Fed Concludes Millennials Are Just Like Their Parents... Only Poorer

new research report published by the Federal Reserve concludes that millennials - those born between the years 1981 in 1997 - aren’t that different from their parents when it comes to spending money, with one exception: they are poorer, generally as a result of them "coming-of-age" during the financial crisis.

The paper "Are Millennials Different?", authored by Christopher Kurz, Geng Li, and Daniel J. Vine who found a nice way of saying that millennials are constantly the butt of jokes and media attention (the generation has “received considerable attention from economists and the popular press”, the paper reads) and sought to compare and contrast the socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of millennials with other generations.

After examining Millennials’ income, personal savings, and consumption expenditures, the report concluded that “millennials do not appear to have preferences for consumption that differ significantly from those of earlier generations.”

The study was done across races:

... Incorporated a good cross-section of educational backgrounds:

... examined marriage rates:

And looked at real average annual expenditures per household by both age and generation:

The report also analyzed the average age of vehicle buyers and heads of households:

Finally, it used data like real income by year and generation:

... And spending among generations:

The Fed researchers found that average age and income were the two factors that explained most of the difference in spending.

"It primarily is the differences in average age and the differences in average income that explain a large and important portion of the consumption wedge between millennials and other cohorts," the researchers conclude.

And so, the running joke about millennials preferring experiences to things doesn’t seem to hold true; they only wish they had more cash:

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