Monday, March 26, 2018

Fun Facts about the Generations

An article in the Monthly Labor Review provides a comprehensive look at the spending patterns of Americans by generation. BLS economist Geoffrey D. Paulin has done yeoman's work in analyzing and comparing the demographic characteristics and spending patterns of each generation using data from the 2016 Consumer Expenditure Survey. From average spending to shares of aggregate spending, he not only provides the details but also analyzes them. Want to know what share of the food dollar is devoted to eating out? The share is highest among Millennials (47 percent) and drops with each succeeding generation to a low of 30 percent among the GI generation. Who spends the most on entertainment? Not Millennials, who spend less on entertainment than every generation except GIs.

Here's one tidbit from the report. Take a look at the variation by generation in the estimated market value of owned homes in 2016...

Estimated market value of owned home
All owners: $162,700
Millennials: $65,900
Gen Xers: $173,400
Boomers: $203,400
Silent: $205,500
GI: $121,200

The article defines the generations as follows: Millennials, born in 1981 or later (average age, 27.5); Generation X, born from 1965 to1980 (average age 42.9); Boomers, born from 1946 to 1964 (average age, 59.7); Silents, born from 1929 to 1945 (average age 76.7); GIs, born in 1928 or earlier (average age 90.2).

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Monthly Labor Review, Fun Facts about Millennials: Comparing Expenditure Patterns from the Latest through the Greatest Generation

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