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net worth for young households
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Charts of the Week: Some facts about millennials

The millennial generation generally includes those born from about 1981 to the mid-1990s, and so range in age today from their early 20s to late 30s. They represent the largest generation of Americans today. Below are three data points from a large amount of Brookings scholarship related to this cohort.

TODAY’S YOUNG HOUSEHOLDS HAVE LOWER NET WORTH THAN PRIOR GENERATIONS

In new analysis of Federal Reserve Board wealth data, William Gale, Hilary Gelfond, and Jason Fichtner observe that “to date, millennials have accumulated less wealth than most prior generations at the same point in life.” Median wealth, they note, “was about 25 percent lower in 2016 compared to similarly-aged households in 2007.” Among other recommendations, the authors say millennials should make retirement saving a higher priority.

net worth for young households

HOMEOWNERSHIP IS LOWER AMONG YOUNGER HOUSEHOLDS

“Young adults,” Jenny Schuetz writes, “are waiting longer to form households, start families, and buy their first homes.” Homeownership among those under 35—millennials—has since 2007 declined compared to those aged 35 to 44. Because of this demographic trend in which fewer people will benefit, Schuetz suggests we need “to rethink the policy bias towards homeownership.”

MILLENNIALS ARE THE MOST DIVERSE ADULT GENERATION IN US HISTORY

William Frey has documented America’s millennial generation in great detail in his report, “The Millennial Generation: A demographic bridge to America’s diverse future.” Among his many findings about the 75-million-strong cohort of Americans is the fact that at 44 percent minority, it is the most diverse generation of adults in U.S. history. “While its lasting legacy is yet to be determined,” Frey notes, “this generation is set to serve as a social, economic, and political bridge to chronologically successive (and increasingly) racially diverse generations.”

Chart: Millennials and seniors by race ethnicity 2015

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