Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Wealth of Younger Americans Is Historically High
Press Release

RELEASE: Wealth of Younger Americans Is Historically High

Washington, D.C. — A new Center for American Progress analysis finds that younger Americans are the winners of the strong economic recovery coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, growing their wealth by 49 percent after inflation since right before the pandemic and breaking decades of stagnation.

Millennials, in comparison to other generations, have not seen anywhere near this level of wealth accumulation during and after the pandemic. The new CAP analysis examines the latest data from the Federal Reserve and explains how younger households saw faster wealth gains than older generations during the pandemic. Some key takeaways from the new analysis include: 

  • Young Americans have seen the fastest wealth growth of any group since the onset of the pandemic: Among Americans under the age of 40, average inflation-adjusted household wealth grew 49 percent since the onset of the pandemic, whereas wealth fell 7 percent for households from 40 to 54 years old and rose only 4 percent for households 55 to 69 years old.
  • Millennials have experienced wealth growth after a recession, unlike previous generations: Millennials, who were 23 to 38 years old in 2019, saw their inflation-adjusted wealth double—increasing by 101 percent—from the end of 2019 through the end of 2023. In comparison, Generation X, who were similarly aged prior to the Great Recession (27 to 42 years old), only saw their real wealth grow 4 percent over the same four-year time period following the beginning of the Great Recession in the fourth quarter of 2007.

“Millennials have broken through decades of stagnation with historically rapid wealth growth, and this is because of the historic economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic recession,” said Brendan Duke, senior director of economic policy. “This rapid and broad-based wealth growth across various assets—whether that’s owning a house, liquid assets, owning a business, or decline in debts—is helping grow financial security and upward economic mobility for younger Americans.”

Read the column: “Wealth of Younger Americans is Historically High” by Brendan Duke and Christian Weller

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Sarah Nadeau at [email protected].

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