- Millennials are the generation born between 1981 and 1996.
- In some ways, their life is harder than it was for their parents at the same age.
- Many millennials are struggling financially and emotionally. Even online dating isn't as easy as it might seem.
Everyone likes to think that their life is hard, that their problems are bigger and less solvable than anyone else's.
But for millennials — the generation born between 1981 and 1996 — that might in fact be true. Many of these 20- and 30-somethings are struggling financially, emotionally, and even in the love department, in ways that their forebears weren't.
Below, we've listed some of the most significant ways in which life is harder for millennials than it was for their parents.
Millennials are less financially stable than previous generations
Business Insider's Linette Lopez reported on some disappointing data from the Washington, DC-based think tank Young Invincibles.
Among white Americans ages 25 to 34, median income decreased 21% between 1989 and 2013 — though it increased among Latinos, who started at a disadvantage.
What's more, as Steven Rattner described in a 2015 New York Times op-ed, millennials also have a lower net worth ($10,400 in 2013) than Gen X had ($18,200 in 1995).
Perhaps the most startling finding comes from a 2017 paper by social scientists at Harvard, Stanford, and University of California, Berkeley: Economic mobility has decreased significantly since the 1940s.
Specifically, about 90% of Americans born in the 1940s outearned their parents by the time they hit 30. That figure drops to 50% among Americans born in the 1980s. The authors attribute the change largely to growing income inequality.
Millennials are saddled with student debt — but a college education is more necessary than ever
Rattner also points out that "college is becoming less affordable even as it has become increasingly necessary." (According to the Young Invincibles data, even college grads with debt earn more than people without a degree.)
Between 1993 and 2015, average tuition increased 234% — when the inflation rate was just 63%. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 46% of grads left college with debt in 1995, compared to 71% in 2015.
That makes it harder for millennials to hit those traditional "adult" milestones, like having kids or buying a house.
Millennial men are more likely to live at home with their parents than previous generations
Pew Research Center data reveals that, among men ages 18 to 34, living at home with parents has been the most common living arrangement since 2009. (Women in this age group are more likely to be living with a spouse or a romantic partner than they are to be living with their parents.)
The main culprit seems to be unemployment. Pew reports that research suggests employed young men are less likely to live at home than unemployed young men, and employment among young men has decreased significantly in the last few decades.
Living at home isn't a bad thing per se, but it can make it harder for millennials to feel independent.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider