The Widening Wealth Gap Between Young and Old

Washington Post:  A new paper by economists at the St. Louis Fed’s Center for Household Financial Stability shows “evidence of a growing wealth gap that few people are talking about — the gap between the young and the old.”

“Everyone’s income and wealth tend to follow a kind of natural pattern during their life … You can see these trends in this incredible graph below, from their paper. People born in different years (1901, 1904, 1907 and so on) were surveyed at various times between 1989 and 2013 about their median family income. The chart below shows their age on the horizontal axis, and the median family income they reported making at the time on the vertical axis.”

“The period of time in which someone is born can also have a dramatic effect on their wealth compared with other generations. The winners of this historical jackpot appear to be those who were born between 1930 and 1945 and came of age after World War II, who are sometimes called The Silent Generation.”

“In just 25 years, the wealth gap between young and old people has yawned wider. In 1989, old families had 7.6 times as much median wealth as young families. By 2013, it had grown to 14.7 times.”

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