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So we know that our sperm and egg cells get set aside relatively early so that they aren't going through unnecessary cell divisions and causing DNA damage or telomere shortening, but since each new generation starts from one cell each generation has germ cells that have divided more than the previous generation's germ cells.
So, does this have an effect on age?
Is a second generation baby technically older than a first generation baby due to these extra cell divisions, or is telomerase and DNA repair able to keep each generation at the same relative life span?
In germ cells telomerase enzyme is active and elongates telomeres, so youngsters are not born older than their parents due to telomeres.
Still, they do receive mutations, accumulated by their parents' germ-line cells, i.e. eggs and sperm. Most of the mutations occur upon division of the cell. Egg cells don't undergo many divisions - they are created in the course of embryonic development of a woman and then are spent one-by-one. At the same time, precursors of sperm cells divide constantly, thus accumulating mutations at a constant rate.
Got no time to look for a hyperlink, but I read that no matter what is the age of the mother, she gives 15 new single-nucleotide mutations on average to her offspring. Father gives about 10 mutations for each year of his life after reaching puberty, historically 70 on average. Out of those mutations most are neutral or silent (due to genetic code degeneracy), but on average ~1/70 leads to a change in aminoacid sequence of some protein, usually harmful.
So, although babies don't get older, but alas, they get uglier as generations pass :( Natural selection is what saves us from deterioration, so that the weakest are sentenced to childlessness.
Added a couple of hyperlinks as requested: decay of cognitive indicators of children with parent's age: http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1000040
Another link: drosophila simulation of middle-class neighborhood (MCN) population, where each family has exactly 2 children, son and daughter, and no natural selection pressure is applied: such population rapidly deteriorates with fitness in wilderness decreasing by 2% per generation: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9371795
Millennials, Baby Boomers, Gen X and Gen Z: The cutoff years for each generation
Among generations, boomers are easy to identify, and millennials have made their mark.
But who is a Xennial and where did Gen Alpha come from? And Generation Jones?
The contemporary naming of generations dates back to poet Gertrude Stein, who wrote of those who came of age during World War I, “You are all a lost generation.”
Nearly a century later, names, labels and character studies for the generations have multiplied.
Lifespan continues to increase with each generation
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Human lifespans are increasing by approximately three years every generation and this trend is likely to continue, at least for a while, according to new research.
Shripad Tuljapurkar, professor of biology and of population studies at Stanford University, had assumed humans were approaching the limit to their longevity—that’s what previous research had suggested—but what he observed when he and his colleagues analyzed the average age of death in people who lived to be over age 65 in developed countries from 50 years of lifespan data made him more optimistic.
“The data shows that we can expect longer lives and there’s no sign of a slowdown in this trend,” he says. “There’s not a limit to life that we can see, so what we can say for sure is that it’s not close enough that we can see the effect.”
Ditching the ‘fuzziness’
Tuljapurkar and his colleagues wanted to answer two pressing questions: Is humanity approaching a limit to human lifespans? Are there factors that allow some people to live longer than others?
The researchers looked at birth and death data for people above age 65 from 1960-2010. They found that the average age of death in those who live to be older than 65 increased by three years in every 25-year period, which means that people can expect to live about six years longer than their grandparents, on average.
Furthermore, this trend continued at a relatively stable pace over the entire 50-year period and in all 20 countries that they analyzed. Factors like medical breakthroughs caused minor fluctuations in how quickly lifespans increased, but these variations averaged out over time.
The increase in lifespan during any given decade was very similar.
Most longevity studies look at the outliers, the people who live longer than everyone else. The data get fuzzy, however, because so few people live that long. Instead, Tuljapurkar and his colleagues, including Sha Jiang, a visiting graduate student from China, looked only at people over age 65, an age range with a large number of individuals.
“Our method is novel because it allows us to get rid of the fuzziness,” Tuljapurkar says. “Our focus is on the age range where we have an accurate idea of what’s going on.”
The wave rolls on
If we were about to hit a limit to human lifespans, the distribution of ages when people die should compress—like a rolling wave crashing into a wall—as they approach the limit. But the researchers didn’t see that pattern in the data. The wave continued to move forward.
Tuljapurkar was surprised to see that the average age of death increased at a constant speed, but he was even more surprised that the shape of the distribution didn’t change. He expected that certain endowments would allow some people to live longer than others.
