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Why Is Today’s Youth Making 68% Less Than Their Counterparts in 1984?

Troubled Generational Economic Gap: Today’s Youth Have A Net Worth of 68% Less Than They Did in 1984

The latest Pew Research results are out, and the despondent youth have facts to back up their complaints. Pew surveyed the heads of households in 1984 and again in 2009 and tracked startling results.

Today’s heads of households under the age of 35 have a net worth of 68% less than their counterparts in 1984. And those 65+ has seen their net worth increase by 47%.

As a result of these divergent trends, in 2009 the typical household headed by someone in the older age group had 47 times as much net wealth as the typical household headed by someone in the younger age group–$170,494 versus $3,662 (all figures expressed in 2010 dollars). —The Rising Age Gap in Economic Well-Being

Why the huge economic gap from ’84 to ’09? Pew research suggests that the combination of delayed entry into the labor market, larger college debt than their ’84 counterparts and negative home equity has killed opportunities for wealth accumulation.

Also widening the economic gap is the slow rise in income increases for today’s youth;  a meager increase of 27% in a quarter of a century. Other age groups experienced a range from a 40% to a 109% income increase.

Median net worth of 35 and younger falls 55% in four years. The great recession hits the youngest the hardest,  widening the generational gap significantly in half of a decade.

So what does this say about today’s youth? Earlier this year I wrote about today’s youth and our limited job opportunities, and called on employers to hire with vision.  My generation is called Generation Limbo,  the generation that is lost between childhood and adulthood, unable to attain wealth, independence and justice. Is there any hope for my generation?  My answer? Yes, there is hope.

I strongly believe that my generation is the solution to this Great Recession. That with jobs and better economic opportunities,  my generation will bring innovation. Further job creation. An uptick of societal morale. Abundance. Hope. Wealth. Investment.

Right now, thousands of my generation are changing the way they live. We are living sustainably to get out of debt. We are working multiple part-time jobs to support the start of our families. We are voting to create a better world which values education, economic freedom, protection and a healthy life.  We are protesting in parks, designing the next iPhone and living homeless on the streets.  We are buying our first home, looking for a full-time job in our career and consolidating debt.  We are becoming the solution to the Great Recession.

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