No, Millennials Not Poorer than Previous Generations

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Key Highlights

  • Millennials own some 5% of all wealth, lower share than previous generations
  • BUT Millennials have same inflation-adjusted financial assets per capita than prior generations at same age

Millennials Accumulating Assets at Same Rate of Gen-Xers & Boomers

If you look at the rate Millennials are accumulating financial assets at comparable ages of Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers, you can determine that Millennials are on an equal track with both of these now older demographic groups.

All of their respective accumulation track rates are  totally in line with each other up to age 35, according to FRED, Fed Distribution Account ( 

Millennials Doing Just Fine in Inflation-Adjusted Net Worth Per Capita Also

Millennials appear to be on the same track as both Gen Xers and Boomers based on when all the generations were the same age.

Actually, again according to FRED, Fed Distribution Accounts,it appears as though Millennials may track ahead of Boomer wealth on a per capita basis in just a few years.

From Q4 2019 to Q4 4 2020, Millennials added +$1T in total net worth, a 20% growth rate in wealth.  If Millennials continue accumulating a 13% growth rate per capita in their wealth over the next three years, they will match Boomer per capita wealth.

Household Incomes Tell Similar Story

According to inflation-adjusted income by households under 35, incomes for all three generations have been rising since 1989.

Millennials of all educational levels have higher inflation-adjusted incomes than 30 years ago, according to OfDollars& Data’s Survey of Consumer Finances.    The problem, of course, is that even with higher incomes, all generations have to pay higher living costs.

Non-Mortgage Debt is THE Big Difference Between Generations

For Millennial households with some college education, not those without any college education, non-mortgage debt is a bigger nightmare for Millennials than any other generation.

This makes complete sense since Millennials have been taking on larger amounts of student loans since educational costs have gone through the roof. Some student loan debt is six-figure student loan debt

Likewise, struggling Millennials, Millennials without any higher education, have seen a big decrease in wealth primarily due to subpar employment prospects and frozen wage levels


When looking at solutions to help both college educated and non-college educated Millennials, some recommend improving employment opportunities, increasing wage standards, partial student loan forgiveness and/or tax credits.


Thanks to OfDollarsandData. 

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