The current state of the economy, including the pressure of inflation, has affected Americans of every age cohort. However, evidence shows that the economic conditions since President Joe Biden took office in 2021 are especially difficult for young people.
One recent survey found that nearly 75% of millennials are living paycheck to paycheck.
While millennials are not the only generation to face economic pressure, it appears to fall heaviest upon that specific age cohort.
Generation Z, which is the youngest adult generation, reports about two-thirds of their number living paycheck-to-paycheck. This is followed by similar, though slightly lower numbers among Generation X. Fewer than half of baby boomers report the same.
Millennials are also the most likely generation to report a “financially distressing event” over the past three years. While the overall average was 62% according to the poll, millennials clocked in at the highest rate among the generations, at 72%.
The high rate of inflation over the last two years has led to a number of difficult decisions for young people.
There are a number of factors that influenced the difficult economic decisions facing millennials. The generation is waiting longer than previous generations to get married and is having fewer kids.
In addition, prices driven by demand and inflation have pushed home prices much higher, making it harder for younger people to purchase homes.
Just 47.9% of U.S. millennials – the 72 million people born between 1981 and 1996 – owned homes in 2020.
At age 35, millennial home ownership hit 53% compared with 60% for Gen Xers and baby boomers, and almost 70% for pre-boomers https://t.co/ez728foZqH pic.twitter.com/jlCTfwaF75
— Bloomberg Opinion (@opinion) January 3, 2022
Pressure has also increased for millennials to move in with their parents. The trend accelerated during the pandemic and remains remarkably high. A full quarter of young people aged 25-34 live with their parents.
A survey last year found that Millennials owe an average of more than $100,000 in non-mortgage debt.
The survey found that the average debt load for 72% of Millennials was $117,000. The respondents had bad news to share. More than a quarter couldn’t afford gasoline. Almost a third could not afford their current mortgage.
Young people report having large average amounts of credit card debt, as well as significant student loan debt. More than half of the millennial generation stated that they owed between $10,000 and $99,999 in such educational loans.
More than 10% stated that they owed more than $100,000 while 40% of that age cohort said that they didn’t know the interest rate on their debt.