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Matures were known as the “Greatest Generation”; will Boomers (those adults turning 44-62 this year) become known as the Gloomiest?
According to a report by the Pew Social & Demographic Trends Project, America’s Baby Boomers give lower ratings to their quality of life than other generations; to worry that income won’t keep up with inflation, and to believe that it is harder to get ahead now than it was 10 years ago. For example, when asked, “In the next year, how likely is it?”, 55% of Boomers said it is likely that their income won’t keep up with the cost of living, versus 44% of 18-42 year olds, and 43% of adults 63+.
Boomers are also less likely to believe that their standard of living exceeds their parents’ standard of living when they were the same age.
For example, Boomers rate their present life at 6.2 on a scale of 1-10, while 18-42 year olds rate their lives at a 6.5 and older adults at a 6.7
Pew researchers assert that Boomer attitudes are not just a product of current economic conditions, since they’ve always had a less positive assessment of quality of life issues. They suggest that these attitudes may be related to the attitudes and expectations about life that were formed when they were young.
“Baby Boomers: The Gloomiest Generation” - Pew Social & Demographic Trends Project, 6/25/08
"Baby Boomers: From the Age of Aquarius to the Age of Responsibility," Pew Research Center, 12/8/05
"Social Inequalities in Happiness in the United States, 1972 to 2004: An Age-Period-Cohort Analysis," American Sociological Review, Vol. 73, No. 2, 4/2008
"Inside the Middle Class: Bad Times Hit the Good Life," Pew Research Center, 4/9/2008