Feb 062013
 
Percentages of various groups in the electorate - extended

Previous posts have provided graphs of the proportions of various groups in the electorate: Percentages of various groups in the electorate over the last 35 years Baby booms in the electorates of the last 6 Prime Ministers I want to publish a graph with two more age groups plotted, because these groups are discussed either alone or in comparison with other age groups. It is often unclear in discussion whether it is a general age group at a particular time or a cohort defined by birth dates that is being discussed. Here they are age ranges; obviously their members currently . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Jan 242013
 
Comments on "Spending Power Across the Generations" by the Intergenerational Foundation

These are comments on “Spending Power Across the Generations” by David Kingman, published on 23 January 2013 by the Intergenerational Foundation. I was directed to the report as follows: In summary: It is about “spending behaviour”, not “spending power”. It it restricted to a small range of items being bought. It is about “age-groups”, not “generations” or “cohorts”. There is no real “intergenerational” content. It identifies recent trends. So a more accurate title would be: “Some recent trends in spending behaviour by different age groups”. Ways of comparing generations I was working on this section before I knew about this report. . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Jan 102013
 
Some baby boom myths

Lots of people talk about “the baby boom”. Lots of people make claims about “the baby boomers”. Here are some of the myths held by lots of people. I have written this article as though I am having an informal argument with you about these myths. I accept that you may not believe them all, or indeed you may not believe any of them! Please forgive my style. Myth 1: There was a baby boom from about 1945 to about 1965 Myth 2: The weight of numbers of the baby boomers gave them undue political influence Myth 3: The baby . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Jan 092013
 
Percentages of various groups in the electorate over the last 35 years

I have been gradually adding to an earlier article “Baby booms in the electorates of the last 6 Prime Ministers“. The latest addition warrants this article of its own. The context is that the above article shows the population and electoral graphs for Prime Ministers from Margaret Thatcher in 1979 to David Cameron in 2010. One objective was to show that the 1945-1965 cohort didn’t dominate politics and elections over the last few decades. This is simply an exact copy of that latest addition: Electorate percentages of various groups Here is another way of looking at the same information, once . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Jan 042013
 
Why are people born 1945-1965 called baby boomers?

In the UK there wasn’t a baby boom that started about 1945 and ended about 1965. Yet the belief that there was is embedded so deep in the nation’s psyche that people casually assume it in conversation without needing to justify it. The people they are talking to probably also believe it. (If you also believe it, have a look at “Further reading” at the end of this article. The evidence to the contrary from credible sources such as the Office of National Statistics is overwhelming. And I am not the only person to have pointed out this error). These . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Dec 302012
 
Baby booms in the electorates of the last 6 Prime Ministers

There is a commonly-held (but erroneous) view that: There was a baby-boom in the UK starting about 1945 and ending about 1965, and … The size of this baby-boom had a disproportionate influence on government policies. To examine this, here are populations-graphs for the years when each of the last 6 Prime Ministers first took office. (I’ve included estimates for the expected 2015 and 2020 elections too!) The graphs were generated from the animation published by the Office of National Statistics. For each year, the height of the graph indicates how many people born that year were alive when that . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Dec 202012
 

Consider: Everyone in the generation that started 150 years ago is dead. Most people in the generation that started 50 years ago are still alive. Is this “intergenerationally unfair”? Is it even “unfair”? This is a pretty devastating difference between these generations. Yet no serious person would claim that it is “intergenerationally unfair”. We need to be able to discuss generational differences without automatically treating disadvantages to one of them as examples of intergenerational unfairness. This article was prompted by “Commentary on “Intergenerational Fairness Index” by the Intergenerational Foundation“. That article was prompted by (and analysed)  “Intergenerational Fairness Index – . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Nov 212012
 
The effect of baby booms on the housing crisis of younger people

Reminder 1: there was no “1945-65 baby boom”! This article is primarily about the big baby boom from about 1955 to about 1974, and a smaller one from about 1978 to 1992. Reminder 2: blame must not be attached to an “accident of birth”, and belonging to a baby boom is such an accident. And there is no implication that the people of any baby boom did anything wrong that helped cause the housing crisis. Summary Although the birth rate of the post-war generation hasn’t unduly influenced governments to favour this generation, it surely had an impact on the housing . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Nov 192012
 
More about what David Willets got wrong in his book "The Pinch"

Yesterday I refuted the idea that the post-war generation has excessive political influence. As an introduction to that article, I quoted the description of David Willetts’ book “The Pinch: how the baby boomers took their children’s future – and why they should give it back“: “The baby boom of 1945-65 produced the biggest, richest generation that Britain has ever known. Today, at the peak of their power and wealth, baby boomers now run our country; by virtue of their sheer demographic power, they have fashioned the world around them in a way that meets all of their housing, healthcare and financial . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Nov 182012
 
The myth of excessive political influence by the post-war generation

There is a story that after World War 2 there was a significantly higher birth rate for perhaps 20 years (called “the baby boom”) that resulted in a generation or cohort of people who by sheer voting power and demographic political influence ensured that governments made policies and legislation that favoured this generation at the expense of others. A typical summary of this is seen at the description of David Willetts’ book “The Pinch: how the baby boomers took their children’s future – and why they should give it back“: “The baby boom of 1945-65 produced the biggest, richest generation that . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]