As the large generation born in the boom time after World War II age, there are numerous articles about the problems this group will cause such as overloading the pension funds, maxing out the medical facilities, even causing problems driving. What isn’t well known is that the another generation called the Millennials are rapidly catching up, and according to the US Census Bureau, the Millennials (between the ages of 18 and 34 as of 2015) will surpass the Baby Boomers in numbers by this year ( 75.3 million Millennials compared to 74.9 million Baby Boomers). As the Baby Boomers age even more and start to die off, Generation X (ages 35 – 50 in 2015) will pass up the Baby Boomer group by 2028.
Baby Boomers compared to Millennials
The reason for this change is that new immigrants who are coming to the US, and I suspect many other countries as well, are in the Millennial age bracket. The younger ones cannot afford to make that transition to a new country. Recently for example, a group of refugees from Syria were shipwrecked off the coast of Greece. Many of them had paid the equivalent of $10,000 to take that trip. Did they stay in Greece? While some of them will try to, others headed for the countries where they will be more welcome such as Norway or Sweden. Obviously they each had more than the $10,000 passage fee.
While new immigrants can be costly to resources at first, here is a good reason for countries to accept them. They have a work record and they will be able to then take jobs that will pay into the retirement funds of the Baby Boomers. It seems the only aspect needed is to assure that the immigrants accepted are indeed going to be contributing to their new places of residence. When comparing Baby Boomers to Millennials it seems they will be a benefit to each other as Baby Boomers are retiring and leaving job openings to the Millennials.
Here’s what Richard Fry writing for “Think Tank” has to say about Generation X (ages 35 – 50).
- For a few more years, Gen Xers are projected to remain the “middle child” of generations – caught between two larger generations of the Millennials and the Boomers. They are smaller than Millennials because the generational span of Gen X (16 years) is shorter than the Millennials (17 years). Also, the Gen Xers were born during a period when Americans were having fewer children than later decades. When Gen Xers were born, births averaged around 3.4 million per year, compared with the 3.9 million annual rate during the 1980s and 1990s when Millennials were born.
It is curious how the increases of population are tied to wars. It would seem logical the a decrease would be linked to wars. Instead, the movement of populations and the increase of babies born after wars is the norm. Eventually we will have to get around to managing the population explosion in some other way besides killing each other.