“There used to be so many ads about how people could live longer by, say, eating yogurt,” Tuljapurkar says. He wasn’t convinced that yogurt was the key to a longer life, but he did suspect that factors like wealth could increase the likelihood that someone would live longer.
If this were true, the distribution of the data should widen as rich people live past the average age of death. But the shape of the data was consistent over the 50-year period they studied. There was no single factor that allowed some people to live longer than others—at least not one that was showing up after age 65.
Tuljapurkar notes that by the time someone has reached 65, he has already overcome many of the factors that could shorten life, like violence or early disease.
“But as someone who would like to be a one-percenter but is not, I’m certainly very happy to know that my odds of getting to live longer are just as good as the millionaire down the street,” says Tuljapurkar.
Why is it Important to Learn About Generations?
Understanding and appreciating different generations is critical for effective and productive teams, departments, and companies. Currently, there are five different generations in the workplace: Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y/Millennials, and Generation Z. A wide variety of experiences exist between these generations. For example, most traditionalists grew up without television, while almost all Generation Z’ers have a cell phone. If we look deeper, however, we can see commonalities between Traditionalists and Gen Z both grew up during economic strife (The Great Depression and the Great Recession, respectively). Understanding each other’s views and values will allow different generations to increase their appreciation of one another. This, in turn, will lead to better communication and collaboration because people are now talking from a sense of appreciation and acknowledgement. When people feel heard, understood, and valued, they are more likely to invest time and energy into their projects and jobs and they are more likely to stay at an organization. Truth is, we need people of all generations to make organizations effective. You want the “getting the job done” attitude of the Traditionalists, the teamwork skills of Baby Boomers, the self-reliance of X’ers, the multitasking abilities of Millennials, and the entrepreneurship of Generation Z. Combined, these qualities create a powerful workforce that is able to handle any challenge that comes its way.
It is important to remember that learning can, and should, go both ways: newer generations can pay attention to the older generation’s lessons and knowledge, while older generations can learn a lot from the younger ones (and not just about how to use technology). Each generation has its own unique perspective, challenges, and contributions, and we can all grow by listening to and learning from people who are different than us. Generational diversity is one way to strengthen your team.
-Lotte Mulder earned her Master’s of Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2013, where she focused on Leadership and Group Development. She’s currently working toward a PhD in Organizational Leadership. At ASCP, Lotte designs and facilitates the ASCP Leadership Institute, an online leadership certificate program. She has also built ASCP’s first patient ambassador program, called Patient Champions, which leverages patient stories as they relate to the value of the lab.
The differences are many and yet so few. This is stated so clearly by Gretchen Gavett when she wrote in the Wall Street Journal:
“Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, Millennials, the Gen Z up-and-comers – we all want the same things, (income, sure, but also purpose, and to feel valued) just in slightly different ways. The challenge is to look past the stereotypes and listen to one another so that good work gets done efficiently and humanely.”
Let’s begin with the GI Generation. The youngest of this generation are in their early 90’s so they are almost non-existent in the workplace. They are our oldest living generation and were born at the beginning of the 19 th century. Most of the soldiers during WWII came from this generation.
Traditionalists make up 2% of the current workforce which is the smallest percentage. However, they represent the institutional memory of a workplace. They know and remember the organization’s past and founding goals. Typically born between 1927 and 1945, they went through their formative years during the Great Depression and its aftermath.
Baby Boomers are currently the largest generation at approximately 77 million people in the United States. (Generation Y runs a close second.) Born between the years of 1946 and 1964, they are the post-World War II generation. The Baby Boomers represent about 29% of the workforce that number is declining by the day.
Generation X is bookended by the two largest generations, Baby Boomers and Generation Y. They are born between 1965 and 1980. They make up approximately 23% of the workforce.
Generation Y, also known as the Millenials, are born between 1981 and 2000. The Millenials are currently about 42% of the workforce, which makes them the largest working generation. They have their own values and characteristics (as do the other generations) their numbers make them a force to be reckoned with.
Generation Z is our newest generation. They’re currently around 4% of the workforce and growing. They grew up during the great recession after the early 2000’s. We are learning about what the Generation Z’s value and their characteristics as each day passes.
The challenge we all face: how can we connect, communicate, and collaborate most effectively in the workplace and outside of the workplace?
