Baby Boom Turns 60

Dec 12, 2005 6:12pm

Monday evening

The Census Bureau, taking note that the post-war baby-boomers begin to turn 60 in 2006, has assembled some trivia about the generation born between 1946 and 1964.  (Thanks to Monika Konrad in our Washington Bureau for passing the numbers on.)  Count this as social science or water-cooler material, depending on what you think of it. Here goes:

78.2 million
Estimated number of baby boomers, as of July 1, 2005.

Number of people turning 60 each day in 2006, according to projections. That amounts to 330 every hour.

James & Mary
The most popular baby names for boys and girls, respectively, in 1946. Today, the names Jacob and Emily lead the list; James ranks 17th among boys and Mary is 63rd among girls. (Source: Social Security Administration.)

Percentage of women baby boomers in 2005.

9.1 million
Estimated number of baby boomers in 2004 who were black.

Proportion of Alaska’s population that was part of the baby boom generation, as of the last census. Baby boomers also comprised 30 percent or more of the population in New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine. In contrast, Utah (23 percent) was the only state where baby boomers constituted less than 25 percent.

Then and Now

141.4 million
Estimated U.S. population in 1946. Today, the nation’s population stands at 297.7 million. 

33% and 5%
The proportions of adults age 25 and older with at least a high school diploma and at least a bachelor’s degree, respectively, in 1947. By 2004, the respective proportions had risen to 85 percent and 28 percent.

The Future

Average annual expenditures on health care in 2004 for people ages 45 to 54 — the age group that is the heart of the baby boom generation. When budgeting medical expenses, baby boomers should expect increased health-care spending as they age; for instance, those age 55 to 64 spent $3,262 and those 65 and over, $3,899. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.)

57.8 million
Number of baby boomers living in 2030, according to projections; 54.9 percent would be female. That year, boomers would be between ages 66 and 84.

The number of workers for each Social Security beneficiary in 2031, when all baby boomers will be over age 65. Currently, there are 3.3 workers for each Social Security beneficiary. (Source: Social Security Administration.)

Number of continuing care retirement facilities in 2003. Many boomers could have parents in need of such facilities or may have to move into such a facility themselves in the future.

Staying Young and Fit

Number of fitness and recreation centers nationwide in 2003. These are good places to visit on a regular basis for boomers who are trying to become or stay physically fit. 

Number of cosmetics, beauty supply and perfume stores in 2003. These stores carry numerous antiaging skin care products aimed at people in this age group.

- Ned

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