The Baby Boom

by admin - October 19th, 2017

By Meagan Sebastiao

The Baby Boom was a post-war era that provided normalcy in not only the country, but in families with loved ones at war. Many young couples at the time postponed marriage and building families during the Great Depression, because most families didn’t have enough money to have children, and during World War II, because their partners were serving our country. World War II ended in 1945, and in 1946, 3.4 million babies were born, more than any other year. 3.8 billion were born in 1947, 3.9 in 1952, and throughout the decade of 1954 to 1964, 4 million babies were born each year. That dramatic increase of births following the return of the troops from World War II truly defines the name of this time.

The baby boom truly impacted the fifties and the generations following. According to Andrew J. Dunar in his book America In the Fifties, “…as the baby boomers aged, the unparalleled magnitude of their numbers would have an equally unparalleled effect on partners of consumption, residence, and employment, as well as on government policy.” In terms of market consumption, this period’s sales in consumer goods skyrocketed. Families grew larger, needing a larger car, more food, baby furniture, clothing, toys, and books. One of the most popular books at this time was written by Dr. Benjamin Spock, titled The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care. Dr. Spock was an American pediatrician who trained and gained experience from some of the most prestigious universities in the country, and he inspired new parents with his beliefs and information about young children and parenting presented in his book. One of his goals was to make parents more comfortable and confident in their abilities, telling them, “Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do,” (“Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care.”).

Several other factors contributed to the baby boom and why it occurred. After the Great Depression and World War II, many new government programs were formed to allow war veterans to live a better life and have more opportunities. For example, they were able to be provided with loans to help pay for education, get better jobs, and for housing. Organizations such as the Federal Housing Administration and the Veteran’s Administration helped contribute to young couples purchasing their first homes. The GI Bill gave veterans the chance to obtain a college education, thus resulting in potentially qualifying for better, stable, and higher paying jobs. The baby boom also altered school districts throughout the United States. As families grew larger all at once, so did classroom sizes. Andrew J. Dunar states “By 1960, there were 3.5 million 13 year olds in the nation, most of whom were then eighth graders,” (Dunar, p#). The increase in class sizes led to a demand in faculty in school systems. This also led to a need for more schools to be build which increased availability for construction jobs. Overall, families affected by the baby boom, primarily war families, contributed greatly to the increase in production of consumer goods, the popularization of Dr. Spock’s book and ideas, school district success, and the formation and support of government programs.

Nurses are shown with babies all born on the same day

Works Cited

Alex. “Baby Boom No More. Birth Rate in the U.S. Hits an All Time Low in 2013.” Red Pill Times, 5 Dec. 2014,

“Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.,

Dunar, Andrew J. America in the Fifties. Syracuse University Press, 2006.

The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. “Benjamin Spock.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 18 Sept. 2017, Staff. “Baby Boomers.”, A&E Television Networks, 2010,

One Response to “The Baby Boom”

  1. Victoria Lemire says:

    I think that the baby boom was a great way to end of the horrible events of the 1930’s and 1940’s. With the Great Depression being only a little more than ten years behind the 1950’s, the the war just ending, the baby boom brought about so many positive events that really impacted the returning veterans. In your article you mentioned that the veterans were able to now able to be a part of more programs to help them integrate into society, and also that education really improved during this period because of how many students there were during these years. For many families the society that they now got to live in was very was a step up from what they had experienced decades prior because of the baby boom.