25 January 2010
A Defining Moment in Canadian History: The Baby Boom Generation The Baby Boom generation, the largest demographic group in history (Kallen 28) was born from 1947 to 1966 in Canada after World War II, making up more than 30% of Canada’s current population. Born after the Great Depression of 1929 and World War II which occurred from 1939 to 1945, it is the largest post-war baby boom increase. A baby boom is any dramatic increase in the birth rate which usually occurs during a post-war period; the largest one being the baby boom of World War II. This birth rate increase was due to many factors such as; young soldiers returning home from World War II, marriages occurring at younger ages, lack of birth control, postwar economic boom that allowed couples to be able to raise children; contradictory to the Great Depression, when couples could not afford to raise children. When young couple reunited they had children during first few years of marriage (Kallen 45), Canadian women had an average of 3.3 children (Canadian Encyclopedia). The baby boom occurred and ended in slightly different years for countries in Europe, Asia, Australia and North America who also had post World War II baby boom, it occurred later for Canada because Canadian servicemen were repatriated later than American servicemen (Baby Boomer Life). Though the examination of the economical, social and technological changes brought on by the Baby Boom generation, it is apparent that this generation is a defining moment in Canadian history. Economically, the Baby Boom generation created financial prosperity as well as worries for the future retirement needs for this generation. Moreover, social changes included music and drug influence and rebellions. On top, technology greatly improved with the use of birth control pills and television sets along the computer revolution. Foremost, the economical changes brought by the Baby Boom generation are the post war economic prosperity due to their birth - boost in the economy as they entered the workforce and the financial strain on Canada’s government to provide retirement and other social services to Baby Boomers. First, the Baby Boomers born from 1947-1966 created a prospering economy, this occurred during the post war period which was after World War II. At that time, new markets were introduced and old markets expanded. Due to the high birth rate a large new population was introduced thus a higher demand was placed for toys and diapers. Due to the growing family there was an expansion in housing, automobiles, televisions and more, creating more jobs in the 1950s and 1960s. The Baby Boomers set off new demands for homes, clothes, appliances, furniture which stimulated the post-war economic boom. It was seen as a generation that “created new businesses, new jobs and new opportunities” (Kallen 33). Also labeled as “KIDS: BUILD-IN RECESSION CURE” (Kallen 33) because of the obvious economic boom they had brought after the Great Depression of 1929 and World War II which ended in 1945. Secondly, a boost in economy was created when the Baby Boomers entered the workforce in the 1970s and 1980s. As a result of the Baby Boomer's immense population they required more resources which provided jobs, new businesses and companies were also formed to provide jobs to the Baby Boomers, which boosted the economy. Jobs were also easily obtained by the Baby Boomers because they were highly educated especially compared to their parents, “over 90% of Baby Boomers were high school graduates” (Kallen 39) compared to 20% in their parents' era. Finally, when the Baby Boom generation reaches retirement starting in 2005 and with all Baby Boomers retiring by 2020, a large financial strain will be put on the Canada’s workforce. Due to the large population of the Baby Boom generation, higher taxes will be introduced to pay for the Baby Boomers social services; a deficiency in the workforce will be created after...
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