Millennials Lag Well Behind Boomers in Amassing Wealth

Generation controls only 4.6% of US wealth, while boomers have 53%
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 9, 2020 5:15 PM CDT
Millennials Have More Education But Less Wealth Than Their Elders
A bank's safety deposit boxes.   (Getty/Petrovich9)

Millennials are better educated than earlier generations and represent the biggest chunk of the workforce. But the financial rewards have not yet come to them. Federal Reserve data show the generation held 4.6% of the nation's wealth in the first half of the year, CNBC reports. The silent generation has about 17%, and Gen X controls a solid 25%. Baby boomers are hanging on to the lion's share, more than 53% of the nation's wealth. Boomers have had longer to build wealth, of course, but millennials are well behind where boomers were at their age: boomers accounted for about 21% of US wealth in 1989, when they were roughly the age millennials are now.

The pandemic hasn't helped. Scores of the low-wage jobs that have disappeared this year were held by millennials, as well as by women and minority employees. Wealth also is becoming more concentrated at the top, the data show, with a 10% increase in the wealth held by the richest 10% of US households since the 1980s. That sector now controls 70% of the wealth—or $77.3 trillion, per Newsweek. The recent stock market gains haven't much helped millennials, whose median age is 32, per CNBC; they own 2% of total equity in corporations and mutual fund shares, while boomers have over 55%. (Read more millennials stories.)

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