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ERIC Number: ED349198
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Nov
Reference Count: 0
The Baby Boom--Entering Midlife.
Bouvier, Leon F.; De Vita, Carol J.
Population Bulletin, v46 n3 Nov 1991
The U.S. baby-boom generation, born between 1946 and 1964, is the largest generation in the nations's history. Numbering over 80 million people in 1990, this giant generation has indelibly changed U.S. society, requiring adjustments in schools, labor markets, housing markets, and government programs. Perhaps more than any other institution, education has borne the brunt of changing patterns of U.S. fertility. Yet current education indicators suggest that the legacy of the baby boom--the broadening of educational attainment levels--could be slowly eroding. This paper takes a new look at the baby-boom generation as it enters middle age and reports on how well the generation is faring. The baby boom is not a single, unified group, but a collection of individuals whose experiences and expectations vary widely. The leading-edge baby boomers, for example, delayed marriage and childbearing and precipitated the baby bust. The trailing-edge baby boomers are now reproducing themselves and creating a baby-boom echo. Leading-edge baby boomers have fought hard for an ambitious agenda of social change; trailing-edge baby boomers have been criticized for their cynicism and apathy toward the political system. African-American baby boomers registered real gains in educational achievement, but continue to trail behind their white counterparts. Baby-boom women, despite successful inroads into the traditionally male-dominated job market, report lower incomes than baby-boom men. For the next 20 years, the baby-boom generation will be in its prime productive work years and will be laying the foundation not only for its own retirement, but also the nation's future. This paper looks at work and retirement patterns, the Social Security system, and health care issues. Discussion questions for classrooms and others are included. (Authors/DB)
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials; Reports - Research; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Population Reference Bureau, Inc., Washington, DC.