According to analysis by the Pew Research Center released Monday, older Americans are now 47 times richer than the younger generation, marking the largest wealth gap ever recorded between the two age groups, CNN reports.
While it's typical for older generations to hold more wealth than younger ones who've had less time to save, the gap between the two age groups has widened rapidly. In 1984, households headed by people age 65 and older were worth just 10 times the median net worth of households headed by people 35 and younger. The analysis reflects the impact of the economic downturn, which has hit young adults particularly hard.
More are pursuing college or advanced degrees, taking on debt as they wait for the job market to recover. Others are struggling to pay mortgage costs on homes now worth less than when they were bought in the housing boom. Some have started to wonder if the government should partially reallocate the retirees health care resources to the young adults who are hurting more than them. The net worth of older households is $170,494, comparing to the younger age group figure of $3,662.