Le baby boom est bien fini

MÜNICH – Carlos Barientos III est né le soir du 31 décembre 1964 à 18h45, à quelques kilomètres au nord de Honolulu. Il aura 50 ans cette année, et sera probablement le dernier, de tous les « baby-boomers », à fêter son anniversaire. Cette génération, qui a pendant longtemps incarné l’énergie, l’enthousiasme, voire le côté irritant de la jeunesse, entrera officiellement dans l’âge mûr, même si pour certains, elle n’est jamais vraiment devenue adulte. Mais qu’en est-il dans les faits ?

Les baby-boomers sont les enfants qui ont grandi, aux Etats-Unis en particulier, mais également en Europe, au Canada, en Australie et ailleurs, après la Seconde guerre mondiale, époque où une croissance économique rapide s’est accompagnée d’une explosion démographique. Ceux qui sont nés durant cette période de 19 ans – de 1945 à 1964 – forment la génération la plus nombreuse, la plus prospère, la mieux éduquée, et diront certains, la plus gâtée et la plus indulgente, que le monde ait connu.

Qu’il s’agisse de sexe, de drogues, du rock’n’roll, des mouvements pour les droits civils ou des bulles internet et de l’immobilier, c’est la génération des baby-boomers qui a, pour le meilleur ou pour le pire, façonné la société moderne. Et étant donné que l’un de ses membres les plus jeunes occupe aujourd’hui la Maison Blanche, et d’autres le 10 Downing Street, l’Élysée et la chancellerie allemande, ils continueront à exercer une influence dans les années à venir.

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