been called the "Lucky Few" in the 2008 book The Lucky Few: Between the Greatest Generation and the Baby Boom,[4] by Elwood D. Carlson PhD, the Charles B. Nam Professor in Sociology of Population at Florida State University.[5]


  1. ^ The Younger Generation, Time Magazine, 1951
  2. ^ a b "The Silent Generation, "The Lucky Few" (Part 3 of 7)". Forbes. 30 July 2014. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  3. ^ "The Silent Generation: Definition, Characteristics & Facts". Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  4. ^ Carlson, Elwood (2008). The Lucky Few: Between the Greatest Generation and the Baby Boom. Berlin: Springer Science and Business Media. p. 1. ISBN 978-1-4020-8540-6. 
  5. ^ Carlson, Elwood D. "FSU Faculty Bio". Florida State University. Retrieved 29 November 2012. 

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