Analyzing data from 1989 to 2013, researchers Christina M. Gibson-Davis and Christine Percheski compare the wealth, income, assets, and debt of two types of households–those with children under age 18 (child households), and those with a householder or spouse aged 65 or older and no children under age 18 (elderly households).
“In 1989, elderly households had a median net worth that was approximately 3.8 time that of child households ($106,647 vs. $27,889) by 2013, their median net worth was 12.5 times as high ($154,998 vs. $12,413).”
The median net worth of elderly households grew 45 percent between 1989 and 2013, after adjusting for inflation, while the net worth of child households fell 56 percent.
“The declining absolute and relative wealth holdings of most families with children is likely to impede the human capital development of the next generation of Americans,” the researchers conclude. “We posit that such under-investments in children are likely to have negative long-term societal consequences for the United States.”
Russell, C. (2018, August). Wealth Gap Grows between Young and Old. American Consumers Newsletter.