Talk:Post–World War II baby boom

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Discussion: Changes to article[edit]

Canadian soldiers are never (or rarely) called servicemen, that is a strictly American usage. KJB Interesting. BB posted by nonmember ip address

I think this article needs to be completely rewritten. It entirely overlooks the historical use of contraceptives as well as the sexual revolution of the 1960's. Ask yourself, if the baby boom stopped around 1964 or 1965, why would would the baby boom suddenly stop just as the sexual revolution was just starting? It should be the other way around! The answer is - contraceptives, which actually helped usher in this sexual revolution, while seeing the baby boom come to an end. I don't know what someone was thinking about when he wrote this article. This edit was posted by user: Diligenes at 18:16, 27 March 2006, however this user did not sign his/her name."~Jazzdude00021

  • While the sexual revolution occured directly after the "baby boom," it is an entirly seperate issue and should be discussed on a different article. This article is also not the place for the "historical use of contriceptives." That belongs in an article entitled such. The point is, while Diligenes has accurate and valid points, they belong elsewhere. This article's focus is on the Post-World War II Baby Boom and as such is its title. Jazzdude00021 02:04, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Someone added the following to the "Causes" section: "Moreover the Baby Boom was also caused by the fact that birth control had not yet been invented and hence, causing the sudden amount of offspring." Not only is this poorly written, but it is incorrect. Various methods of birth control have been in use for thousands of years, some of them very effective. Condoms and the diaphragm were available in the 1950s. Oral contraceptives were developed during the 1950s and approved by the US FDA in 1960. Throughout this period, abortion was illegal, but often was performed by physicians under the guise of treating menstrual disorders with D&Cs. --NellieNobody 16:16, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

The "In the United States" section discusses the entire period of the Baby Boom as if the same generation of women gave birth to all those babies. It has been my personal observation that at least two generations contributed to the Baby Boom, the one Tom Brokaw named the Greatest Generation that grew up during the Depression and fought in WWII and the generation that grew up during the prosperous late 1940s and 1950s and fought in the Korean War, if at all. Indeed, one might consider the possibility that "the" Baby Boom actually consisted of several booms that merged into each other. This is important to me as a child of Greatest Gen parents, because I was greatly influenced by their experiences and attitudes and I deeply resent the "selfish" label that has been slapped on my entire generation. --NellieNobody 16:34, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

When will the Baby Boomers Retire?[edit]

Given the huge strain this will put on the Social Security and Health Care systems, this is a very important question. What are the actual projected years when the Baby Boom generation will really start to retire en masse? 22:24, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

With regard to Social Security, keep two things in mind. One, in the US, the retirement age is gradually going up. I was born in 1950 and won't be able to retire until age 66. Two, many boomers plan to or will need to keep working as long as they are able. With regard to health care, unlike previous generations that lacked health care, labored physically, ate high-fat diets, and smoked and drank, older people in their 60s and early 70s are remaining healthier and healthier well into old age. So, it isn't automatic that the health care system will be strained the instant the boomers retire. The strain may come later as larger numbers need help in advanced old age. --NellieNobody 16:50, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

1957 birth rate decline[edit]

Can someone provide an external link? thx. John wesley 19:43, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

Discussion Merge Proposal Between Articles[edit]

  • Since the party initiating the template did not bother to justify their nomination, I'm certainly not going to support their bad idea by putting something here before hand! HEY! Someone came to the party you gave, and it wasn't here! As a matter of fact, since procedure wasn't followed, I'm going to act boldly and remove both templates. FrankB 08:10, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

Critique of Baby Boom Theory[edit]

The section looks too much like an essay. Although I'm not sure how to put all the objective information into a less opinionative-sounding reading, something should be done especially with the last sentence: "Properly understood, the Baby Boom was not a deviation from, but merely a return to, the demographic status quo." --HeteroZellous 01:57, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Because a week has passed and no replies or changes have been made since, I'm putting the section here for now:

The growth in population which followed World War II, was far too great to be explained as a product of increased sexual activity on the part of returning servicemen, and certainly too great to be the result of popular "elation" at the end of hostilities.

There is, in the first place, no evidence that "elation", or happiness, or any other psychological condition leads to increased fecundity, and there is no evidence to suggest that human reproductive activity is greater in times of peace and plenty, than it is in the midst of war and want.[citation needed]

A better explanation would note that the industrialized world, in the 1940s, witnessed a substantial decline in the rates of both infant and maternal mortality. This in turn is rooted firmly in scientific fact— broad spectrum antibiotics were generally both new and rare before the war, crash research produced many more during it, and mass production started during it for many such. Others cleared trials and joined the antibacterial battlefields shortly thereafter. More children were surviving the crucible of infancy, and more mothers were surviving the trial of birth, than at any prior time in history. The latter is of primary importance, since women are the limiting factor in population growth, and every additional woman who came through childbirth alive was capable of progenating [sic] several times more. It is tempting to assume, as well, that women became somewhat more enthusiastic about the prospect of pregnancy, in proportion as it ceased to carry a statistically credible threat of death.

