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Generation Debt: Shock Data Expose How Broke Millennials Really Are

Last Updated September 23, 2020 12:46 PM
Steven Buchko
Last Updated September 23, 2020 12:46 PM

By CCN.com: Piles of student debt, an underperforming job market, and a rising cost of living are pushing millennials’ average net worth down, and down fast.

According to an eye-opening Deloitte study  on consumer behavior:

“Millennials are dramatically financially worse off than previous cohorts with a 34 percent decrease in their net worth since 1996.”

Because of this lower economic status, millennials are waiting until later in life to accomplish what was once the great, American dream – getting married, buying a house, and starting a family.

millennial economic statistics
Millennial net worth is 34 percent less than preceding generations. | Source: Deloitte

College Graduates Are Stuck in the Loan Repayment Rat Race

Student loan debt is at an all-time high, reaching a collective $1.6 trillion this year . Almost two-thirds of millennials who graduated in 2017 did so with loans.

And while the debt for people under 30 rose 160 percent from 2004 to 2017, the average household income failed to reach even seven percent  growth. Currently, the average loan debt of a graduate sits around $30,000. Paying off that large of a sum often means putting marriage and a family on hold to focus on your career.

Don’t worry if you have trouble paying off student loans, though. You’ll only lose the licensing you that put you under crippling debt in the first place. No big deal, right?

The Housing Market Is Not Millennial Friendly

Having to pay rent, bills, car payments, and student loan debts, millennials are finding it near impossible to save enough money for a down payment on a house. Half of all millennials cite this reason as the number one obstacle  they face preventing them from even considering homeownership. It’s no wonder that nearly one in four  millennials choose to live with their parents.

Graph of millennial home ownership concerns
Millennials, both wealthy and not, feel as if the housing market has reached an unobtainable level. | Source: Redfin

Millennial Poverty Is Affecting the Economy

Placing marriage and homeownership on the backburner inevitably means putting a pause on having kids as well. The U.S. birth rate is close to an all-time low  primarily due to a lack of desire among millennials to start a family. While we’re not feeling the effects of this drop quite yet, it could be devasting to the economy within the next few years.

U.S. birth rate chart
The U.S. birth rate is closing in on record lows. | Source: Google/World Bank

Millennials are opting for smaller families, if starting them at all, because they are living closer to metropolitan areas. This ideal is vastly different than the large family in a suburban, white picket fence house that Baby Boomers grew to value. As older generations die off or attempt to downsize, we could be left with a suburban and rural housing vacuum.

Another potential housing market crash is on the horizon if we don’t solve this problem quickly. As we saw in 2008, when the housing market plummets, the rest of the economy tends to follow.