Young Adults Have it Tougher

About seven-in-ten Americans think young adults today have a harder time than their parents’ generation when it comes to saving for the future (72%), paying for college (71%) and buying a home (70%), according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in October 2021. These findings come at a time when younger Americans are more likely than previous generations to have taken on student debt with tuition costs steadily rising, and to face an affordable housing crisis as rent and housing prices have grown markedly faster than incomes in the last decade.

There’s less consensus when it comes to assessing labor market outcomes for young people today compared with their parents’ generation. Similar shares say finding a job is easier (40%) as say it is harder (39%) for young adults today. A smaller share of U.S. adults (21%) say it’s about the same.

While majorities across all age groups say young adults have it harder when it comes to buying a home, saving for the future and paying for college, Americans ages 18 to 29 are more likely than older age groups to say this. More than eight-in-ten adults younger than 30 (84%) say buying a home is harder for young adults today, while 80% say the same about saving for the future and paying for college. Among those ages 30 to 49, 72% say buying a home and paying for college is harder for young adults today, and 74% say this about saving for the future. Those 50 and older are the least likely to say these measures are harder for younger generations to reach, with 63% saying this about buying a home, 67% saying this about saving for the future, and 66% saying this about paying for college.

Works Cited:

Sechopoulos, Stella. “Most in the U.S. Say Young Adults Today Face More Challenges than Their Parents’ Generation in Some Key Areas.” Pew Research Center, Pew Research Center, 28 Feb. 2022, www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2022/02/28/most-in-the-u-s-say-young-adults-today-face-more-challenges-than-their-parents-generation-in-some-key-areas/.

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