Friday, October 4, 2013

30 Statistics About Americans Under The Age Of 30 That Will Blow Your Mind

Michael Snyder
Activist Post

Why are young people in America so frustrated these days?  You are about to find out.  Most young adults started out having faith in the system.  They worked hard, they got good grades, they stayed out of trouble and many of them went on to college.  But when their educations where over, they discovered that the good jobs that they had been promised were not waiting for them at the end of the rainbow.  Even in the midst of this so-called "economic recovery", the full-time employment rate for Americans under the age of 30 continues to fall.  And incomes for that age group continue to fall as well.  At the same time, young adults are dealing with record levels of student loan debt.  As a result, more young Americans than ever are putting off getting married and having families, and more of them than ever are moving back in with their parents.

It can be absolutely soul crushing when you discover that the "bright future" that the system had been promising you for so many years turns out to be a lie.  A lot of young people ultimately give up on the system and many of them end up just kind of drifting aimlessly through life.  The following is an example from a recent Wall Street Journal article...
James Roy, 26, has spent the past six years paying off $14,000 in student loans for two years of college by skating from job to job. Now working as a supervisor for a coffee shop in the Chicago suburb of St. Charles, Ill., Mr. Roy describes his outlook as "kind of grim."
"It seems to me that if you went to college and took on student debt, there used to be greater assurance that you could pay it off with a good job," said the Colorado native, who majored in English before dropping out. "But now, for people living in this economy and in our age group, it's a rough deal."

Young adults as a group have been experiencing a tremendous amount of economic pain in recent years.  The following are 30 statistics about Americans under the age of 30 that will blow your mind...

#1 The labor force participation rate for men in the 18 to 24 year old age bracket is at an all-time low.

#2 The ratio of what men in the 18 to 29 year old age bracket are earning compared to the general population is at an all-time low.

#3 Only about a third of all adults in their early 20s are working a full-time job.

#4 For the entire 18 to 29 year old age bracket, the full-time employment rate continues to fall.  In June 2012, 47 percent of that entire age group had a full-time job.  One year later, in June 2013, only 43.6 percent of that entire age group had a full-time job.

#5 Back in the year 2000, 80 percent of men in their late 20s had a full-time job.  Today, only 65 percent do.

#6 In 2007, the unemployment rate for the 20 to 29 year old age bracket was about 6.5 percent.  Today, the unemployment rate for that same age group is about 13 percent.

#7 American families that have a head of household that is under the age of 30 have a poverty rate of 37 percent.

#8 During 2012, young adults under the age of 30 accounted for 23 percent of the workforce, but they accounted for a whopping 36 percent of the unemployed.

#9 During 2011, 53 percent of all Americans with a bachelor’s degree under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed.

#10 At this point about half of all recent college graduates are working jobs that do not even require a college degree.

#11 The number of Americans in the 16 to 29 year old age bracket with a job declined by 18 percent between 2000 and 2010.

#12 According to one survey, 82 percent of all Americans believe that it is harder for young adults to find jobs today than it was for their parents to find jobs.

#13 Incomes for U.S. households led by someone between the ages of 25 and 34 have fallen by about 12 percent after you adjust for inflation since the year 2000.

#14 In 1984, the median net worth of households led by someone 65 or older was 10 times larger than the median net worth of households led by someone 35 or younger.  Today, the median net worth of households led by someone 65 or older is 47 times larger than the median net worth of households led by someone 35 or younger.

#15 In 2011, SAT scores for young men were the worst that they had been in 40 years.

#16 Incredibly, approximately two-thirds of all college students graduate with student loans.

#17 According to the Federal Reserve, the total amount of student loan debt has risen by 275 percent since 2003.

#18 In America today, 40 percent of all households that are led by someone under the age of 35 are paying off student loan debt.  Back in 1989, that figure was below 20 percent.

#19 The total amount of student loan debt in the United States now exceeds the total amount of credit card debt in the United States.

#20 According to the U.S. Department of Education, 11 percent of all student loans are at least 90 days delinquent.

#21 The student loan default rate in the United States has nearly doubled since 2005.

