Dow Jones Industrial Average

1950-1960's Post-WWII Baby Boomer Generation

The years of the Great Depression and WWII were tough for families wanting to raise children in the difficult circumstances that surrounded them. The end of WWII began one of largest baby booms in history, as families began to look forward again. Men began to re-enter the workforce and earn wages, and women were able to take back their role of bringing up children (those who prefered to) instead of serving the war effort in production-line factories. Marriage became the norm again. The rise in child births would last for another 20 years; the average fertility span of a woman married after the war. As the customary family unit returned and this new "Baby Boomer" generation came of age, the economy--long stuck in a plateau--returned to growth.

In nominal terms, the end of WWII was a low point for the Dow Jones as it stood at 150.53 on 24th January 1945, but inflation-adjusted it continued a decline for another 4 years as productivity from the war effort diminished. Real inflation-adjusted growth of the Dow finally took off in 1949 from a price of 160.62 on June 14th and began a trend that lasted until the late 60's, reaching a high of 1001.11 on 9th February 1966, a 523.3% gain or 372% inflation-adjusted. This averaged an inflation-adjusted 9.8% return per year for investors, minus dividends. It was also one of the longest bear markets in the 21st century, rivalled only by the 1983-2000 bear.