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Millennials' Total Net Worth Nearly Triples in 4 Years

Written by Julie Ryan Evans | Published on 6/24/2024


Millennials often get a bad rap for being lazy, but their net worth begs to differ.

When you add the numbers — or subtract them to calculate net worth (assets minus liabilities) — millennials are crushing it financially. Our latest DepositAccounts study found this generation’s total net worth (a key indicator of financial health) nearly tripled in the past four years.

We also dug deeper into wealth and debt among millennials and how they compare to other generations. Here are our key findings.


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Key findings

  • Millennials' total net worth rose 199.2% in four years. In the fourth quarter of 2019 — before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic — millennials had a total net worth of $4.51 trillion. By the fourth quarter of 2023, this figure skyrocketed to $13.50 trillion. The highest year-over-year percentage increase in this period was between the fourth quarters of 2019 and 2020, when their net worth rose by 59.2%, or $2.67 trillion.
  • In that same period, millennial households’ average net worth increased by 140.4%. DepositAccounts calculates that the average net worth among millennial households is $305,295 as of the fourth quarter of 2023. That’s a significant jump from researchers’ estimates of $127,005 in the fourth quarter of 2019.
  • Millennials hold 39.8% of their wealth in real estate — the highest among the categories tracked. Additionally, 14.3% of their net worth is in pension entitlements, 14.1% in corporate equities and mutual fund shares, 8.9% in consumer durables and 8.8% in private businesses.
  • At the end of 2023, millennials had the highest debt of all generations, totaling $7.09 trillion, closely followed by Gen Xers at $7.06 trillion. 68.4% of millennials' debt is tied up in home mortgages, while 29.8% is in consumer credit. Millennials also carry the highest consumer credit debt, totaling $2.11 trillion — 97.1% higher than that held by baby boomers.
  • Most of the country’s net worth belonged to older generations at the end of 2023. Baby boomers own 51.8% of the country’s wealth ($76.17 trillion), while Gen Xers own 25.7%, or $37.77 trillion. Millennials, by comparison, own just 9.2% of America’s wealth.

Millennials’ total net worth nearly triples

Call them entitled or make fun of their penchant for avocado toast if you will, but millennials (ages 27 to 42 in 2023) have fared quite well financially in recent years. So well, in fact, their total net worth rose 199.2% between the fourth quarter of 2019 and the fourth quarter of 2023 — from $4.51 trillion to $13.50 trillion.

The biggest year-over-year percentage spike in this period happened between the fourth quarters of 2019 (before the pandemic started) and 2020 (when COVID-19 precautions were in full swing), when their net worth rose 59.2%, or $2.67 trillion. The biggest increase in dollars, however, happened between the fourth quarters of 2020 and 2021, when millennial net worth rose $3.52 trillion, or 49.0%.

DepositAccounts founder Ken Tumin says there are a number of reasons for the spike.

“Many millennials benefited in 2020 and 2021 from U.S. government stimulus programs and the moratorium on student loan payments,” he says. “In addition, lower leisure spending during COVID resulted in very high savings rates, which likely contributed to millennials’ net worth.”

As the pandemic waned, millennials’ net worth still grew, but the growth slowed significantly. Between the fourth quarters of 2021 and 2022, it increased by 9.4% ($1.00 trillion), then rose a bit more between the fourth quarters of 2022 and 2023 — 15.3% ($1.79 trillion).

Historically, however, those increases are much smaller than the year-over-year percentage increases in nearly all the other years for which we had data — except for the small 4.1% improvement between the fourth quarters of 2017 and 2018, likely influenced by a stock market dive in October 2018.

Year-over-year growth in millennial net worth
Time frame Year-over-year growth (%)
Q4 2014 to Q4 2015 26.8%
Q4 2015 to Q4 2016 28.1%
Q4 2016 to Q4 2017 26.3%
Q4 2017 to Q4 2018 4.1%
Q4 2018 to Q4 2019 43.6%
Q4 2019 to Q4 2020 59.2%
Q4 2020 to Q4 2021 49.0%
Q4 2021 to Q4 2022 9.4%
Q4 2022 to Q4 2023 15.3%
Source: DepositAccounts analysis of Federal Reserve Distributional Financial Accounts (DFAs) data.

Net worth across U.S. increases by 8.4%

Though millennial net worth growth may have slowed as the pandemic eased, the generation still saw the highest percentage increase in the most recent period we studied — between the fourth quarters of 2022 and 2023.

Millennials’ net worth increased at almost double the rate of all Americans. In this period, the net worth of Americans increased by 8.4%, while millennials' net worth increased by 15.3%.

Gen Xers’ and baby boomers' net worth increased by 9.4% and 8.4%, respectively. (For our study, Gen Xers and baby boomers were ages 43 to 58 and 59 to 77, respectively, in 2023.)

