Great events separate the people of the United States into generations. War, prosperity, and social events all contribute to forming citizens in an age. Our parents guide us through childhood to become adults in the culture currents of our times. Events in our lives define us into distinctive generations.
|Transitions of citizens.|
Those who grew up in the Great Depression and fought in World War II were named by Tom Brokaw to be the “Greatest” generation” for their sacrifice and service.
The Korean War and the start of the economic boom that came after world conflict defined those we know of as the “Silent" Generation.
A huge boom in births lead to a population heavily influenced by Vietnam and the social turmoil created the “Baby Boomers”.
“Generation X” had information technologies like the personal computer and cable television as their bread and butter.
An economic boom and a war on terror heavily influenced the most recent of these generations of citizens, often known as the “Millennial's” or “Generation Y”.
Recently the Pew Research Center released a report highlighting the differences between these groups. Some of the differences between them are startling. They point to large demographic trends that will effect our nation and even the world over the coming decades.
One of the largest trends is in the break down of traditional marriage.
Less than half of “Millennial's” are marrying when compared to the “Greatest” generation.
This trend has been going on for many decades. Some of have attributed the decline in marriage to the legal redefinition allowing for no fault divorce.
The huge influx of boomers still dominates the population. Sometimes referred to as the “egg in the snake”, the huge numbers of births in the post World War II has moved the largest populated generation slowly through society.
As they age in the next few decades they will place a large load of support on the less populous generations that followed them.
The Feminist Movement has had a major impact on the educational differences of the generations. The Title IX act of 1972 forced schools to give women equal opportunity in education across the land forcing changes that are apparent today. The country is becoming more highly educated with each generation. Note that the "Millennial's" percentages may be lower than for other generations as they have had less time to finish college.
Along with more education, incomes for the generations have risen.
Considering that the peak earning years are age 40 to 50 for most people, the Millennial's are doing surprisingly better than their parents did at their age.
Factored into median household income, although not shown specifically in the graphs, are that many families have become "two income" with both men and women earning.
Lastly is information that should give us pause. With the advent of a volunteer military service, the connection between voters and military members has been shattered.
The number of citizens who are veterans and bear the responsibility for defending liberty has seen a sharp decrease since the 1970's when the draft was ended.
The long term effect to our social contract with each other has yet to play out, but will over the next decades.
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