A baby boom is a period marked by a significant increase of births. This demographic phenomenon is usually ascribed within certain geographical bounds of defined national and cultural populations. The cause of baby booms involves various fertility factors. The best-known baby boom occurred in the mid-twentieth century, sometimes considered to have started after the end of the Second World War, sometimes from the late 1940s, and ending in the 1960s.[1] People born during this period are often called baby boomers.


"According to the new UNICEF report, almost 2 billion babies will be born in Africa between 2015 and 2050 and the 2 main driving forces behind this surge in births and children are continued high fertility rates and rising numbers of women able to have children of their own."[2]

By 2050, Africa is predicted to account for about 55% of all births in the world, 40% of all children under the age of five, and 37% of all children worldwide (under 18). Africa will become more crowded as its population continues to grow, considering the continent is predicted to grow from 8 people per square kilometer in 1950 to 39 in 2015, and to around 80 by the middle of the century.[3]

The HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa has contributed to a population boom. Aid money used for contraception has been diverted since the start of the AIDS crisis in Africa into fighting HIV, which has led to far more births than AIDs has killed.[4]

Africa accounted for one out of every nine births in the world in 1950. It is predicted that they will account for approximately one in every three global births by the year 2030. Africa would account for almost half of all births by the end of the century.[3]


Indigenous people in Canada

Until the 1960s, the Aboriginal population rose steadily. The child mortality rate started to decline steadily in the 1960s, due to the increased access to health care. Throughout the 1960s, the fertility rate remained high, resulting in the Aboriginal baby boom peaking in 1967 – about ten years after the postwar baby boom in Canada.[5]

While Aboriginal fertility has remained higher than the overall Canadian birth rate, it has decreased from four times in the 1960s to one-and-a-half times today. According to Statistics Canada, demographic change was just a part of the reason for the increase in Aboriginal population in the last half of the century, with more complete census taking and increased numbers of people identifying as Aboriginal also playing a role.[5]

Appearance of Generation "X," "Y," and "Z" in Canada

Generation X refers to the birth rate decline after the mid-20th century baby boom. Author Douglas Coupland, who coined the term Generation X, defined it as children born 1960 and after. High unemployment and uneven income distribution welcomed Generation X, giving them little opportunity to produce the next baby boom.[6]

In 2011, the children of baby boomers made up 27% of the total population; this category was called Generation Y, or the "baby boom echo". The fertility rate of the generations after the baby boomers dropped as a result of demographic changes such as increasing divorce and separation rates, female labour force participation, and rapid technological change.[6]

The echo generation's children, known as Generation Z, are people born after 1994, or after the invention of the Internet, making up over 7.3 million people in Canada born between 1993 and 2011.[6]


Israel has been in a constant baby boom since independence, with the highest fertility rate in the OECD at 3.1 children per woman.[7][8] In addition to having the highest fertility rate among developed nations, it is the only developed country to have never had a sub-replacement fertility rate. Israel's baby boom began in 1947, a year before independence, when the fertility rate among the Yishuv, or Jewish population of what was then Mandatory Palestine, began to rise dramatically as a result of the aftereffects of the Holocaust and expectations of Jewish independence.[9]


Post-recession baby boom

Ireland has a much younger population compared to Europe overall, with one in four people under age 15.[10] This is likely due to the baby boom experienced in the late 2000s and early 2010s, after the Great Recession. The number of births in Ireland reached a 118-year high in 2009 when the economy experienced its worst year on record. The number of births had remained stable with 74,650 babies born in 2012, higher than the 65,600 average during the Celtic Tiger (1995–2007), despite the struggle to emerge from financial crisis.[11]

Post-COVID baby boom

The population pyramid of Ireland in 2023. From ages 5 to 15, there appears to be a significant increase in births, which is likely due to the post-recession baby boom observed in the late 2000s and early 2010s.

The number of births in Ireland rose by more than 3,000 in 2021 after being in decline for more than a decade, implying the COVID-19 pandemic triggered a baby boom in Ireland. Health Service Executive figures show 59,874 babies were born in maternity hospitals and units in 2021, up from 56,858 the previous year, which could continue into the early 2020s. It is the first time that there has been an annual increase since 2009, when there were 75,554 births registered.[12]


The number of births and TFR in Japan

First baby boom

In Japan, the first baby boom occurred between 1947 and 1949.[13][note 1][note 2] The number of births in this period exceeded 2.5 million every year, bringing the total number of births to about 8 million. The 2.69 million births in 1949 are the most ever in postwar statistics.[note 3] The cohort born in this period is called the "baby boom generation" (団塊の世代, dankai no sedai, means "the generation of nodule").

Second baby boom

A period of more than two million annual births from 1971 to 1974, with the number of births in 1973 peaking at 2.09 million,[14] is referred to as the second baby boom. However, unlike the first boom, this increase in the number of births is an increase in the number of births not accompanied by an increase in the total fertility rate. The people born during this period are often called "baby boom juniors" (団塊ジュニア, dankai junia, means "the juniors of the generation of nodule").



A population pyramid of Russia, before the Russian Invasion of Ukraine. From the ages 5-15, there appears to be a significant increase in people, which is likely due to the baby boom observed in the mid-2000s to the late-2010s, similar to Ukraine.

Post-Soviet baby boom

The number of annual Russian births hit a low in the 1990s and early 2000s, following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the 1998 financial crisis. However, the following years saw the birth rate rise rapidly. By 2012, the number of births outnumbered deaths for the first time since the Soviet Union.[16] To many Russians, this was not only a sign of economic prosperity, but also a recovery from the poverty and social decline following the downfall of the Soviet Union.[17]


First baby boom

After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Ukrainian birth rate reached a low of 1.14 births per women in 2003. Following the Orange Revolution, the total fertility rate gradually elevated, eventually to a peak of 1.49 births per women in 2014. However, this did not last, as the birth rate rapidly diminished following the Invasion of Crimea in 2014.[18]

A population pyramid of Ukraine, before the Russian Invasion of Ukraine. From the ages 5-15, there appears to be a significant swell in people, which is likely due to the baby boom observed in the mid-2000s to the mid-2010s, similar to Russia.

Possible second baby boom

Probably due to the ongoing Russian Invasion of Ukraine, the birth rate in Ukraine has declined significantly in 2022, down to 1.2-1.3 per woman. Despite this, there could very well be a baby boom after the war ends, with the fertility rate projecting to reach 1.60 births per women by 2030. However, the millions of refugees and emigrants fleeing since the Russian Invasion will keep the overall population falling short of what it was before the war for at least a few decades, despite the baby boom.[19]

United States

United States birth rate (births per 1000 population per year).[20] The United States Census Bureau defines the demographic birth boom as between 1946 and 1964[21] (red).

The term "baby boom" is often used to refer specifically to the post–World War II (1946–1964) baby boom in the United States and Europe. In the US the number of annual births exceeded 2 per 100 women (or approximately 1% of the total population size).[22] An estimated 78.3 million Americans were born during this period.[23]

Since the beginning of the 20th century there were several baby booms:

United Kingdom

A chart showing the historical birth rate of the United Kingdom. A spike of births can be seen in 1946 and 1960s, reflecting the two baby booms.

The baby boomers are commonly defined as the generation born after the Second World War, generally from 1946 to 1964. However, this definition of baby boomers is based on American demographic trends which saw a surge in births post Second World War that was sustained into the 1960s. In the UK, the post Second World War surge in births was confined to a sharp spike in 1946, after which the number of births dropped again. Then the post-World War babies started having their babies, giving rise to the births that can be seen across the 1960s. Due to the different demographic profile seen in the UK compared to America, British people usually define as those born between 1960 and 1969 (inclusive) as baby boomers.[29]

As of 2021, baby boomers make up about 20% of the British population, which is about 14 million people. Baby boomers today are certainly one of the most powerful and wealthy generations in the United Kingdom. For example, in 2020, growth in online shopping was led by baby boomers.[30]

See also

Notes for Japan

  1. ^ Although there are no official statistics for 1945 and 1946, the number of births in 1946 is estimated to be around 1.6 million. Therefore, it is not appropriate to set the beginning of the baby boom to 1946.
  2. ^ Changes in the number of births in Japan Teikoku-shoin Co., Ltd. The trend is the same, although there are annual numbers that are slightly different from official vital statistics. Note that the number of births in 1946 is 15.7 million.
  3. ^ The number of births in 1949 does not include the number of births in Okinawa prefecture before return to the mainland.


