People love to rag on Millennials. According to popular media, people born after 1980 are universally privileged, entitled, lazy, and greedy. Their only hobbies are eating avocado toast and murdering things like fast-casual restaurants, diamonds, paper napkins, and bar soap. (Ever notice how the things Millennials are supposedly killing are all things that suck? The wine industry is getting a huge boost from us, too.) But now, in news that will surprise literally nobody under the age of 35, a new study indicates that we’re are actually the poorest generation to date.
According to the Pew Research Center, Millennials are the biggest population group on the planet. But 47 percent fewer have purchased homes than people of the same age in previous generations. The cost of home ownership has skyrocketed in recent years. Also, we all saw what happened with the crash in 2008. Home ownership doesn’t feel like the golden ring or the safe investment anymore.
Millennials are the poorest generation
The Pew Research Center reports that even though Millennials are the largest population group, there are comparatively few households in the U.S. that are considered to be “headed” by Millennials. Millennials head only approximately 28 million U.S. households. Families headed by Millennials are the most likely to live below the poverty line, too.
Seventeen million U.S. households live below the poverty line, according to Pew research. Of those, 5.3 million were Millennials. 4.2 million were Gen Xers. 5 million were Baby Boomers. But the number of Millennial households living under the poverty line is disproportionately high, given that there are only 28 million Millennial-headed households in the U.S.
A lot more people in this age group are single parents, too. In fact, according to Romper, since 2014 there have been more single mothers than there are married or cohabitating Millennial mothers. There’s nothing wrong with being a single parent, but it’s a heck of a lot more difficult for the parent.
Student loan debt is a monumental problem for Millennials
Millennials owe insane amounts of money for student loans. Tuition rates have tripled in the last 40 years, and wages have not. Since 2003, outstanding student loan balances have increased by 457 percent, according to Fox Business.
The amount of debt young people take on for school is staggering. In many cases, it’s just too much. And those high tuition fees don’t necessarily turn into well-paying jobs after graduation. Wages have stagnated, but tuition fees have skyrocketed.
But a lot of people don’t see that. They see modern people with things they didn’t have in their 20s and 30s, like flat-screen TVs and other technologies, and they assume Millennials are all wasting all their money on silly luxuries. But all TVs are flat now. If you have an old, box-shaped TV, even the Salvation Army won’t take it. TVs are different now. Jobs are different, too. Tuition rates are a lot different. The world has changed in a lot of ways, and Millennials are doing the best they can with what they’ve got.
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