One Generation Controls the Nation’s Wealth, but That is Changing

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By a wide margin, Baby Boomer households control more wealth than any other generation, according to market research firm Packaged Facts in the brand new report The Financial Services Market: Affluent and High Net Worth Consumers, 8th Edition.

Packaged Facts estimates that in 2019 Baby Boomer households garner 54% of total U.S. household net worth, followed by Generation X and Silent Generation/Senior households. Well behind, Millennial households contribute only 4% of total U.S. household net worth.

Despite current trends, Packaged Facts’ research reveals that major generational shifts are underway:

  • Total Millennial net worth has grown 500% from 2010 to 2019, a period marked by more Millennials entering adulthood and by the aging of adult Millennials, which translates to more earning and asset-building power.
  • At the other end of the spectrum, while total Silent Generation/Senior wealth remained steady, this generation’s share of total net worth declined from 34% to 21%, as more of these adults reach the end of their lifespans and their wealth is passed down to other generations. This in turn influences growth in Baby Boomer and Generation X wealth, as these households received assets passed down to them from parents and/or other relatives.
  • But while Baby Boomers have begun to retire (the first Baby Boomers reached the age of 65 in 2011), many Generation X members have entered their prime earning and asset-building years, which helps explain the 181% growth in Generation X wealth from 2010 to 2019.

Amongst the upper crust, Packaged Facts found that broader generational wealth trends are also reflected in affluent and high net worth generational trends. Packaged Facts defines affluent Americans as those with a household income of at least $150K.

Packaged Facts reports that among affluent and high net worth households, wealth share has shifted away from the Silent Generation/Seniors and toward Generation X and Millennial households, while Baby Boomer wealth share has remained relatively consistent.

Among affluent households, as of 2019, Baby Boomers have almost 60% of total household net worth, followed by Generation X and Silent Generation households, while Millennial households contribute only 2%. From 2010 to 2019, Generation X affluent net worth jumped from $4 trillion to more than $17 trillion, increasing this generation’s affluent net worth share significantly.

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