Why Millennials are Set to be the most Unequal Generation Yet

Why Millennials are Set to be the most Unequal Generation Yet

Why Millennials are Set to be the most Unequal Generation Yet

Currently, generation X holds the unflattering title of being the most unequal generation yet but forecasts project that this is soon going to change with millennials not only taking the mantle, but also increasing the gap between the have and have nots considerably. There are several grounds for this expectation, the topmost of which are discussed below. Read on to discover what gives experts certainty to confidently make such a claim.

The gender gap

In millennials, the gender gap has been effectively flipped. Feminist movements that began in the seventies and eighties have led to female empowerment, but at the expense of focus on the boy child. The efforts are now bearing fruit and for the first time in history, there are more women in higher education than men, most of whom are millennials. Not only that, these women are increasingly outperforming their male counterparts in virtually all categories.

Looking into the future, the picture becomes clear that more millennial women will be better empowered than men. Couple this with the fact that millennial men are more likely to commit suicide and it becomes apparent that the gender gap in terms of success is going to widen in favor of women in the coming years.

Student loans

Millennials from affluent backgrounds do not take student loans because their parents can afford tuition fees. For the less privileged, where the majority of millennials belong, student loans are the only feasible way to get a higher education and thereby enjoy a better standing when it comes to getting a job.

However, things do not always go as expected after college and many struggle to get good jobs that can enable them to comfortably service their loans. The duration millennials struggle with student loans is thus extended and all this while, those who did not take study loans get a head start in wealth accumulation and consolidation hence contributing towards inequality.

The statistical viewpoint

For a long time, 1% of society has retained a chokehold on the world’s wealth and this trend is projected to continue into the foreseeable future. Add to this the fact that millennials are statistically the biggest working generation, and it becomes clear why inequality will be more pronounced in millennials as a cohort. It boils down to sheer numbers as the 99% who are not in the elite class are now a significantly bigger demographic.

Less inherited money

Number-wise, millennials will be the biggest generation thus far to benefit the least from inherited resources. Most millennials have been brought up by working parents who struggled to pay off their mortgage, and raise their family in a dignified way but were unable to cross over into the top percentile of the world’s elite.

As a result, the majority of millennials have to start from scratch and the lucky few that come from affluent backgrounds essentially start their adult life building upwards from where their parents left off, or being groomed to take over the family business.

The role of entrepreneurship

The scenario described above does not negate the fact that millennials have a more concrete chance of becoming millionaires and billionaires. In fact, more of them will be able to successfully breach the elite club, but compared to the numbers of those that will not manage the feat, the overall picture remains grim. Statistics predict that even if more achieve success, they will still be a very small percentage of the bigger whole making gross inequality a reality still.

The ballooning cost of living

In the last four decades, the cost of education and housing has more than doubled. This presents a credible pointer regarding how the cost of living has increased exponentially. Increased living cost is not a bad thing in itself; however, the problem comes in when incomes do not increase at a similar rate which has been the case.

Courtesy of the high cost of living, millennials are settling later in life, and most of them still live with their parents. Buying a house is distant dream and some can only depend on a miracle to make it happen. In a nutshell, life easily becomes a mark-time affair to survive and the few who benefit from the minute lucrative opportunities get an opportunity to open up a wide success gap.

Employment vs. self-employment

In the U.S, only 2% percent of millennials can boast of being self-employed, leave alone being successful at it. In contrast, generation X has a self-employment rate of 8%.

Historically, those who decide to brave it out in self-employment and business stand a higher chance of breaking into the elite club of millionaires and billionaires. Judging from the small percentage of millennials taking such a route compared to the previous generation, it becomes easy to draw the conclusion that inequality will increase with a few managing to achieve spectacular success while the remaining 98% stick to employment and probably manage a middle class/upper middle class life.

When it comes to equality, the future does not look good for millennials but the good news is that there is still hope. Zuckerberg’s and other entrepreneurial narratives of success are testament that indeed, with the right approach and a dose of luck, it is possible for the average millennial to break away from the average lifestyle.

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