Friday 23 February 2018

Mary Kenny: generation 1946

Now approaching 70, the baby-boomers have had a lucky span of life

Mary Kenny
Mary Kenny
Mary Kenny

Mary Kenny

Next year will, of course, see the celebrations around 1916: but 2016 also marks the 70th anniversary of "the making of the modern world", in the words of Victor Sebestyen, who has chronicled 1946 in great detail.

Anyone who hits 70 this coming year (that's you, Ruairí Quinn, nicely partnered by Joanna Lumley) represents one of the most significant aspects of 1946 - the beginning of the "baby boom" years.

It doesn't take Dr Freud to work out just why there was a "baby boom" all over Europe and America, starting in 1946: after a great conflict or a major war, the soldiers and the war-workers come home and make babies. Everyone is in the mood for domesticity and nest-building. It's what nature wants people to do. And so most countries - with the significant exception of Germany - had a marked increase in births in 1946. (Germany's birth rate didn't start to rise until 1955, when there were enough adult men, once again, to start fathering children.)

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