Millennial households’ average net worth increases by 140.4%

Changing from total figures to a per-household view, millennials’ average household net worth increased by 140.4% between the fourth quarters of 2019 and 2023.

It jumped from $127,005 to $305,295, based on estimates utilizing Federal Reserve net worth and household population data.

That’s significantly higher than the 37.4% and 31.7% increases, respectively, among Gen X and baby boomer households in the same period.

Average net worth per household
Generation Average net worth, Q4 2019 Average net worth, Q4 2023 % increase
Baby boomer $1,403,310 $1,847,831 31.7%
Gen Xer $784,338 $1,078,020 37.4%
Millennial $127,005 $305,295 140.4%
Source: DepositAccounts analysis of Federal Reserve DFAs data.

Millennials’ wealth is mainly in real estate, but so is their debt

What’s boosting millennials’ bottom line? Real estate … big time. It makes up nearly 40% of their wealth in the categories tracked by the Federal Reserve. Tumin says this is also likely due to the pandemic, during which interest and mortgage rates plummeted in 2020.

“This spurred homebuying, especially among millennials,” he says. “The demand for homes in 2020 and 2021 pushed up home prices. Millennials who had bought homes during this time immediately saw their net worth rise as the value of their new homes increased.”

Pension entitlements — both defined benefit (which pays a specific amount at retirement) and defined contribution (which pays based on the value of the investments made) — make up 6.9% and 7.4% of their wealth, respectively. (That adds to 14.3% total.)

The next closest category making up millennial wealth is corporate equity (ownership in corporate businesses, such as shares of stock) and mutual fund shares, at 14.1%. That’s followed by consumer durables — products used for a number of years, such as cars (8.9%) — and private businesses (8.8%).

Real estate is also responsible for the majority of millennial debt, accounting for 68.4% of it. Tumin says that could have to do with the type of mortgages people took out to acquire that real estate.

“Millennials who locked into fixed-rate mortgages during this time had a great deal,” he says. “As long as they didn’t buy more than they could afford, this was a positive outcome. Those who bought more than they could afford may be having trouble now due to high inflation that has significantly increased the cost of many aspects of homeownership, including property taxes, home insurance, utility and maintenance costs.”

Consumer credit, which includes credit cards and other loans, makes up the next highest source of debt for millennials, at 29.8%.

How does that stack up to other generations? Real estate makes up 60.1% of baby boomers’ debt, while consumer credit makes up 23.9% of it. For Gen Xers, 72.2% of their debt is from real estate, while consumer credit makes up 24.6% of it.

Older generations hold most of country’s wealth

As well as millennials may be faring recently when it comes to their net worth, the older generations hold most of our nation’s wealth. Baby boomers lead the pack, holding 51.8% of it, followed by Gen Xers at 25.7%. Millennials hold just 9.2% of the country’s wealth.

This isn’t surprising though, given that the older generations have had more time to amass wealth. Property values have risen for decades, and they’ve benefited from years of compounding interest on investments. That said, millennials still have time on their side.

4 tips to increase your net worth

Your net worth provides a solid snapshot of your financial health. Here are four ways to help it thrive:

  • Save consistently: The best way to increase your net worth is to get into the habit of consistently saving part of your income. The savings should first go into an emergency fund to protect you from going into debt when encountering unexpected costs. Also, be sure to invest in employer-sponsored retirement plans that can pay off significantly over time with compound interest.
  • Invest wisely: Once the emergency fund is adequately built, additional savings should be invested in mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs) with significant stock market exposure. Tumin says trying to time the market and making high-risk investments for supposed short-term gains will have much lower odds of increasing your net worth over the long term.
  • Manage your debt: Some debt, such as mortgages or student loans, is considered good, providing a strong return on investment over time. However, bad debt, such as from credit cards, can bring you down, so it’s important to limit it by paying your balances in full each month. If you’ve already accumulated bad debt, commit to a plan to pay it off as quickly as possible.
  • Enlist the help of a financial planner: A professional financial planner can help you set and achieve your financial goals. While you’ll likely pay some fees, the guidance often pays off over time.


DepositAccounts researchers analyzed data from the Federal Reserve Distributional Financial Accounts (DFAs), focusing on millennials.

The DFAs provide quarterly estimates of U.S. household wealth distribution. They measure wealth as assets minus liabilities, which is the same calculation used for net worth. The terms are used interchangeably in our study.

We defined generations as the following:

  • Millennials: born between 1981 and 1996 (ages 27 to 42 in 2023)
  • Generation Xers: born between 1965 and 1980 (ages 43 to 58 in 2023)
  • Baby boomers: born between 1946 and 1965 (ages 59 to 77 in 2023)

Researchers also estimated average net worth per household among Gen Xers and baby boomers.

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