These pages from Hopedale town reports give an idea of the change in the number of yearly
births from the pre-war years into the baby boom times. Here are a few paragraphs from a
Wikipedia article about the post World War II baby boom.
In 1945 when the war ended, a huge amount of veterans returned home and began living as
civilians. In order to make this process as smooth as possible in the US, Congress passed the GI.
Bill of Rights. The purpose of the Bill was to encourage home ownership and higher levels of
education by charging very low or no interest at all on loans for veterans. Getting settled in with a
more comfortable economic position allowed families to have a place to live, be educated, and
start having babies. "Now thriving on the American Dream, life was simple, jobs were plentiful,
and a record number of babies were born."
The U.S. birthrate exploded after World War II. From 1945 to 1961, more than 65 million children
were born in the United States. At the height of this baby boom, a child was born every seven
seconds. Factors that contributed to the baby boom consisted of young couples who started
families after putting off marriage during the War, government encouragement of growth of
families through the aid of GI benefits, and popular culture that celebrated pregnancy,
parenthood, and large families.
The baby boom was the result of couples holding off on having children due to the Great
Depression and World War II. Once the baby boom began, the average woman started getting
married around the age of 20 instead of 22. Couples were eager to have babies after the war
ended because they knew that the world would be a safer place to start a family.
Another leading cause that led to the baby boom was that people were able to afford moving out
to the suburbs to raise a family instead of living in the city. Additionally, the cost of living in the
suburbs was very low, especially for those returning from the military. This was also the time
period where women were encouraged to take on their "roles", meaning that they were
encouraged to stay home as a housewife along with being a mother while the husband worked.
The market became a seller's market. Many families were adapting to popular culture changes
that included purchasing TVs, opening credit card accounts, and buying mouse ears to wear
while watching The Mickey Mouse Club. Overall, the baby boom time period was a blessing but it
also had its flaws once economists realized how many children were being born. Concern arose
about enough resources being available, especially when those born in the baby boom time
period started having kids of their own.
And here's a little warning from Wikipedia.