Q: What years did someone have to be born to be considered a “baby boomer”?
A: There are some arguments about the precise years, but the general agreement seems to be those born from 1946-64 are baby boomers.
The boomer generation started with the return of troops after World War II ended in 1945.
I found a good article on the topic by Matt Rosenberg, who has a master’s degree in geography from California State University.
Rosenberg — who has been interviewed on the Public Broadcasting System and National Public Radio and has written, “The Handy Geography Answer Book” and “The Geography Bee Complete Preparation Handbook,” — wrote an article on boomers for the Geography section in about.com.
He states about 79 million babies were born during the boom years. Boomers often are associated with 1960s events such as Woodstock.
According to Rosenberg, there were 2.3 million to 2.8 million births in the United States in the 1930s and early 1940s. Births skyrocketed from there, reaching 3.47 million in 1946.
The highest number of births during the boom span was in 1957 and 1961, when 4.3 million babies joined our nation, Rosenberg said. The number in 1964 was 4 million, and the totals dropped to less than 4 million for a number of years after that, bringing an end to the boom.
Other generations also have had nicknames.
For example, Rosenberg states the “silent generation” preceded baby boomers. That applied to those born from 1925-45.
“Generation X” is the name of those from 1964-79, and “Generation Y” followed, from 1980 through the mid-1990s. They also are known as “Millennials,” since they are or are becoming the first adults of this century.
Some have suggested the existing generation should be called “Generation Z,” Rosenberg said. Of course, he pointed out, if that trend continues what happens after Generation Z?
He points out, when the alphabetical list of hurricane names runs out in a year, as it did in 2005, they start using the Greek alphabet for the rest of the year.
Thus, we could have a future generation called Generation Alpha.
If you’ve got a question, email it to bernie.delinski@TimesDaily.com.