Baby Boomers: Why are they so depressed?

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series Baby Boomers
Baby Boom expressed as a graph

WHAT IS THE BABY BOOM? This chart, based on national data from CDC.GOV shows the Baby Boomers in red. The vertical axis shows the number of births per thousand in the American population. The horizontal axis shows years from 1909 through the turn of the millennium. (NOTE: CLICK on the chart to examine it in a larger size.)

Baby Boomers—Americans born from 1946 to 1964—took the nation by storm. Confident and optimistic (some would say entitled), they saw the world as their oyster.

So why are Boomers so bummed out now? Boomers are more likely than members of any generation to say they are depressed, reports Gallup. Fourteen percent of boomers say they currently have or are being treated for depression. This is double the percentage of Millennials who report depression (7%).

Aging per se isn’t the explanation. Only 9% of members of the oldest generation (born 1900-1945) report depression. Generation X (born 1965 to 1979) comes in second place to Baby Boomers. About 11% of Gen Xers say they currently have depression or are being treated for it.

Gallup notes that depression rates are low for young Americans, rising slowly to peak in late middle age (ages 57-64), then slowly declining thereafter.

Have you—or someone close to you—suffered depression?
If so, is it related to our age in life?
Why are Boomers bummed out?

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  1. Duncan Newcomer says

    High hopes and three assassinations,and then the turn to material wealth have taken a toll,I think.