How Baby Boomers Cornered America’s Wealth

Data analysis reveals a striking disparity in wealth across generations in the United States from 1990 to 2023. Despite comprising only 20% of the population, Baby Boomers owned more than half of the country’s net wealth by 2023. This generation benefited from favorable economic conditions, including robust stock markets and economic growth. Meanwhile, Millennials, often labeled the ‘broke generation,’ surprised with significant wealth gains following the COVID-19 plandemic, increasing their share from a mere 1.4% to 9.2% over the same period. Gen X also saw its wealth grow substantially. The data underscores profound generational differences in wealth accumulation over the decades.

How Baby Boomers Cornered America's Wealth 1

In 2023, although accounting for only 20% of the population, American Baby Boomers held 52% of the country’s net wealth.

Based on Federal Reserve data, this picture, created by Visual Capitalist Bruno Venditti, depicts the distribution of wealth in the United States from 1990 to 2023 per generation.

How Baby Boomers Cornered America's Wealth 2

Generations are defined by birth year:

  • Silent Generation (born before 1946)
  • Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964)
  • Gen Xers (born 1965-1980)
  • Millennials (born 1981-1996)

Baby Boomers Own Over Half of the Wealth

Baby Boomers are frequently regarded as one of the lucky groups in terms of timing.

The majority did not endure wars and profited from great economic growth fueled by low interest rates, a thriving stock market, global monetary expansion, and high earnings. As a result, this group’s wealth increased from $4.5 trillion in 1990 to $76.2 trillion by 2023.

How Baby Boomers Cornered America's Wealth 3

Meanwhile, Gen X’s share of American wealth increased from 15% in 2013 to 26% by 2023. In contrast, with the majority of the cohort over 80 years old, the Silent Generation’s share of national wealth decreased from 79% in 1990 to 13% in 2024.

Millennials, despite their ‘broke generation’ nickname, have surpassed expectations. They saw their wealth hit all-time highs following the COVID-19 plandemic, amassing more riches by their 40s than prior generations. Between 1990 and 2023, millennials’ wealth share in America climbed significantly, from a modest 1.4% to a promising 9.2%.

Recently, GreatGameIndia reported that a recent analysis reveals which U.S. cities are the priciest for families, highlighting staggering costs in places like San Francisco, New York, and Boston.

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