One of the largest driving forces in the western world, particularly the United States, is the generation known as the baby boomers, who make up a majority of the population. Their actions, movements, and consumption patterns have helped steer the world to where it is today, and their political decisions are still impacting our trajectory, so here are some interesting things about the baby boomer generation.
Baby Boomers Facts
49. Millions Strong
26% percent of the United States’ population is made up of baby boomers while the states with the highest population of them are California, with 9 million, and Texas with 5.6 million. What is fascinating about this is that these states are considered on the polar opposite ends of the political spectrum in the United States.
48. Maine Boomers
While there are many states with a higher population of baby boomers, Maine is actually the state with the highest percentage of them, at 36.8%. Maybe it’s the proximity to the ocean, or maybe it’s the proximity to the LL Bean factory outlet in New Hampshire—which happens to be a close second.
47. Getting Up There
Baby boomers may want to be careful with their votes, as, by the year 2030, the population of people aged over 65 years old will double to about 71.5 million. With the last of the generation turning 65 on December 31st, 2029, it is possible that over 80 million people will be on Medicare and Social Security by 2050.
46. Wealth of a Generation
While it is widely assumed that the baby boomers are a wealthy generation, that's actually a misconception, as their median net worth has been in harsh decline since the housing mortgage crisis in 2007.
45. Disposable Money
It is true, however, that boomers have more disposable income than other generations, as they have been able to save over the years. However, that savings is now being used to support their children, as nearly 60% of these parents provide some sort of financial assistance to their adult children, whether it is helping with the cost of housing or paying off student loans.
44. Class Distributions
When baby boomers were born, 61% of America's population resided in the middle class, while the percentage has been in continual decline since 1971, with merely half of the population able to be called the middle class as of 2015. During the same time, the brackets for the lowest class have risen, while the bracket for the highest has shrunk.
43. Productivity Rollercoaster
When baby boomers entered the workforce, productivity began to rise. From 1973 to 2013 productivity rose 75% across the American workforce, yet wages only increased 9% over the same time span.
42. Lots of Boomers
The baby boomers were the largest generation in U.S. history...until the millennials came along. At a staggering 77 million people, baby boomers also raise many of the millennials, who also have approximately 77 million in their generation. With only Generation X in between them, it feels safe to assume which one of these two generations got it on the most.
41. Working Late
Unlike previous generations, baby boomers have the desire to work later into their lives, with only 11% of them planning to completely retire once they hit retirement age. However, they are also projected to live longer than any other generation, although they also spend more time indoors than anyone else ever has.
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40. Hepatitis Scare
Many baby boomers have been inflicted with Hepatitis C, as the disease has become a sort of epidemic for the generation. They’re five times more likely to become infected with the disease, and three out of every four people with Hepatitis C are boomers.
39. Marriage Equality
Same-sex marriage is still a hot-button issue for baby boomers, as only 39% of them support it, as compared to 70% of millennials. Since states started to pass legislation allowing same-sex marriage, they have seen their teen suicide rates drop. At the same time, states who have not adopted the progressive policy have seen no decline in the number of teens taking their own lives.
38. Married With Children
Boomers like to stick to traditional values when it comes to having a house and family. With 49% of them having got married between the ages of 18 and 33, 90% of baby boomers are married.
37. Non-Secular Values
While the world becomes more and more secular, baby boomers still hold on to their religion, as only 17% of them don’t identify with a particular religion, markedly different from the number of millennials, which sits at 36%.
36. Workforce Representation
Baby boomers who are now sitting in their 50s are still working full time, with 80% of them in the workforce.
35. Commitment to Boss
Perhaps due to living through an era that had different working conditions, 41% of baby boomers believe that once a person has a job, they should give their employer at least five years before looking for a new job elsewhere.
34. Higher Pay
Boomers are more likely than other generations to hold some of the world’s higher paying jobs, from Aerospace Engineer to Chief Medical Officer (CMO). After spending most of their lives in the workforce, it must feel good to be rewarded for all of their efforts.
33. Insecurity Issues
Interestingly enough, 65% of baby boomers believe that they suffer from age-discrimination. Yet, 64% of them feel that they are a key piece of the company that they work for and are relevant to the overall goals of the company.
32. A Boomer Workplace
67% of baby boomers believe that they’ve now had enough training to lead their companies, while 61% of them think that their generation is the most equipped to run an organization. Also, 53% of them claim that men are better sculpted to leaders than woman are.
31. Luxury of Business
Business owners in the United States are 35% more likely to be baby boomers than any other generation, as over 80% have had the privilege of opening their own business as a lifestyle choice, as opposed to necessity.
30. Consumer Importance
Nielsen tracks over 6,500 brands, and boomers are the most important consumers of these brands, as 72% of these brands rely on over 50% of the boomer population for sales. After a lifetime of advertising to boomers, no wonder many so companies are struggling to figure out how to reach millennials.
29. Keep It Small
More baby boomers are more content with the current state of the government in the US as compared to other generations. Only 35% of their voters say that the government should step in to help solve the issues the country is facing, as they tend to a believe in conservative ideals like small government and a large private sector.
28. Where Interests Lie
While only 35% of baby boomer voters think the government should do more, 45% of them claim that politics and government are one of their major interests in life.
27. Gen TV
The majority of the boomer generation relies on television for the news, as 60% say they stay informed from local TV, and 47% are committed to news programming from Fox News and/or NBC News.
