Overview of America’s Younger Boomers in 21st Century

America’s Younger Boomers Stats

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Younger Boomers are a larger segment of the cohort than the Older Boomers, but somewhat smaller than the Middle Boomers, as the birth rate trailed off to under four million per year after 1964. They represent about 36% of the total Boomer cohort.

As the Younger or “Trailing Edge” Boomers moved into their formative teen and early adult years, realities often imposed the promise of a clouded future rather than a rosy one. Some experts cite 1979, the year this segment was entering their twenties, as the turning point for the transition from Boomers’ generational identity of youthful enthusiasm and promise, to the “New Realism,” resulting from a waning national stature and a weakening economy.1Younger Boomers also found themselves associated with a Boomer identity and character more appropriate to their slightly older Middle and Older Boomer siblings than themselves.

This may account for the fact that nearly half (48%) of 45-year-olds reject the term “Baby Boomers” to describe themselves, while 35% prefer to be identified with “Generation X” rather than their demographically correct affiliation. While clearly part of the Boomers demographically, Younger Boomers’ self-perception puts them in a different part of the generational spectrum.2

SPOTLIGHT

1 J.W. Smith, and A. Clurman, Rocking the Ages. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., 1997.

2 MetLife MMI. Boomer Bookends: Insights Into the Oldest and Youngest Boomers. NY: Metropolitan Life

Insurance Co., 2009.

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