Recently, it has become somewhat of a trend or joke amongst younger generations to insult and criticise the actions and words of older generations, occasionally the older half of generation X, but more specifically, the baby boomer generation, which is classified as the generation of people born between 1945 and 1964. After World War 2 ended, people celebrated by having many babies, so birth rates increased greatly. Currently, 31st of the UK’s entire population is 55 or over. This generation also holds the majority of the UK’s wealth. While some of it may have been acquired through pensions, a lot of it has been accumulated through the long-term rise in the stock market and the boom in housing prices. From the early 1950s to the 1970s (when many boomers had begun to buy their first homes) home ownership jumped from 30% to 50%. As of 2016, it is just below 62.9%, not a very large increase considering the timeframe. In the 1960s, housing prices were an average of £2,530 (£57,784 when adjusted for inflation). In the 1970s, the average price was £4975 (£76,321 when adjusted for inflation). In 1975, the average amount of disposable income was £6619 (meaning the average 1970s household had £55,064 in disposable income to spend on housing and other commodities). As of July 2019, the average house price is £232,710. In London/the Greater London area, the housing prices are even worse. With the average starting salary for graduates being £21,000-£25,000 before taxes, it’s no wonder millennials aren’t purchasing houses and are living with their parents for longer and longer. With the current inflation rate being 2.1% as of December 2018 and housing prices increasing yearly, I fear for how long I will have to depend on parents for accommodation, and I, along with many of my peers have given up hope of finding our own place. Despite this, certain boomers like to question younger generations and criticise us in a condescending way. They enjoy mocking the issue of our lack of housing. However, it is hardly millennials fault that they do not have enough money to live in houses stably, if at all. They grew up in a time where they could easily get a place to live, but it isn’t like that anymore. Some boomers fail to understand this.


This isn’t the only issue baby boomers (and some of generation X) have with millennials and Gen Z. They also hold a large amount of juvenoia towards new technology. Juvenoia is defined by wiktionary as “the fear and hostility directed by an older generation towards a younger one, or towards youth culture in general.” This has always existed. The famous Ancient Greek philosopher Socrates (born in 470 BC) once said, “Our youth nowadays has a strong desire for luxury, has bad manners, disdain for authority and no respect for the elderly.” Every generation thinks the ones below them are the worst. In my experience, the Baby Boomer generation seem to think this more than anyone. I believe that this is due to how rapidly technology has advanced. There is no denying that technology has increased more in the last 30-40 years than it ever has is history. The fact that boomers have experienced such a sudden explosion in technology and witness how it has essentially taken over is admittedly pretty scary. I do not blame them for not having an open mind to new technology and blaming it for all the youth and world’s problems. They didn’t grow up with this technology and sudden change must be hard to understand. But it is incredibly irritating that all the benefits of technology seem to be ignored. It’s exasperating that many boomers don’t seem to understand how different life is nowadays. Issues like climate change only came into the public eye into the 80s, and sadly, is only beginning to be taken seriously now. Because of this, they like to believe modern issues aren’t really that serious, since they didn’t experience it, it should be fine. The youths are just too spoiled! Times have changed. We aren’t spoiled just because some things are easier now. We have simply got different experiences, a different way of living, different problems that face our generation. They may be new problems (or simply unknown until now) but they are still problems. London is full of more types of people than ever, whether it is in terms of race, religion, gender, orientation or ability. These people have always existed, but it’s only now that there is enough freedom for these people to be themselves. And with more globalisation, there are more cultures packed into one city than ever before. This isn’t something to fear or dislike. This, along with the progression of technology is something to celebrate. If everyone were to stop caring about such things like other sexualities and races existing, then we could focus on the issues that really matter.

By Iman Colclough, Tolworth Girls' School,,,,,, census data