26. Money By Blood
Inheritances makes up a large portion of the baby boomer’s wealth, and over the next 20 years, a mind-boggling $15 trillion will be inherited by the generation. That is, if there isn’t a large redistribution of wealth, at least.
25. Thrift Institutions
80% of all of the money in savings and loan associations is from baby boomers. This helps to explain why the generation was hit so hard when the housing bubble burst in 2007, as savings and loan organizations can be fragile institutions due to their focus on mortgage and consumer loans.
24. Health Needs
In order to handle the aging of the baby boomers and their subsequent health needs, 5.6 million jobs in healthcare will have to be created, because their generation will require more services than any other generation.
23. Longer Living
Once the year 2030 comes, baby boomers will likely account for at least double the number of admissions to hospitals than they do now, as they are expected to live longer lives than the previous generation and 67% suffer from at least one chronic disease.
22. Diversity Rules
Baby boomers were the first generation of Americans to be as diverse as they are, with nearly 20% of them being from groups of minorities. Today, over 10 million baby boomers were born outside of the U.S.
21. In Control
Controlling 70% of the wealth in the United States, people ages over 50 years have a combined income of over $2.4 trillion and also account for over 40% of consumer demand in the country.
20. Big With Facebook
With only 78% of boomers online, somehow 82% of them have at least one social media account. They also spend close to $7 billion over the internet every year as they make up over 30% of America's internet users. The average boomer has 124 Facebook friends and 51% of the generation spends at least 15 hours per week online. Surprisingly, only 41% of millennials spend that much time online every week.
Since 2011, baby boomers are turning 65 at a rate of 10,000 per day. This is expected to continue for the next 11 years.
18. Presidential Boomers
The past four presents of the United States have been baby boomers, with George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Donald Trump all being born in 1946. For the record, Barack Obama was born in 1963, just on the cusp of Generation X.
17. Lefties In Charge
Somehow, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, who are the first two baby boomer presidents, are also the only two left-handed presidents to serve back to back.
16. How’d They Boom
One of the reasons for the boom in babies that we now refer to as baby boomers were that many couples had put off having children throughout the Great Depression. Combining that with all of the young couples that began having children post-war is how you create one of the most prolific generations.
15. Fight For Your Right
Baby boomers were the population force driving the social justice movements in the second half of the 20th century. Many people in the boomer generation were able to mobilize for what they believed in, and they protested and actively fought for civil rights and gay rights.
14. Web Stories
The best selling children’s book in history was the baby boomers favorite—Charlotte’s Web. E.B. White’s classic story about the friendship between a piglet and a spider was first published in 1953, and is still widely read...because it should be, shouldn’t it?
13. Prophets of the Future
Many of the most important and influential books of the baby boomers years are prescient classics which are making a comeback today for their foresight, including George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, James Baldwin’s Go Tell It on the Mountain, Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex, and Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique.
12. Disposable Income
89% of baby boomers have a cellphone, while even 13% of them have cut the cord entirely from landline telephones. They are also 5 times more likely than any other generation to have an iPad.
11. Pig In The Python
It wasn’t until the boomers came along that generations were even really defined in the manner that they are today, and much of this rhetorical development was done in order to increase their consumption, as they were almost immediately analyzed and pitched to by marketers as liberalization occurred throughout the western world.
10. Split Cohort
Baby boomers can be split into two groups, those born between 1946 and 1955 and those born between 1956 and 1964. The earlier group of boomers were the crusaders of social justice who led movements of liberation and social welfare, while the second group is generally regarded for their cynicism and distrust in government.
9. Gap In Quality
The first generation in history to be worse off than the preceding one will be Generation X, who came directly after the baby boomers. This is something which has been taken for granted through time, but considering they won’t be around to see it happen, it is an easy pill for many boomers to swallow.
8. Boomers of the Year
As the boomers were coming of age, mobilizing, and affecting the world to better represent what they believed it should be, TIME magazine recognized the changing of the guard and in an unprecedented move selected the entire generation to be their 1966 “Man of the Year.”
The baby boomers are sometimes alternatively referred to as the “Me” generation, originally coined by writer Tom Wolfe in the 1970s. This term is a reference to the qualities of narcissism that the generation began exhibiting as they began to turn away from the ideas of social responsibility and turn towards ideals of self-fulfillment.
6. Election Swingers
Boomers are the most politically active generation at this moment in the United States, and their overwhelming involvement in the 2016 election is seen as the greatest demographic influence on the election of Donald Trump.
5. Don’t Settle
Not the biggest fans of settling in life, most baby boomers don’t believe that they’re living in the house that they deserve, and 70% of them plan on moving into a better home at some point soon. They are a generation, as evidenced by their internet usage, who continually educates themselves on what they want, and they like to go out and get it. That’s probably good news for the housing market, as well as Home Depot.
4. Consume, Consume, Consume
Not only do the boomers have more wealth than other generations, they also spend much more of it than anyone else, at a rate or 2:1, which amounts for $400 billion more in sales per year.
3. Apple Love
Known for their brand allegiances, baby boomers stick to what they know works. This is evident in their love of Apple products, as over 40% of all their products are bought by boomers.
2. Travel in Luxury
There is a disparity in the way different generations travel, and this is seen in the way boomers travel in luxury. 80% of spending in the luxury travel sector is spent by people over the age of 50 years old.
1. Get Better With Age
Despite the myth that our sex drives die as we age, 70% of people over sixty confessed that their sex lives even included more satisfaction than it did when they were in their forties.