Last year, Young Invincibles published the Financial Health of Young America, a report based on a cross-generational analysis of the financial security of Millennials today compared to Boomers when they were young adults. Our new update adds to this body of research by analyzing the continued economic challenges facing young adults between 2013 and 2016.
Despite overall growth in the economy during this three year period, the update shows that Millennials have not reaped the same benefits as the economy at large. Young adults still earn significantly lower incomes, own homes at lower rates, and have a dramatically lower net wealth than young adults 25 years ago.
The report update shows new, concerning trends for Millennials, including:
- For the first time, young adults who graduated college with student debt have negative net wealth. Today’s young adults with student debt have a median net wealth of -$1,900. That’s down from a median net wealth of $9,000 in 2013.
- Homeownership among young people continues to trend downward. A primary means for families to build and transfer wealth, homeownership among young people dipped by 3 percent. This trend is entirely driven by college graduates with student debt, as the rate of homeownership for young people with degrees but no debt, as well as those with no degree, remained stable.
- This financial decline has been especially devastating for young African Americans, regardless of student debt. Between 2013 and 2016, homeownership among all young African Americans declined 6 percent, median net wealth has dropped nearly 19 percent, and the retirement saving rate also declined.