-Catherine Stakenas, MA, is the Senior Director of Organizational Leadership and Development and Performance Management at ASCP. She is certified in the use and interpretation of 28 self-assessment instruments and has designed and taught masters and doctoral level students.
Baby boomers are the demographic of people who were born just after the Second World War this would give the baby boomer generation an approximate date of between 1946 and 1964 . World war two ended in a 1945, and as a rule of thumb baby boomers are the children who are born as the war ended, as families settled down again. More about Baby Boomers >>
- Born between 1946 and 1964. Two sub-sets:
- 1. the save-the-world revolutionaries of the s and s
- and 2. the party-hardy career climbers (Yuppies) of the s/s.
- The “me” generation.
- “Rock and roll” music generation.
- Ushered in the free love and societal “non-violent” protests which triggered violence.
- Self righteous & self-centered.
- Buy it now and use credit.
- Too busy for much neighborly involvement yet strong desires to reset or change the common values for the good of all.
- Even though their mothers were generally housewives, responsible for all child rearing, women of this generation began working outside the home in record numbers, thereby changing the entire nation as this was the first generation to have their own children raised in a two-income household where mom was not omnipresent.
- The first TV generation.
- The first divorce generation, where divorce was beginning to be accepted as a tolerable reality.
- Began accepting homosexuals.
- Optimistic, driven, team-oriented.
- Envision technology and innovation as requiring a learning process.
- Tend to be more positive about authority, hierarchal structure and tradition.
- One of the largest generations in history with 77 million people.
- Their aging will change America almost incomprehensibly they are the first generation to use the word “retirement” to mean being able to enjoy life after the children have left home. Instead of sitting in a rocking chair, they go skydiving, exercise and take up hobbies, which increases their longevity.
- The American Youth Culture that began with them is now ending with them and their activism is beginning to re-emerge.
Is Human Intelligence Rising With Each Generation?
Millennials tend to get a bad rap from older generations for being entitled, self-absorbed and unfocused. They are not the first young generation to be maligned by an older one, a tradition that doesn't have much basis in reality. In fact, research consistently shows that human intelligence scores increase with each generation.
Now, thanks to some new data from a longitudinal study, we might have a better understanding of why: each subsequent generation, so far, has enjoyed a higher standard of living than the one preceding it -- better nutrition and medical care, education and job opportunities.
Researchers from the University of Aberdeen and Scottish health board NHS Grampian studied 751 people born in Aberdeen, divided into two groups -- one born in 1921 and the other in 1936 -- known as the Aberdeen Birth Cohort. They were all tested at age 11 and then again up to five times between 1998 and 2011.
When the two groups were tested at age 11, the researchers found an IQ disparity of 3.7 points between the two generations, but after age 62, the difference jumped to 16.5 points -- more than three times what was anticipated. Study leader Dr. Robert Staff described the intelligence gains of the 1936 group as "surprisingly large," and says that he expects average intelligence gains to rise further.
"One especially interesting aspect of the study is that the IQ difference between the cohorts grew by a very large amount over the course of 50 years," educational psychologist and intelligence researcher Jonathan Plucker said in an email to The Huffington Post. "This provides further evidence that one’s intelligence –- at least the aspects that can be examined using tests –- is not fixed at an early age and can be quite malleable over the course of our lifespans."
The study, published in the journal Intelligence, isn't the first to suggest that global IQ is on the rise. In a phenomenon known as the "Flynn effect" (named after psychologist and human intelligence researcher James R. Flynn), IQ has been shown to raise by 3-4 points each decade.
"These IQ gains are probably not unique to Aberdeen, with similar environmental changes being experienced across the UK," Staff said in a statement.
"The results fit with numerous other studies documenting the Flynn Effect," said Plucker. "The Aberdeen results suggest that causes of the Effect, as Flynn originally surmised, are largely environmental in nature: As our living standards -– involving nutrition, education, safety, and many other factors -– steadily improved over the past 100 years, our ability to solve cognitive problems likewise increased."
Another working theory has less to do with the subjects than the test itself. According to intelligence researcher Michael Woodley, who was not involved in the study, they might reflect improvement of specialized and easily trainable cognitive abilities. Woodley points to some measures which suggest a slight decline in general intelligence scores each decade.