#22 One survey found that 70% of all college graduates wish that they had spent more time preparing for the "real world" while they were still in college.

#23 In the United States today, there are more than 100,000 janitors that have college degrees.

#24 In the United States today, 317,000 waiters and waitresses have college degrees.

#25 Today, an all-time low 44.2 percent of all Americans between the ages of 25 and 34 are married.

#26 According to the Pew Research Center, 57 percent of all Americans in the 18 to 24 year old age bracket lived with their parents during 2012.

#27 One poll discovered that 29 percent of all Americans in the 25 to 34 year old age bracket are still living with their parents.

#28 Young men are nearly twice as likely to live with their parents as young women the same age are.

#29 Overall, approximately 25 million American adults are living with their parents according to Time Magazine.

#30 Young Americans are becoming increasingly frustrated that previous generations have saddled them with a nearly 17 trillion dollar national debt that they are expected to make payments on for the rest of their lives.

And this trend is not just limited to the United States.  As I have written about frequently, unemployment rates for young adults throughout Europe have been soaring to unprecedented heights.  For example, the unemployment rate for those under the age of 25 in Italy has now reached 40.1 percent.

Simon Black of the Sovereign Man blog discussed this global trend in a recent article on his website...
Youth unemployment rates in these countries are upwards of 40% to nearly 70%. The most recent figures published by the Italian government show yet another record high in youth unemployment.
An entire generation is now coming of age without being able to leave the nest or have any prospect of earning a decent wage in their home country.
This underscores an important point that I’ve been writing about for a long time: young people in particular get the sharp end of the stick.
They’re the last to be hired, the first to be fired, the first to be sent off to fight and die in foreign lands, and the first to have their benefits cut.
And if they’re ever lucky enough to find meaningful employment, they can count on working their entire lives to pay down the debts of previous generations through higher and higher taxes.
But when it comes time to collect… finally… those benefits won’t be there for them.
Meanwhile, the overall economy continues to get even weaker.

In the United States, Gallup's daily economic confidence index is now the lowest that it has been in more than a year.

For young people that are in high school or college right now, the future does not look bright.  In fact, this is probably as good as the U.S. economy is going to get.  It is probably only going to be downhill from here.

The system is failing, and young people are going to become even angrier and even more frustrated.
So what will that mean for our future?

Please feel free to share what you think by posting a comment below...

This article first appeared here at the Economic Collapse Blog.  Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.

This article may be re-posted in full with attribution.


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Anonymous said...

Assisted suicide may be a growth industry.

Anonymous said...

FEMA camps, of course. May your FEMA cell be spacious.

Anonymous said...

They got what they voted for.

Anonymous said...

Any candidate would have given us the same thing. Don't blame the blameless.

Anonymous said...

Like the first answerer. If there's truly no hope. Assisted suicide. Let us all just kill ourselves and let the older generations take care of this mess. They created it, they should solve it. We weren't born to be slaves for the rest of our lives. We want to live, not survive.

Anonymous said...

Too much of the "follow your passion" crowd in Generation Y. That's why our labor market is over-saturated with creative writing, philosophy, art, and illustration graduates when it's (sad fact of life) the boring jobs like Petroleum Engineering that will provide a secure future and robust earnings.

The problem is it's hard for 18 year olds to understand this.

Anonymous said...

People these days nees to develop the skills they already have in order to start making an extra income. Whether it is weaving baskets, music, or passion for mathematics in order to be able to choose another path fron the one they are already on.
Like for me I'm barely 22, $10+ in debt (to the in laws), going to college, have hobbies, have a grocery store managing job that just NOW gave me some benefits, AND I am a licensed life insurance agent to help with extra cash.
Not once did I wake and say "yes! Insurance!"
But it has definitely taught me more in 5 months than 15 yrs of public edu has ever taught me about money.

julie said...

As I see things there is a lot of foolishness in degree choices. There is a lot of arrogance involved with "education" and the idea that somehow you are better if you have a degree. There is a lot of deceit in the idea that you need to go to school to know how to do .....whatever. Jobs, development of new industries that are sustainable and changing the way we live on the planet. More respect for creativity, it is what gives our life joy. Enjoy making things, music, writing, playing and stop the madness of bigger, better and more. Lessen the need for lots of money, enjoy our lives more. Start thinking how you can make a good life that suits you.

