Millennials Gain Share of Consumer Spending Income by Generation
This is the third factoid in a series of four factoids, using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2017 Consumer Expenditure Survey to show the shift over the last four years in consumer spending among the five adult generations as Millennials continue to gain a greater share.
The Consumer Expenditure Survey estimates mean/average consumer unit income per generation, as opposed to median income. Gen Xers have experienced the highest average income (before taxes) over the last four years – topping at $95,168 per household in 2016, the highest mean household income of any generation in history. Even with a slight dip from 2016 to $95,032 in 2017, average income for Generation X has increased 12.8 percent since 2014. Although Millennial households earned, on average, 54.2 percent less than Generation X and 28.1 percent less than Baby Boomers in 2017, average income among Millennials has increased 21.1 percent over the last four years and will continue to increase as younger Millennials enter the workforce and form households.
Although the Baby Boomer and Generation X households still earn considerably more than Millennials, the percent of total U.S. income is shifting each year in a positive direction for Millennials compared to older generations. Since 2015, Generation X has decreased its share of total income alongside Baby Boomers, while Millennials continue to grow. Income from Millennials now account for 21 percent of total U.S. income compared to 16.2 percent in 2014.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey 2017
*Includes income from all sources - wages, government subsidies, social security, pensions etc.