American G.I.s came home from World War II to be greeted by a strong post-war economy, the first white picket fences of suburbia, and well their wives. In the fertility-fest that followed, from the mid-1940s to mid-1960s, almost 80 million new Americans would join the world.
Its easy to disparage the Baby Boomers today as aging hippie Social Security sponges who have left their descendants melting glaciers and mountains of debt. But they were also the generation that mainstreamed Civil Rights, feminism and the modern principle (however imperfectly applied) that bigotry in all its forms is fundamentally un-American. Every previous generation tolerated intolerance in ways that, today, most Americans would find unthinkable. Whatever the boomers have taken, they gave America that.
The boomers have long been the largest living generation in the U.S. But theyre now being dethroned by the millennials Americans born from 1981 through 1996. Millennials numbers are projected to top 73 million this year with a boost from immigration, while the boomers drop to 72 million as members die off.