Millennials Are Winning the Post-Pandemic Wealth Race

By: Anneken Tappe · April 26, 2024 · Reading Time: 3 minutes

Millennial Money

Millennials have faced their fair share of financial turmoil in their lifetimes. Even so, their wealth is growing at a historic pace.

Millennials have weathered multiple market bubbles and recessions, and are presently faced with a housing and childcare affordability crisis, as well as the highest debt level of any age group in the U.S. But it’s not all bad. For those who were invested in the stock market during the height of the pandemic, the eye-watering selloffs of March 2020 were rewarded with a massive market rally.

Wealth Winners

The average wealth of households under the age of 40 was $259,000 at the end of 2023, a near-50% increase from 2019, according to an analysis by the Center for American Progress using Federal Reserve data. While this broad group also includes the younger Gen Z, millennials specifically saw their inflation-adjusted wealth more than double during this period.

For comparison, households aged 40 to 54 saw their inflation-adjusted wealth fall 7%, per the same analysis, while the wealth of those aged 55 to 69, and 70 and older increased by 4% and 15%, respectively.

Historical Comparison

The surge in wealth among millennials is unprecedented, growing at the fastest clip since the Fed began collecting such wealth data in 1989.

This growth can be attributed in large part to millennials’ real wage gains. As the largest working generation in the U.S., millennials have been well-positioned to benefit from the strong job market of recent years. The growing popularity of investing among younger generations likely played a role as well given the robust stock market rally following the height of the pandemic.

On top of that, millennials stand to benefit from an enormous wealth transfer, with more than $90 trillion in assets predicted to change hands over the coming two decades.

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