Baby boomers (also known as boomers) are the demographic cohort following the Silent Generation and preceding Generation X. Though there may be a few different timelines said to represent the birth years of the Baby Boom generation, the U.S. Census Bureau and nearly everyone else agrees that the Baby Boom generation spans 19 birth years from 1946 to 1964. This leaves room for demographers and researchers to define and label cohort subsets if the characteristics and experiences of the youngest or oldest members correlate with or span two generations. When the term "baby boomer" is used in a cultural context, it becomes more difficult to achieve a consensus among scholars, demographers and researchers as to the precise birth years from a cultural perspective.
Baby boomers are associated with a rejection or redefinition of traditional values. Many commentators, however, have disputed the extent of that rejection, noting the widespread continuity of values between boomers and their parents. In Europe and North America, boomers are widely associated with privilege, as many grew up during a period of increasing affluence due in part to widespread post-war government subsidies in housing and education. As a group, baby boomers were wealthier, more active and more physically fit than any preceding generation and were the first to grow up genuinely expecting the world to improve with time. They were also the generation that reached peak levels of income in the workplace and could, therefore, enjoy the benefits of abundant food, clothing, retirement programs, and even "midlife-crisis" products. But, this generation also has been criticized often for its increases in consumerism which others saw as excessive.
The boomers have tended to think of themselves as a special generation, very different from preceding and subsequent generations. In the 1960s and 1970s, as a relatively large number of young people entered their late teens --- the oldest turned 18 in 1964 --- they, and those around them, created a very specific rhetoric around their cohort and the changes brought about by their size in numbers. This rhetoric had an important impact in the self-perceptions of the boomers, as well as their tendency to define the world in terms of generations, which was a relatively new phenomenon. The baby boom has been described variously as a "shockwave" and as "the pig in the python".
The American term "Generation Jones" is sometimes used to describe those born roughly between 1954 and 1965. The term is typically used to refer to the later years of the baby boomer cohort and the early years of Generation X.