Western Brooklyn

Wealth Gap Between Young And Old Widest Ever

(Image by Steve Errico/Getty Images from Daily News)

According to an Associated Press article in the Daily News, the difference in wealth between younger Americans and those 65 or older is currently the largest it has ever been.

While job opportunities for young people have dried up in the last 25 years, the median net worth of those 65 or older has increased by 42 percent. During the same period, the median wealth of those under 35 years old has decreased 68 percent, according to census data released today. The results were adjusted for inflation

While wealth is generally accumulated over a lifetime, the disparity in wealth between old and young is double what it was in 2005 and close to five times what it was in 1984.

From Daily News:

The analysis reflects the impact of the economic downturn, which has hit young adults particularly hard. More are pursuing college or advanced degrees, taking on debt as they wait for the job market to recover. Others are struggling to pay mortgage costs on homes now worth less than when they were bought in the housing boom.

The report, coming out before the Nov. 23 deadline for a special congressional committee to propose $1.2 trillion in budget cuts over 10 years, casts a spotlight on a government safety net that has buoyed older Americans on Social Security and Medicare amid wider cuts to education and other programs, including cash assistance for poor families.

Someone’s net worth includes things like a person’s home, possessions and savings. The older someone is, the more likely it is they’ve paid off their mortgage. Median means that the numbers presented are for the middle or average household in each group.

The 47-1 difference in wealth is believed by many to be the highest in history, even predating available census data.

What do you think would create more jobs for today’s young people?


Comment policy


  1. One way to create jobs is to invest in productive capital such as equipment and infrastructure. Invest your money into areas of your local economy that need help or are struggling to meet demand; this doesn’t have to be a huge deal to make a difference.

    As someone who worked hard for five years to become totally debt free and is now facing the loss of a good job to outsourcing I am thankful that I was able to save some money after paying the last debt off. Hopefully it will be enough for me to fund my start-up (hopefully located on 18th Ave. in Bensonhurst) and with good luck after some time, hire some good local people. The key with being unemployed by others is that you get a windfall of time to work for your self, but it only works when you don’t have any big obligations outside of rent/utilities/food/basic transportation. This is by no means a glamorous lifestyle, but living on the basics has been the way I got to where I am today.

    People in my generation have to accept the fact that they will live at a lower standard of living than their parents (unless they are first generation Americans) but they must realize that getting angry at this fact will do nothing in the long run to improve their prospects. People my age have to make choices to delay pleasure if they want to win. It is hard, but I would respect anyone who does it without question.


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