"Whilst people are undoubtedly becoming more test-wise and are picking up specialized cognitive skills, as evidenced by studies such as the one conducted by Dr. Staff and colleagues," Woodley said in an email to The Huffington Post, "they are unfortunately not becoming more innovative, or better complex problem solvers."
The Evilutionary Biologist
Did you know even bacteria get old? Scientists traditionally assumed that bacteria were immortal, since these single-celled organisms split into two apparently identical daughter cells, which in turn divide, and so on. We now believe that this is not true. Eric Stewart of INSERM , the French institute for health and medical research in Paris, and his colleagues took fluorescent images of individual E. coli cells over ten generations. Each generation the E. coli cells divide down the middle, giving each daughter cell one new tip and an old tip from its mother, or grandmother, or some older ancestor. Using computer software, Stewart et al . identified and tracked the tips of each bacterial cell. The results indicated that the cell that inherits the old tip suffer a diminished growth rate, decreased offspring production, and an increased incidence of death.
More recently, Martin Ackermann , whom I met at the recent GRC Microbial Population Biology conference, and colleagues have published two papers on aging in bacteria in BMC Evolutionary Biology and Aging Cell (both open access). In the BMC Evolutionary Biology paper, Ackermann et al . evolved Caulobacter crescentus for 2000 generations under conditions where selection was strong early in life, but weak late in life. This selection had the effect of increasing the age of first reproduction and faster growth rates, but led to the unexpected evolution of slower aging. However, late acting deleterious mutations did invade and spread in populations.
In the Aging Cell paper, Ackermann et al . construct simple models to show why organisms might evolve aging, and test these models using age-specific performance data of C. crescentus to test the assumptions of the models. C. crescentus cell division is assymetric , and results in a sessile stalked cell and a motile swarmer cell. Ackermann et al .'s results showed that rate of cell division (hence fitness) declined with age for stalked cells, presumably because of the accumulation of damage in the stalked cell. Naturally it would have been nice to see what happened to the motile cells, but unfortunately this data is quite difficult to obtain. Nonetheless, the implication is there that the assymetric cell division results in the partitioning of damage between 'parent" and "offspring" cells.
Natural Selection is Still Happening in Modern Human Populations, Major Genetic Study Finds
Genetic variants linked to Alzheimer’s disease and heavy smoking are less frequent in people with longer lifespans, suggesting that natural selection is weeding out these unfavorable variants in some populations, according to an analysis of the genomes of 210,000 people in the U.S. and UK.
Mostafavi et al found a drop in some harmful genetic mutations in longer-lived people. Image credit: Darryl Leja, NHGRI / CC BY 2.0.
New favorable traits evolve when genetic mutations arise that offer a survival edge. As the survivors of each generation pass on those beneficial mutations, the mutations and their adaptive traits become more common in the general population.
Though it may take millions of years for complex traits to evolve, say allowing humans to walk on two legs, evolution itself happens with each generation as adaptive mutations become more frequent in the population.
The genomic revolution has allowed biologists to see the natural selection process in action by making the genetic blueprint of hundreds of thousands of people available for comparison.
By tracking the relative rise and fall of specific mutations across generations of people, scientists can infer which traits are spreading or dwindling.
In a large-scale study, Columbia University researcher Hakhamenesh Mostafavi and colleagues analyzed the genomes of 60,000 people of European ancestry (GERA cohort) genotyped by Kaiser Permanente in California, and 150,000 people in Britain genotyped through the U.K. Biobank.
“Our global understanding of adaptation in humans is limited to indirect statistical inferences from patterns of genetic variation, which are sensitive to past selection pressures,” the authors explained.
“We introduced a method that allowed us to directly observe ongoing selection in humans by identifying genetic variants that affect survival to a given age.”
“We applied our approach to the GERA cohort and parents of the U.K. Biobank participants.”
Two population-level mutation shifts stood out. In women over 70, the researchers saw a drop in the frequency of the ApoE4 gene linked to Alzheimer’s, consistent with earlier research showing that women with one or two copies of the gene tend to die well before those without it.
They saw a similar drop, starting in middle age, in the frequency of a mutation in the CHRNA3 gene associated with heavy smoking in men.
They were surprised to find just two common mutations across the entire human genome that heavily influence survival.
The high power of the analysis should have detected other variants had they existed. This suggests that selection has purged similar variants from the population, even those that act later in life like the ApoE4 and CHRNA3 genes.
