StatCan Research Beat: Economic well-being across generations

Are millennials better or worse off?

Catalogue number: Catalogue number: 89-20-0004

Issue number: 2019002

Release date: April 18, 2019

StatCan Research Beat – Economic well-being across generations: Are millennials better or worse off? - Transcript

(The Statistics Canada symbol and Canada wordmark appear on screen with the title: "Economic well-being across generations: Are millennials better or worse off?")

Elizabeth Richards: Hi, I’m Elizabeth Richards. Our team just published a new study comparing financial outcomes for millennials to young gen X-ers.

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(The text "How are millennials doing? Are they doing better or worse than the previous generation (Generation X)?" appears on screen.)

Generally, millennials were better off than young gen X-ers, so gen X-ers when they were at the same age, between 25 and 34.

(The text "Millennials: Born between 1981 and 2000" appears on screen.)

(The text "Generation X: Born between 1965 and 1980" appears on screen.)

Millennials had higher incomes, assets and net worth, which means your total household assets minus your debts. However, millennials were more indebted, so they carried more mortgage debt than we’ve seen for previous young generations.

(The text "How much more mortgage debt?" appears on screen.)

Millennials who were between 30 and 34 who had invested in the housing market owed 2.5 times their after-tax incomes in mortgage debt. That means a family with an after-tax income of $100,000 owed $250,000. And to give you a comparison for baby boomers, the levels were comparable, so that same family had about $100,000 in mortgage debt.

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I do want to flag the disparities or the differences among millennials. Some millennials were considerably better off than others. Those who invested in the housing market were better off. Their median net worth reached $260,000 relative to $18,000 for renters. Millennials in Toronto and Vancouver were also better off. Median net worth in Toronto reached $145,000, which is about double what we saw at the national level.

Put a different way, millennials who were the wealthiest, in the top 10% of the net worth distribution, had accumulated 55% of total wealth for that generation.

I hope I have encouraged you to read our full study. Take a look at our website.

(Text on screen below presenter: "www.statcan.gc.ca")

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