Nothing gets people going like inter-generational insults. If you’re a millennial or younger, we have good and bad news in the way of hard data to share with your parents and older co-workers proving you bear a greater burden paying rent than any generation before.
A new report from RENTCafé examines census data going back to 1974 to determine which generation spent the biggest percentage of their income on rent. Like everything else related to rent, researchers found the rent burden (calculated by comparing income to monthly rents) went up over time. The report specifically focused on burden for renters between 22 and 30 years old, finding Millennials to shoulder a significantly larger burden than Boomers and Gen-Xers.
Researchers calculated that Boomers earned about $195,700 on average during the eight years between ages 22 and 30. In that same period, the report found the total average rent would come to about $71,000. Generation X earned about $202,100 between the same ages, while paying a total of about $82,200. Millennials earned about $206,600 in those eight years and paid about $92,600 in rent. That comes to a rent burden of 36 percent for Boomers, 41 percent for Gen X, and 45 percent for Millennials.
The report further found that younger Millennials suffered under a 47 percent burden, while older Millennials spent about 44 percent of their income, making clear that this problem is growing over time. It is not surprising, then to learn that Generation Z has an even bleaker outlook: The report calculates that generation will be on the hook for about $102,000 in rent costs during their 20s.