“It may be that men who don’t carry these harmful mutations can have more children, or that men and women who live longer can help with their grandchildren, improving their chance of survival,” said co-author Dr. Molly Przeworski, an evolutionary biologist at Columbia University.
“Most traits are determined by dozens to hundreds of mutations, and even in a large sample like this one, their effect on survival can be hard to see.”
To get around this, the team examined sets of mutations associated with 42 common traits, from height to body mass index (BMI), and for each individual in the study, determined what value of the trait they would predict based on their genetics, and whether it influenced survival.
The scientists found that a predisposition for high cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol, high BMI, and heart disease was linked to shorter life spans. To a lesser extent, a predisposition for asthma was also linked to earlier death.
They also found that those genetically predisposed to delayed puberty and child-bearing lived longer — a one-year puberty delay lowered the death rate by 3 to 4% in both men and women a one-year childbearing delay lowered the death rate by 6% in women.
The researchers take the results as evidence that genetic variants that influence fertility are evolving in some U.S. and Britain populations. But they caution that environment plays a role, too, so that traits that are desirable now may not be in other populations or in the future.
“The environment is constantly changing. A trait associated with a longer lifespan in one population today may no longer be helpful several generations from now or even in other modern day populations,” Mostafavi said.
Notes on Each of the Latest Cultural Generations
IGen / Gen Z: Born between 1995 and 2012
As of 2017 most of these folks are still too young to have made an impact. However the older ones might be fighting our war in Afghanistan. The younger ones are hopefully still in school and planning on careers and jobs that will have strong demand and generate new opportunities.
I'm personally optimistic about the iGen'ers.
(Jean Twenge's writings on generations differs from others. She uses historical surveys and 1 on 1 interviews, rather than just theorizing and speculating. She is a serious researcher, and a professor at San Diego University)
- Much more tolerant of others - different cultures, sexual orientations, races
- More cautious, less risk taking
- Less drinking and drug taking in high school
- Less likely to go to church
- More likely to think for themselves and not believe authority figures in church or government
Whereas Millenials were raised to think they were special and that they could become anything they dreamed of, and then after graduating they found that Boomers had let millions of jobs slip out of the country, iGen'ers have seen this, and are far more cautious and less optimistic and maybe less naive.
On the potentially negative side, iGens are known for:
- Less "in person" and "face to face" contact with others due to more time connecting via smart phones
- Heavy use of gaming
- Less reading of books, and newspapers
- Grew up more supervised, more protected than prior generations
- Less experience with teen jobs and earning money in high school
- May stay up till 2 AM using smart phone and social media
- Possibly more depressed than prior generations
- Feels more lonely, and not needed
- Possibly a higher suicide rate
Careers for iGen'ers - You Need Either Skills or Education
If you are iGen and looking for a career, please pick a major in fields where there will be plenty of jobs and avoid fields where the jobs are limited. Unless of course you are so different and truly one of a kind like: Michael Jordan, Prince, The Beatles, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Kim Kardashian (just kidding).
You have two choices - pick a trade or get the right college education. Low skilled jobs will continue to disappear and you can not raise a family on the income from a low skilled job. You either need skills or education.
Healthcare and high tech are the booming fields now and that will continue for decades.
Thus careers in science, engineering, software, and medicine are a good choice.
There won't be many jobs for people who major in English, history, philosophy etc. Sorry.
Electrical Engineering and Software Engineering look really good. As does nursing, and being a family doctor.
Civil Engineering offers very few jobs since we are not building a lot of bridges and buildings. So avoid that.
Automotive engineering is tough. Not many US jobs except in the electric car field.
Jobs that must be done in person such as plumbers, electricians, barbers, beauticians, should still be in demand, although lower paying than jobs requiring a college education. The trades are more stable than many other careers.
Sales jobs will continue to shrink. Retails sales jobs are disappearing as shopping malls close and as Amazon takes over the world. Sales people are usually just middlemen. Who needs them? Sorry. However, sales people that do business development and find new customers are a different story. But the days of being a shoe salesman in a mall store are gone.
Business development and marketing are still good fields, but will see some unexpected changes.
The auto mechanic field is going to go through interesting changes with the growth of electric vehicles and self driving vehicles. EV's have less moving parts and fewer fluids to replace, but they still need tire changes.
