A baby boom is a period marked by a significant increase of birth rate. This demographic phenomenon is usually ascribed within certain geographical bounds of defined national and cultural populations. People born during these periods are often called baby boomers; however, some experts distinguish between those born during such demographic baby booms and those who identify with the overlapping cultural generations. The cause of baby booms involves various fertility factors. The most well-known baby boom occurred in the mid-twentieth century, beginning in the late 1930s or early 1940s and ending in the 1960s. It was a change of trend that was largely unexpected, because in most countries it occurred in the midst of a period of improving economies and rising living standards.
The baby boom occurred in countries experiencing damage from war and economic hardships. In the United States the baby boom was attributed to numerous veterans returning home post-war, in 1945. The passing of the G.I. Bill of Rights by the U.S. Congress, encouraged home ownership and higher education levels by charging little to no interest on loans for veterans. The improved economic position allowed more people to start families.
Recent baby boom periods include the following:
Israel has been in a constant baby boom since independence, with the highest fertility rate in the OECD at 3.1 children per woman. In addition to having the highest fertility rate among developed nations, it is the only developed country to have never had a sub-replacement fertility rate. Israel's baby boom began in 1947, a year before independence, when the fertility rate among the Yishuv, or Jewish population of what was then Mandatory Palestine, began to rise dramatically as a result of the aftereffects of the Holocaust and a expectations of Jewish independence.