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Generation gap in the U.S. - statistics & facts

The past century has seen immense changes in technology, economics, and social structures within the United States. The effects of these changes can be seen in the growing generation gaps of the country's population. There are currently six living generations that make up the U.S. population. They are: the Greatest Generation (born before 1928); the Silent Generation (born between 1928 and 1945); the Baby Boomer Generation (from 1946 to 1964); Generation X (from 1965 to 1980); the Millennials, which make up the largest portion of the population (born from 1981 to 1996); and the youngest generation known as Generation Z (born from 1997 to 2012). The age range of the generation following 2012, however, has yet to be determined. With such a large spread in age, these generations were all born into a different America from one another..

Wealth and age

Perhaps the greatest divide between the generations in the United States is the variation of their respective budgets. Younger citizens tend to see higher unemployment rates than their elders from other generations. Additionally, when those from the younger generations can find gainful employment, they tend to earn less money than those from an older age group. Of course, it can be argued that one tends to earn less money at a younger age as they have yet to obtain enough experience or complete their education. This however, leads to another issue driving a wedge between the generations and their comparative wealth.

With the passage of time has come the steep increase in the prices in several areas. Higher education for example, has increased in price from just over 1,500 U.S. dollars a year per student for private universities in 1970, to over 32,000 in 2020. When the youth finish their education they are greeted by more debt than their predecessors ever had. When those same individuals wish to buy a home, as their parents and grandparents did at that age, they see another area with drastic price hikes. With their high unemployment, lower income, high debt from education, and high housing costs, it is no wonder the Millennial and Gen Z population isn't saving their money to buy a home.

A difference of opinion

As mentioned above, the younger generations have reason to worry about their finances and their place in the economy. In fact, Gen Z and Millennials tend worry about wages, unemployment, and housing costs more than the other generations. However, many across all generations have expressed an economic concern with inflation. The generations of the U.S. may have a great variety of opinion on matters of economics and societal issues, such as same-sex marriage, but there are a few matters that citizens of all ages tend to agree on. While politics may be greatly debated between them, a general distrust of the government seems to be a bridge across the ever widening generational gap.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 23 most important statistics relating to "Generation gap in the U.S.".


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