But on closer examination, this also fails to account. The demographic trend at issue is simply too great to be thus explained. The only thing that matches the Baby Boom, in size and scope, is the sharp decline in population growth that immediately preceded it. Indeed, it is not the high birth rate of the post-war years, but rather the uncommonly low birth rate of the 1930s, which demands our attention. It is true that the population of the United States grew almost twice as much in the decade after World War II, as in the decade before, but the highest rate of growth achieved then, was still lower than that recorded at the turn of the century.

Properly understood, the Baby Boom was not a deviation from, but merely a return to, the demographic status quo.

--HeteroZellous 07:07, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

This is such a stupid idiom[edit]

"As is often the case with a large war, the elation of victory and large numbers of males returning to their country triggered a baby boom after the end of World War II."

How disgusting. Why don't we all put on sandals, strip naked, put flowers in our hair and skip around, hand-in-hand with a shit-stained ass?

changes to article limiting coverage to the boom itself[edit]

I am rewriting the "boomer" article and have moved some info from this article that discussed the boomer to that article.

This article still needs references to make it verifiable. --Tinned Elk 23:59, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

world wide perspective[edit]

So, what about the rest of the world? The Soviet Union, China, Japan, Germany? Even if they didn't experience a baby boom, that might be worth mentioning to give further context. FrozenPurpleCube 23:32, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

The USSR experienced a huge baby boom. I do agree it's worth mentioning. My parents are part of that boom, born in 1948 and 1950. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:40, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
Very true. I was wondering the same. 16:55, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

"Historical revision" section[edit]

I've moved this section to Talk:

Critics of the conventional economic explanation of the Baby Boom argue that the post-war population increase, where it occurred, was entirely consistent with concurrent Jewish refugee levels, pointing out that West Germany's economic miracle saw no Baby Boom. This view is not taken seriously by experts and is associated with Holocaust revisionism or outright Holocaust denial.

Who are these "critics" that make this argument? Which "experts" do not take it seriously? What is the source for this unsourced original research nonsense? Jayjg (talk) 03:21, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

More Jones boosting bullshed[edit]

This article is not about such cultural things and the birth rate dropped by the time Jones 1960 1956... The Jones only belongs in the Gen X, Gen V, Millenials and classic Baby Boomer article. It does not belong here. LaidOff (talk) 01:21, 16 January 2009 (UTC)


"The boom continued in the economic glow of the fifties, but dampened its rate as the recession of 1958 sloughed into the following recovery."

You might want to learn the meaning of words before you use them, hey? GeneCallahan (talk) 04:29, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

Page is not very visually appealing.[edit]

Could do at least with a chart detailing the birth rate bubble over the time period referenced. Goatstein (talk) 23:20, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

This is an encyclopaedia, not a tourist attraction. Tomalak Geret'kal (talk) 09:25, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Gen Jones references duplicated on this page[edit]

Is there a significate reason to have references to Gen Jones on this page, especially when they are on the Gen Jones page? A. Yager (talk) 07:34, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Of course, there need to be references about Generation Jones on this page, which are directly relevant to its content. Your attempts to circumvent the consensus of editors about Generation Jones will continue to fail.TreadingWater (talk) 15:01, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Why Generation Jones needs to be included in this article[edit]

Any expert--demographer, sociologist, or other expert--discussing the post-WWI baby boom automatically discusses both Boomers and GenJones. Why wouldn't Wiki do the same, since the goal is for Wiki readers to be given an accurate depiction of current thinking?

The concept and name “Generation Jones” has achieved widespread acceptance and usage, especially in the last year or so. The Associated Press’ annual Trend Report chose The Rise of Generation Jones as the #1 trend of 2009. Many very influential experts, pundits, and analysts have publicly supported the GenJones constructs, from media outlets including The New York Times, Newsweek, NBC, Time Magazine, CNN, MSNBC, etc. Books about generations now almost always automatically treat GenJones as a full bona fide generation.