  1. ^ Van Bavel, Jan; Reher, David S. (2013). "The Baby Boom and Its Causes: What We Know and What We Need to Know". Population and Development Review. 39 (2): 257–288. doi:10.1111/j.1728-4457.2013.00591.x.
  2. ^ "Africa's Baby boom".
  3. ^ a b Maurya, Lalit. "Africa's Baby Boom". www.indiaenvironmentportal.org.in. Retrieved 2021-03-02.
  4. ^ Rosenthal, Elisabeth (14 April 2012). "In Nigeria, a Preview of an Overcrowded Planet". The New York Times.
  5. ^ a b "Aboriginal peoples of Canada: A demographic profile". www12.statcan.gc.ca. Retrieved 2021-03-02.
  6. ^ a b c "Baby Boomers in Canada". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2021-03-02.
  7. ^ "Israeli fertility rate highest in OECD". Globes. 2019-06-06. Retrieved 2020-09-26.
  8. ^ "Why are there so many children in Israel? | Taub Center". taubcenter.org.il. February 14, 2019. Retrieved 2020-09-26.
  9. ^ "Israel's baby boomers facing rocky retirement". Haaretz. Retrieved 2020-09-26.
  10. ^ O’Doherty, Caroline (2015-12-03). "Ireland's population is youngest in the EU". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 2023-07-07.
  11. ^ "Ireland's financial bust delivers baby boom". Reuters. 2012-11-27. Retrieved 2023-07-07.
  12. ^ "Baby boom Ireland: Rebirth of a nation – figures hint at Covid 'baby boom'". The Irish Independent. 4 April 2022. Retrieved 2023-04-16.
  13. ^ "An overview of vital statistics (the official number)" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-06-22.
  14. ^ Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications "The 2006 Youth White Paper"
  15. ^ King, Leslie (2002). "Demographic trends, pronatalism, and nationalist ideologies in the late twentieth century". Ethnic and Racial Studies. 25 (3): 367–389. doi:10.1080/01419870020036701d. S2CID 145433931.
  16. ^ Berman, Ilan (2015-07-08). "Moscow's Baby Bust?". Foreign Affairs. ISSN 0015-7120. Retrieved 2023-08-25.
  17. ^ "Russia experiencing a baby boom". NBC News. 2008-04-06. Retrieved 2023-07-07.
  18. ^ "Ukraine Fertility Rate 1950-2023". www.macrotrends.net. Retrieved 2023-07-07.
  19. ^ "Because of the war: How Ukraine's population will change by 2030". english.nv.ua. Retrieved 2023-07-07.
  20. ^ CDC Cdc.gov "Vital Statistics of the United States, 2003, Volume I, Natality", Table 1-1 "Live births, birth rates, and fertility rates, by race: United States, 1909-2003."
  21. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau — Oldest Boomers Turn 60 (2006)".
  22. ^ Bouvier, L. F. (1980-04-01). "America's baby boom generation: the fateful bulge". Population Bulletin. 35 (1): 1–36. ISSN 0032-468X. PMID 12309851.
  23. ^ "Baby Boom Population: U.S. Census Bureau, USA and by State". Boomers Life. 2008-07-01. Archived from the original on 5 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-18.
  24. ^ "1. Home and Family at Mid-Century", Born at the Right Time, University of Toronto Press, pp. 3–30, 1997-12-31, doi:10.3138/9781442657106-002, ISBN 9781442657106, retrieved 2023-04-16
  25. ^ "The baby boom (article)". Khan Academy. Retrieved 2023-04-16.
  26. ^ Leung, Rebecca (2005-09-04). "The Echo Boomers". 60 Minutes. CBS News. Archived from the original on 30 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-24.
  27. ^ Marino, Vivian (August 20, 2006). "College-Town Real Estate: The Next Big Niche?". The New York Times. p. 1. Retrieved September 25, 2010. College enrollments have been on the rise as the baby boomers' children — sometimes known as the "echo boom" generation — come of age. This group, born from 1982 to 1995, is about 80 million strong.
  28. ^ "Millennials Infographic". Goldman Sachs. Retrieved 2023-06-13.
  29. ^ Young, Aideen; Tinker, Anthea (19 October 2017). "Who are the baby boomers of the 1960s?". Working with Older People. 21 (4): 197–205. doi:10.1108/WWOP-06-2017-0015. ProQuest 2532587884.
  30. ^ "Drop preconceptions about baby boomers | YouGov". yougov.co.uk. Retrieved 2023-04-27.

Further reading