Many of the ten million veterans returning from World War II in 1945 and 1946 had definite plans to start families. One of the most descriptive jokes of the time we heard from homeward-bound Navy shipmates was:
Q: Hey, sailor. What are you gonna do when you get home and see your loving wife?
A: Well, the second thing I’m gonna do is put down my seabag.
Statistics show the sharp increase in post-WW2 family building. In 1946, monthly births in the U.S. rose from 222,721 in January to 339,499 in October. By the end of the 1940s, about 32 million babies had been born, compared with 24 million in the 1930s. In 1954, annual births hit four million and did not drop below that figure until 1965. By that time, four out of ten Americans were under the age of 20.
So, congratuations, all your baby boomers, and welcome to the ranks of seasoned citizens.