If interested in exploring some of the major support GenJones has gotten, you may want to check some of these links out…

This 6 minute video ( features over 20 top pundits expressing support for GenJones, including : David Brooks (New York Times) Karen Tumulty (Time Magazine) Dick Morris (Political Advisor) Roland Martin (CNN) Jeff Greenfield (CBS) Michael Steele (Chairman, GOPAC) Doyle McManus ( Los Angeles Times) Chris Van Hollen (Chairman, DCCC) Stuart Rothenberg (Roll Call) Karen Brown (CBS) Michael Barone (U.S. News & World Report) Juan Williams (Fox News Channel) Howard Wolfson (Political Advisor) Susan Page ( USA Today) Mel Martinez (U.S. Senator [R-Florida]) Lynn Sweet ( Chicago Sun-Times) Bill Press (Fox News Channel) Carl Leubsdorf ( Dallas Morning News) Al Sharpton (Activist, Minister)

Here is a full page column about GenJones by Jonathan Alter in Newsweek:

Here is a column about GenJones by Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Clarence Page in The Chicago Tribune: And here is video of Clarence Page bringing up GenJones on NBC:

All of the above are recent (in the last year or so,) and there are many more recent ones, as well as many more from earlier years. You can find many more on this page: ,as well as in the reference section of the Generation Jones article, as well as in the talk pages of the various generation pages on Wikipedia, as well as many thousands of GenJones references on Google.

If you for any reason want to revert this edit, let's please avoid an edit war and discuss possible changes here on the talk page; please give detailed and sourced reasons why you think this edit should be reverted. Thank you.TreadingWater (talk) 23:09, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

Inconsistent focus[edit]

The article starts: "The end of World War II brought a baby boom to four countries: the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand". Later: "Many European countries, Australia and New Zealand also experienced a baby boom." And there's an entire section (though brief) about the UK, which wasn't even included in the original list. This article needs some serious cleanup. Tomalak Geret'kal (talk) 09:23, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

The birthrate chart appears to be misaligned[edit]

The data points in the chart can't be lined up with any tickmark on the X axis. For an example that's easy to see try 1934. Or 1909, for that matter. And if it's redrawn, can we just have tickmarks on the 0s and 5s? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:07, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

Red line on birthrate chart appears to start in wrong place[edit]

The birthrate chart, File:US_Birth_Rates.svg, says it's "an SVG version of File:U.S.BirthRate.1909.2003.png". But the two images have the colored segment indicating the Baby Boom starting in noticeably different places. The older file, which is no longer used in this article, is the correct one by my assessment.

Confusingly, both files plot the data at points that are staggered compared with the ticks on the horizontal axis. The way it's plotted now, the birth rate for year 2008, for example, is plotted with an x-value of 2008.5. I can understand what I assume to be the justification (the 2008 tick marks the start of the year, so the full year 2008 spans the region 2008-2009 on the x-axis, and the birth rate for that year is plotted in the middle of this range), but I agree with the previous comment that this is confusing and should be corrected: I think it's most clear if the 2008 value is plotted above the 2008 tick mark.

The Baby Boom is defined in this article to start in 1946. That presumably means that 1945 births weren't part of it, but 1946 births were, so it seems reasonable to start the colored segment midway between the 1945 birth rate value and the 1946 birth rate value. This is what was done in the older file (File:U.S.BirthRate.1909.2003.png). The newer file (File:US_Birth_Rates.svg), which is currently used in the article, has the colored segment start right at the 1946 birth rate (at the x-value of 1946.5).

To support my argument for where the colored segment should start, consider if we wanted to highlight birth rates during the 2-year period 1946-1947. In this case, surely the colored segment should be 2 years long. If it goes from the 1946 value to the 1947 value, it will be only 1 year long, but if it goes from the 1945-1946 midpoint to the 1947-1948 midpoint, it will be 2 years long.

(I had a glance at both images in a "graph digitizer" program to determine the values of plotted points, checking a few birth rates and years against the numbers in the tables that are given at File:US_Birth_Rates.svg#Summary.)

If anyone has time and knowledge to do it, I think it'd be ideal if someone could fix these problems and re-make this image, which is linked in a lot of articles.

Abc-mn-xyz (talk) 05:23, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

I'm having a conversation here with myself. So I just looked on the website ([]), and they define the Baby Boom as "individuals born in the United States between mid-1946 and mid-1964". So I edited the article, which had said 1946-1964 (implying Jan 1946 - Dec 1964).

This means the figure (File:US_Birth_Rates.svg) is correct, and my previous comment that the segment doesn't start and end at the right points is incorrect. I still think the figure would be more clear if the birthrates for a given year were plotted above the x-tick for that year, i.e., if the whole curve were shifted to the left by 0.5 years.

Abc-mn-xyz (talk) 05:49, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

World population growth peaked around 1961[edit]

That's when most babies were born. Hence by definition that should be the height of the baby boom. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:14, 25 October 2014 (UTC)

Infant mortality?[edit]

One thing frequently missing from these articles is that population booms do not always match birth booms. During plague years the death rate was so high that any boom in births would have been scarcely noticed. The "baby boom" after WWII was noted for the enlarged population, which is automatically tied to births. But didn't Penicilin, the Salk vaccine, nutrition, and many other factors contribute to the population boom? Admittedly a "baby boom" refers to births only, but the population boom after WWII could have been caused as much if not more by fewer children dying. Thoughts? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:17, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

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