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baby boomer

Definition of Baby Boomer

(noun) An individual born after World War II (1939–1945) roughly between 1946–1964, typically referring to people in Australia, Europe, and the United States.

Examples of Baby Boomer

Baby Boomer Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: ba·by boom·er

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

Phonetic Spelling

  • American English – /bAY-bee bOO-muhr/
  • British English – /bAY-bee bOO-muh/

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /ˈbeɪbi ˈbumər/
  • British English – /ˈbeɪbi ˈbuːmə/

Usage Notes

  • Plural: baby boomers
  • Baby boomers are typically associated with the United States but a baby boom also happened in other countries.
  • Due to the large cohort size baby boomers are sometimes divided into two cohorts: leading edge boomers (1946–1955) and trailing edge boomers (1956–1964).
  • The children of baby boomers are called post-boomers and part of the baby boomerang generation.
  • A baby boomer is part of the baby boomer generation.
  • A type of ascribed status, generation, and individual.
  • Variant spellings:
    • Baby Boomer
    • baby-boomer
    • babyboomer
  • Informally called boomer.

Related Quotation

  • “The Baby Boomers are a defining feature of American society and a touchstone for research on aging and the life course. Boomers have embodied many trends, from the sexual revolution to rising women’s workforce participation to changes in intergenerational relationships. While unique for its sheer size, the cohort is also unique for its trajectory. The Baby Boomers came of age during a period of great technological and social innovation. With important implications for family life, their aging is a testing ground for theories of cohort and generation, and it underscores the importance of research on the older population and later life. To review facts well known to sociologists, the Baby Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964. Their defining feature is the cohort’s size. Much to the surprise of demographers accustomed to the low fertility of the 1930s, the U.S. birth rate remained high for nearly 20 years before it fell to the low levels we know today” (Treas and Marcum 2011:132).

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Additional Information

Related Terms


Treas, Judith, and Christopher Steven Marcum. 2011. “Diversity and Family Relations in an Aging Society.” Pp. 131–41 in Handbook of Sociology of Aging, edited by R. A. Settersten, Jr., and J. L. Angel. New York: Springer.

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Levin, Jack. 2008. Sociological Snapshots 5: Seeing Social Structure and Change in Everyday Life. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press.

Macionis, John, and Kenneth Plummer. 2012. Sociology: A Global Introduction. 4th ed. Harlow, England: Pearson Education.

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Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).

Cite the Definition of Baby Boomer

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “baby boomer.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved July 14, 2024 (https://sociologydictionary.org/baby-boomer/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

baby boomer. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/baby-boomer/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “baby boomer.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed July 14, 2024. https://sociologydictionary.org/baby-boomer/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“baby boomer.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 14 Jul. 2024. <https://sociologydictionary.org/baby-boomer/>.