Gen X Saw Wealth Increase 50% During COVID — What’s Changed for Those Between Millennial and Boomer?

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Many Americans suffered great economic and financial turmoil during the pandemic — and some continue to suffer. But one generation had the opposite experience. Generation X, the group between baby boomers and millennials, has experienced a wealth boom in the U.S. since COVID-19 was declared a national emergency, Bloomberg reported.

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Gen X — people who are between the ages of 41 to 56 — suffered the most during the 2008 crisis, but the trend has dramatically shifted this time around, as their wealth has gone up 50% during the pandemic, according to Bloomberg. In addition, as of June 2021, they’ve held 28.6% of the nation’s wealth, up 3.9% from the first quarter of 2020, according to Fed data. In dollar value, that translates into a 50% gain in their aggregate net worth — the difference between a household’s assets and debts, according to Bloomberg.

Gen Xers also saw robust gains in equities and pension entitlements, while their share of the nation’s consumer debt declined, the data showed.

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“Another way to grasp the Gen X wealth boom: The cohort of about 34.6 million households added $13 trillion in assets over 15 months. That’s more than the $12.8 trillion added by Boomers, a group that includes 7.7 million more households,” Bloomberg reports.

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In addition, that generation also benefited more than the older Boomers from a rise in pension assets, as the youngest Boomers are 57 and many have retired — meaning they are drawing down on their pensions.

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Finally, another data point underlying the trend is that in five quarters, equity assets owned by Gen X households more than doubled to $10.5 trillion, according to Fed data. That amount is now more than 10 times the stock holdings of millennials — yet only about half Boomers’ equity holdings, Bloomberg says.

Last updated: October 7, 2021

About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.

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