A baby boom is a sudden jump in the birth rate in any given population, followed by a marked drop in births. The term "baby boomers" is generally used to describe the children born during the boom in the years following World War II — from 1946 to 1964 — according to the US Census Bureau. Some agencies, such as Statistics Canada, extend the baby boom period to 1965.
In the United States, 78 million children were born during this period. In Canada, 9.6 million children were born in the post-war boom.
The baby boomers make up a large portion of the population, and as a defined generation have had a great influence on North America's economy, and society in general. While they enjoy a greater life expectancy than past generations, some epidemiology research reveals boomers' increased rates of obesity and poor lifestyle choices are leading to more chronic and age-related diseases, relative to previous generations.
- Read More: Is the Baby Boom Becoming a Health Bust?
Dana E King, Eric Matheson, Svetlana Chirina, Anoop Shankar, Jordan Browman-Fulks. "Overall Health Status of Baby Boomers Appears Lower Than Previous Generation." JAMA Intern Med Published online February 4, 2013.
Generations in Canada: The baby boomers (1946 to 1965). Statistics Canada Public Information Sheet. Accessed February 6, 2013.
Profile America: Facts for Features. Special Edition on Baby Boomers. US Census Bureau Public Information Sheet. Accessed February 6, 2013.