Millennials own less than 5% of all U.S. wealth

Despite making up the largest portion of the workforce, millennials controlled just 4.6% of U.S. wealth through the first half of 2020, according to data from the Federal Reserve.

Baby boomers control over 53% of the country's wealth, while Gen X accounts for just over 25% and the silent generation holds around 17%, according to the Fed's data, which breaks down U.S. wealth in the beginning of 2020 by age, class and race. 

While it's not abnormal for older generations to be wealthier than younger generations — they have had longer to earn money and accumulate assets, after all — the Fed's data also shows that millennials have far less wealth than boomers did at the same age. 

In 1989, when baby boomers were around the same age as millennials are today, they controlled 21% of the nation's wealth. That's almost five times as much as what millennials own today.

Many previous reports have found that millennials are, on average, worse off financially than their parents and grandparents were at the same age, despite being better educated.

And the coronavirus pandemic is exacerbating the inequality. While every corner of the economy has been impacted, job losses have been particularly heavy on low-wage workers in industries like retail, education and hospitality. Millennial workers — as well as women and minorities — make up a disproportionate share of these workforces.

Additionally, millennials have largely missed out on the gains made in the stock market over the past few months. They own just 2% of total equity in corporations and mutual fund shares. Baby boomers, meanwhile, own over 55%.

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