When you are at the top of the mountain, you have the farthest distance to fall. Baby Boomers were the largest generation in the U.S. in terms of population for years, and thus the most influential. After World War II, a massive surge in the birth rate created the Baby Boomer generation that has existed as the most populous generation ever since. Until recently, that is, when Millennials officially bypassed Baby Boomers as the largest generation in the country.
But the fall for Baby Boomers has just begun, as soon another generation will outgrow them and snatch away the number two spot. Generation Z, consisting of those born in the early years of the 21st century, is poised to become the second largest generation in the country, The Wall Street Journal reports. Within five years, Baby Boomers will have gone from the largest generation in the country to the third largest.
For years, Baby Boomers, because of their sheer size, were the most influential generation in American society, but that is no longer the case. As if it were not already apparent due to the surfeit of articles written about Millennials and their habits and patterns, they have officially taken the torch from Baby boomers in terms of having the largest influence on the U.S. culture. However, Goldman Sachs has argued that Generation Z (sometimes known as iGen) matters more than Millennials because they will end up being even larger.
Baby Boomers dropping to third is fueled more by increased birth rates and, especially, immigration than it is by an uptick in deaths among some of the older Boomers. Eventually, as the Baby Boomer generation becomes older and the death rates increase, Generation X will also surpass them in terms of population size.
At the end of 2015, there were 75.36 million Millennials, 74.88 million Baby Boomers, 73.65 million people residing in Generation Z, and 65.84 million Gen Xers. The Silent Generation has dropped to 27.98 million and the Greatest Generation has fallen to 3.71 million.