How did World War 2 impact civilians?
America: WW2 opened up vast wartime industries, which completely revitalized the economy, opening thousands of jobs, and since the men were away at war, women stepped up to the plate. Without the war who knows how long the depression would have lasted. After the war as the men were returning from the war, a much larger than normal population increase began (Baby Boomers).
The rest of the world: With a few slight differences, much of the same could be said (Except for the USSR, although my brain is telling me to include it with the rest of the world, I'm not educated enough about it to give a definite answer).