I’ve covered the topic of generational wealth before, and here’s the latest data on how each generation was doing at roughly the same age. The data is updated through the 3rd quarter of 2022.
The main takeaways:
- Millennials are roughly equal in wealth per capita to Baby Boomers and Gen X at the same age.
- Gen X is currently much wealthier than Boomers were at the same age: about $100,000 per capita or 18% greater
- Wealth has declined significantly in 2022, but the hasn’t affected Millennials very much since they have very little wealth in the stock market (real estate is by far their largest wealth category)
What a great graph, good food for thought over the holidays…
A better idea might not be absolute wealth but comparison with the previous generation. The American Dream is, essentially, “Do better than your parents did.”
– Boomers, compared to their parents, did pretty well.
– Gen X might be richer in absolute terms but they look forward to a future without lifetime corporate employment, defined benefit pensions, and social security, so it sure doesn’t feel very secure.
– Millennials…. all that, without the benefit of the asset boom years; only stagnation.
Reblogged this on Utopia, you are standing in it!.
Can you do this for the median of each cohort at different ages?
Thanks for this. It’s a really important graph.
I’m wondering out loud because I doubt there is good data in this, but how much of millenial wealth accrual is simply direct cash transfer from boomer parents? I’m an older millenial (39) and have slowly come to learn that everyone in my cohort who owns a home had the down payment (or more) given to them by their parents. People I know without family wealth to pass on this way don’t own homes. This is anecdotal of course but true in 100% of the dozens of cases I’m aware of.
You state that most of millenial wealth is in real estate, and home prices have been prohibitively high throughout millenial earning years. If this is generalizable, it would change our interpretation of the story presented here significantly. Wealth earned vs wealth inherited are very different things if you care about a fair economy.
I doubt there is a good way to track this over time but is the next question that comes to mind when I see this data.
Yet somehow I don’t see this including purchasing power, dilution of quality in certain goods or other complex factors. “Wealth” without a relationship to the environment of choices is a meaningless value, is this in relation to asset value and stocks appreciation?
I also don’t understand your use of “Human Capital” to the asset side of the equation for millenials (as discussed a few articles back), seems like a lot of speculation.
Perhaps you can correct my misconceptions.
per capita is useless. try median.
are these wealth numbers inflation adjusted? eg is this adjusted to reflect values in today’s dollars or just direct dollars for the time period of measurement?
The graph includes a few lines of text at the top that you should check out.