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29th Feb 2024

Millennials set to become the ‘richest generation in history’

Charlie Herbert

Millennials set to become the 'richest generation in history'

They may often be portrayed as a generation who can’t afford a house because of their love for avocado on toast and takeout coffees, but millennials are apparently on course to become the ‘richest generation in history’, according to a new study.

Those born between the early 1980s and the mid-to-late 1990s are set for a “seismic” windfall over the next two decades, thanks to the property assets accumulated by the generations before them.

In its 18th annual wealth report, real estate agent Knight Franks said some $90tn (£71tn) of assets will move between generations in the US, the Guardian reports.

The report states that this will make “affluent millennials the richest generation in history.”

According to the research, three-quarters of millennials expect their wealth to increase in 2024, compared to 53 per cent of baby boomers (the generation born between 1946 and 1964), 56 per cent of Gen X (1965 to 1980) and 69 per cent of Gen Z, the generation after millennials.

The claim of future riches may be a surprise for many millennials who have grown up and lived through some of the biggest economic shocks of recent decades, such as the 2008 financial crisis, Brexit, the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

Here in the UK, the cost of living crisis has made saving almost impossible for many as inflation has sent the price of food, gas and electric through the roof over the last two years.

Research from the Resolution Foundation last year found that British millennials still bear the “economic scars” of the 2008 financial crash and are still struggling to match the living standards of older generations.

This is in contrast to the US, where millennials have managed to “bounce back” and catch up with their elders thanks to income gains.

If any future wealth is reliant on the assets of older generations then this is simply going to mean wealth is inherited by those lucky enough to be born into wealthier families.

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