The Baby Boom Cohort in the United States: 2012 to 2060

May 06, 2014
Report Number: P25-1141
Sandra L. Colby and Jennifer M. Ortman


The cohort born during the post-World War II baby boom in the United States, referred to as the baby boomers, has been driving change in the age structure of the U.S. population since their birth. This cohort is projected to continue to influence characteristics of the nation in the years to come. The baby boomers began turning 65 in 2011 and are now driving growth at the older ages of the population. By 2029, when all of the baby boomers will be 65 years and over, more than 20 percent of the total U.S. population will be over the age of 65. Although the number of baby boomers will decline through mortality, this shift toward an increasingly older population is expected to endure. By 2056, the population 65 years and over is projected to become larger than the population under 18 years.

This report examines changes in the U.S. population over the coming decades, with a focus on the baby boom cohort and its future role in shaping the demographic composition of the United States. The size and structure of this population will have implications for researchers, policy makers, health care professionals, and others seeking to anticipate the influence that this generation may have on the American landscape as they move into retirement and old age.