Taxi driver jobs and truck driver jobs will start to experience less demand as automated vehicles take over. However, as of 2018, the demand for truck drivers is booming.
As automated electric vehicles take over, the need for individuals to own a car will be reduced. It will become more simple, less expensive, and more efficient to just walk outside, call up an app, have a driver-less Uber pick you up and take you to wherever you want to go. As long as a car can show up in 5 minutes or so, that will be the way to go. Owning your own car is not efficient, nor a good investment. Cars sit around doing nothing for 98% of their existence. They take up space, they consume your money on insurance and repairs even while they are just sitting doing nothing. How this will affect jobs, careers and the workplace will be interesting, and iGen'ers will be the first to experience this.
Space flight related jobs will pick up as we focus on getting people to the moon, Mars, and space stations.
Geology jobs, especially related to finding minerals on other planets should see a rise in demand.
Virtual Reality related jobs (whatever those are?) will pick up as VR technology becomes ubiquitous. Probably creating VR experiences will be popular.
The generation after the iGen'ers will be the ones who grow up thinking virtual reality is normal.
Gen Y: "The Millennials" Born between 1980 and 1994
The Millennials grew up and began their careers in a time when:
- Almost every home (except 3rd world countries) had an internet connection and a computer
- 2008, the largest economic decline since the great depression
- 911 Terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon
- The effect of 20+ years of offshoring of American jobs is finally felt
- Enron - energy trading scams and corporate fraud on a national level
- Global warming becoming obvious with unusually severe storms, hotter weather, colder weather, more droughts etc
- President G. W. Bush, Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney deceived the entire nation about weapons of mass destruction of the nuclear and biological type and the subsequent invasion and occupation of Iraq
- The explosive growth in online companies such as Google, Facebook, SalesForce.com, LinkedIn, EBay, PayPal
- A revolution in the way we work, including widespread acceptance of flex-time, work from home, freelancing
- The US is divided 50:50 with different and opposite fundamental beliefs and values
- Way too many crazy people are shooting their fellow Americans with weapons of rapid destruction
- Congress becoming dysfunctional
- Housing prices growing beyond most young people's reach
The cohort known as "Xennials" are composed of the oldest Millenials. This is a "crossover generation."
Born roughly between 1975 and 1985 plus or minus a few years.
The idea being that Xennials are more like the preceding Gen X than they are like Millenials.
According to Australian Sociologist, Dan Woodman, "The theory goes that the Xennials dated, and often formed ongoing relationships, pre-social media. They usually weren't on Tinder or Grindr, for their first go at dating at least. They called up their friends and the person they wanted to ask out on a landline phone, hoping that it wasn't their intended date's parent who picked up."
Gen X: Born between 1965 and 1979
According to WikiPedia, Gen X was originally called "Gen Bust" because their birth rate was vastly smaller than the preceding Baby Boomers.
Gen X'ers were the first generation to experience:
- The highest level of education in the US to date
- The 1976 Arab Oil Debacle and the first gas shortages in the US
- The price of gold soaring to $1000/oz for the first time
- The fall of the Berlin Wall and the splitting apart of the Soviet Union
- MTV and the rise of Disco
- China's momentary flirtation with personal freedom and the tragedy of Tiananmen Square
- Fighting in the first Gulf War
- NAFTA where President Bill Clinton paves the way to give away millions of American jobs
Baby Boomers: Born between 1946 and 1964
Baby Boomers are defined as being from the huge population increase that followed World War II, and the Great Depression.
They grew up in a time of prosperity and an absence of world wars. They were the Flower Children, taking LSD and protesting the war in Vietnam.
Unlike their parents who grew up during the Great Depression, Boomers became the great consumers. They became famous for spending every dollar they earned.
This was the first Western Generation to grow up with two cars in every garage and a chicken in every pot.
Baby Boomer spending and consumerism has fueled the world economies.
The Baby Boomers fought for environmental protection.
- A time of unparalleled national optimism and prosperity
- The Cold War, fear of a nuclear attack from Russia, bomb shelters and hiding under a desk at school
- The assassination of President John F. Kennedy
- The assassination of Martin Luther King
- The confidence building from putting a man on the moon
- The incredible waste and destruction of the War in Vietnam
- The Civil Rights Movement
The Silent Generation: Born between 1925 and 1945
Those of the Silent Generation were born during the Great Depression. Their parents were mostly of the Lost Generation.
