Visualizing US Wealth By Generation

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by Tyler Durden
Monday, Jul 01, 2024 - 10:40 PM

In 2023, American Baby Boomers owned 52% of the country’s net wealth despite comprising only 20% of the population.

Based on Federal Reserve data, this graphic, via Visual Capitalist's Bruno Venditti, illustrates the distribution of wealth in the United States from 1990 to 2023 by generation.

Generations are defined by birth year:

  • Silent Generation (born before 1946)

  • Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964)

  • Gen Xers (born 1965-1980)

  • Millennials (born 1981-1996)

Baby Boomers Own Over Half of the Wealth

Baby Boomers are often considered one of the luckier generations in terms of timing.

Most did not experience wars and benefited from strong economic growth driven by falling interest rates, a roaring stock market, global monetary expansion, and high earnings. Consequently, this group’s wealth grew from $4.5 trillion in 1990 to $76.2 trillion in 2023.

Meanwhile, Gen X’s share of American wealth rose from 15% in 2013 to 26% in 2023. In contrast, with most of the cohort over 80 years old, the Silent Generation saw its share of the national wealth total drop from 79% in 1990 to 13% in 2024.

Contrary to their ‘broke generation’ label, millennials have defied expectations. They saw their wealth reach historic highs after the COVID-19 pandemic, amassing more wealth by their 40s than previous generations. In a significant leap, millennials’ share of wealth in America increased from a modest 1.4% to a promising 9.2% between 1990 and 2023.

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out this graphic, which shows the retirement savings that Americans currently hold.