Characteristics of
Baby Boomers

There are numerous characteristics of baby boomers.

This group was born between 1946 - 1964, which is the
post-World War II era.

Some countries such as the United States, Australia, Canada and New Zealand had a huge spike in births during this time.

There were approximately 76 million babies born in the U.S. during this time, and this number has increased because of increased citizenship.

As of 2005, there were over 78 million in this group with considerable buying power.

This generation has been the most talked about, analyzed, and dissected since the day they were born.

They grew up during the tumultuous 1960's and share those experiences with each other.

The Baby Boomers have also been called the "sandwich generation" - taking care of their parents because they're living longer, and supporting their children.

In 2008, the first Baby Boomers turn 62 and start to collect their Social Security checks.

Common Characteristics of Baby Boomers:

  • better educated (men went to college to avoid the Vietnam War; women went to college to seek better work & better pay)
  • distrust of government
  • rejection of authority
  • cynicism toward the "establishment" (government, large business, elders)
  • environmental concerns, support "green" products, companies
  • economically optimistic, even with financial uncertainty
  • more spending - use credit, make large purchases (boats, houses, cars)
  • concerned with the questionable Social Security availability
  • love technology, books, and the latest, modern and innovative trends
  • spend more on travel, apparel, jewelery, computers
  • time-strapped - enjoy convenience items
  • feeling individualistic and unique
  • focus on self (-improvement & -success)
  • have hectic lifestyles; used to balancing career and family
  • interested in beauty products & health treatments to control aging
  • want to retain youth - use plastic surgery
  • have the highest median household incomes in the U.S.
  • have optimism, enjoy exploration, are goal-oriented
  • very high participation in the labor force
  • have had a large impact on public policies and demand for public services

Baby Boomers (especially in the U.S.) experienced many life-changing events that effected the country and the world.

Some of the most notable events were:

  • first televisions
  • walk on the moon
  • The Beatles / British Invasion of music
  • Vietnam War
  • Assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Robert F. Kennedy
  • Watergate & Nixon
  • Civil rights movement / racial tensions
  • war protests, riots
  • peace movement
  • sexual freedom
  • drug experimentation
  • environmental & women's movements
  • The Cold War
  • inflation of the 1970's
  • gasoline crisis

Other characteristics of Baby Boomers:

There are two groups within the genre. They vary greatly from each other and marketers pursue them differently:

  • Vietnam group - oldest boomers, fought against the Vietnam war and for Civil and Women's rights. Sometimes are called Hippies.
  • Me group - youngest boomers, grew up without war, during a time of economic prosperity. Called Yuppies because they prospered as young professionals.

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