White Millennials Gain Wealth, But Black Left Behind : Planet Money : The Indicator from Planet Money Many white millennials have made amazing progress in building wealth in recent years. Meanwhile, Black millennials keep falling further and further behind.

The Growing Racial Divide In Millennial Wealth

The Growing Racial Divide In Millennial Wealth

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/999892633/999906427" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A few years ago, Ana Hernández Kent and her team at the St. Louis Fed began studying the wealth of older millennials, people born in the 80s. They found that the typical older millennial household, as of 2016, had only about $28,000 in net worth — putting them 40% behind what previous generations had in wealth at the same age.

There could be a few reasons for this: older millennials came of age in an economy marked by growing inequality and a decline in social mobility. They've also had to deal with issues like the skyrocketing cost of college, and many entered their careers during the Great Recession.

Ana was worried that millennials were destined to be poorer than the generations that preceded them. But recently, Ana and her team got their hands on newer data, which tells a new, more complicated story: while there's some improvement for white millennials, Black millennials are getting left behind. On The Indicator from Planet Money, we tell the good and bad news.

Music by Drop Electric. Find us: Twitter / Facebook / Newsletter.

Subscribe to our show on Apple Podcasts, PocketCasts and NPR One.