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Monday, November 7, 2011

The Wealth Gap Between Young and Old

Younger people have different economic interests from older people, and this difference plays out in our chapters on interest groups, elections and campaigns, public opinion, and economic policy. The Pew Research Center has new evidence on this point:
Older adults have made dramatic gains relative to younger adults in their economic well being during the past quarter century, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of data from two key U.S. Census sources.

Trends in household wealth reveal the pattern most vividly. In 2009, the median net worth (all assets minus all debts) of households headed by an adult ages 65 or older was 42% more than that of their same-aged counterparts in 1984. By contrast, the net worth of a typical household headed by an adult under the age of 35 in 2009 was 68% less than that of their same-aged counterparts in 1984.