They grew up expecting a hard life. This was the era when a Christmas present might be a orange or a full meal.
They are called the Silent Generation because as a group they were not loud. They did not protest in Washington. There were no major wars to protest.
The Greatest Generation: Born between 1910 and 1924
Those of the Greatest Generation grew up during the Great Depression and probably fought in World War II. They are also known as the GI Joe Generation.
They are the parents of the Baby Boomers.
They were named the Greatest Generation by Tom Brokaw, famous News Broadcaster. Brokaw said they were the greatest because they fought for what was right rather than fighting for selfish reasons.
They certainly made great self sacrifices, fighting to protect people in other countries from the likes of Hitler, Mussolini and Japanese Kamikaze suicide bombers.
Makes one wonder what they will call those bankers and insurance company executives who fought only for personal gain thus creating the 2007-2009 financial collapse.
Primary Sources for our Data on Generations:
Health declining in Gen X and Gen Y, national study shows
Credit: Petr Kratochvil/public domain
Recent generations show a worrying decline in health compared to their parents and grandparents when they were the same age, a new national study reveals.
Researchers found that, compared to previous generations, members of Generation X and Generation Y showed poorer physical health, higher levels of unhealthy behaviors such as alcohol use and smoking, and more depression and anxiety.
The results suggest the likelihood of higher levels of diseases and more deaths in younger generations than we have seen in the past, said Hui Zheng, lead author of the study and professor of sociology at The Ohio State University.
"The worsening health profiles we found in Gen X and Gen Y is alarming," Zheng said.
"If we don't find a way to slow this trend, we are potentially going to see an expansion of morbidity and mortality rates in the United States as these generations get older."
Zheng conducted the study with Paola Echave, a graduate student in sociology at Ohio State. The results were published online yesterday (March 18, 2021) in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
The researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1988-2016 (62,833 respondents) and the National Health Interview Survey 1997-2018 (625,221 respondents), both conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics.
To measure physical health, the researchers used eight markers of a condition called metabolic syndrome, a constellation of risk factors for heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and diabetes. Some of the markers include waist circumference, blood pressure, cholesterol level and body mass index (BMI). They also used one marker of chronic inflammation, low urinary albumin, and one additional marker of renal function, creatinine clearance.
The researchers found that the measures of physical health have worsened from the baby boomer generation through Gen X (born 1965-80) and Gen Y (born 1981-99). For whites, increases in metabolic syndrome were the main culprit, while increases in chronic inflammation were seen most in Black Americans, particularly men.
"The declining health trends in recent generations is a shocking finding," Zheng said. "It suggests we may have a challenging health prospect in the United State in coming years."
Zheng said it is beyond the scope of the study to comprehensively explain the reasons behind the health decline. But the researchers did check two factors. They found smoking couldn't explain the decline. Obesity could help explain the increase in metabolic syndrome, but not the increases seen in chronic inflammation.
It wasn't just the overall health markers that were concerning for some members of the younger generations, Zheng said.
Results showed that levels of anxiety and depression have increased for each generation of whites from the War Babies generation (born 1943-45) through Gen Y.
While levels of these two mental health indicators did increase for Blacks up through the early baby boomers, the rate has been generally flat since then.
Health behaviors also show worrying trends.
The probability of heavy drinking has continuously increased across generations for whites and Black males, especially after late-Gen X (born 1973-80).
For whites and Blacks, the probability of using street drugs peaked at late boomers (born 1956-64), decreased afterward, then rose again for late-Gen X. For Hispanics, it has continuously increased since early-baby boomers.
Surprisingly, results suggest the probability of having ever smoked has continuously increased across generations for all groups.
How can this be true with other research showing a decline in overall cigarette consumption since the 1970s?
"One possibility is that people in older generations are quitting smoking in larger numbers while younger generations are more likely to start smoking," Zheng said. "But we need further research to see if that is correct."
Zheng said these results may be just an early warning of what is to come.
"People in Gen X and Gen Y are still relatively young, so we may be underestimating their health problems," he said. "When they get older and chronic diseases become more prevalent, we'll have a better view of their health status."
Zheng noted that the United States has already seen recent decreases in life expectancy and increases in disability and morbidity.
"Our results suggest that without effective policy interventions, these disturbing trends won't be temporary, but a battle we'll have to continue to fight."