Anonymous said...

"foolish degree choices"...yes I think it would be enlightening to have a look at new-grad employment stats based on degree choice. It paints a very different picture compared to this article. This "guaranteed job" mentality really needs to go away in favor of finding something useful to do.

Anonymous said...

I second the," They got what they voted for." comment. Screw Every Obama Voter in the rear!!

Anonymous said...

Didn't see any mention of percentages of types of degrees received. Could be many took the easy route...or maybe not. Just know my six kids are all employed using their degrees, not coming back home, and among them have 13 degrees with little student loan debt. They paid for their degrees in various ways...mainly working 2-3 jobs with minimal assistance from their mother and me.

Anonymous said...

"I second the," They got what they voted for." comment. Screw Every Obama Voter in the rear!!" The idea that the office of the President has the power to screw up our economy this hard (especially when these problems have been compounding over decades across multiple administrations from both parties) is idiotic.

Anonymous said...

The simple fact is, if you didn't study to be some sort of engineer you're SoL. They don't care about your degree otherwise in today's economy.

Patrick McKinley said...

I see a lot of comments blaming other people or generations. during the holocaust the villages nearby the internment camps saw the flames from the crematories and smelled the burning bodies and they did nothing about it. many people say that those people who chose ignorance over action were just as guilty as the nazis.

our generation today isn't ignorant about the problems that face us all and we're just as responsible to take action as anyone else. we all need to voice our opinions on the crippling and endless student loan debt that grips ex-students by the throat and slowly drains us of air.

If we all stood up and decided to refuse to pay the debts that have been strapped to our necks and are destroying our future, the debtors would have no choice but to seriously re evaluate their holds on us, unless they want riots and protests on a more grand scale than they have ever seen!

Anonymous said...

Give references for your information please.
Without those, your info is useless.

Anonymous said...

Moderators - please forgive me - I found your references by clicking on red type.
Sorry for sounding miffed.

Anonymous said...

They took our jobs!!!!

Anonymous said...

#30 is stupid "Young Americans are becoming increasingly frustrated that previous generations have saddled them with a nearly 17 trillion dollar national debt that they are expected to make payments on for the rest of their lives."
Previous generations shouldn't be blamed, they are just ignorant sheep, just like the current generation. You need to be pointing the finger at the shepherd! Previous generations didn't rig the housing bubble or the bank bailout scam. Voting makes no difference because whoever has been in office since JFK has been a New World Order puppet, regardless of party. It doesn't matter, our country and all countries are under the control of the people who have wealth beyond your wildest imagination. You have no idea! All of this crap was pre-planned, they would have it no other way. So to blame the peasant class (that would be any and all of us who pay tax and/or have any debt - student loan, mortgage, or car loan) is stupid. We don't run the show.

Anonymous said...

There is a moneyed elite of the Western world that directs the politics and policies of the Western world. It is deeper than Obama, or the Democrats and the Republicans.

Anonymous said...

To blame the "older" generations for the financial problems of this country is insulting. We also had to pay higher & higher taxes our entire working lives because politicians spent our tax dollars as they wanted & not as they promised. And do remember, we the people never get to vote on what the federal government is going to use OUR tax dollars for, so it's not the "older" generation that is at fault here. And then there were the well paying union jobs with benefits in fields that did not require college to get a job in. Most of those were "outsourced" to other countries so someone somewhere could make a massive profit, the quality of the product bottomed out, & thousands & thousands of Americans lost those jobs. And, all those lost jobs lost this country millions in taxes for things like roads, sewers, grants to cities & counties, etc. So, again, it's not the "older" generations that are at fault for the debt & financial crisis in the US today, it's the politicians who make policy & the corporations who make profit.

Anonymous said...

Turn on the printing presses and voila! Out of debt.

It's all just a fucking charade, folks. Doesn't mean that we're not hurt by it daily, though.

seandavidbarr said...

i think that i have worked out the solution to this entire article meaning that I have spent the past 6 years brainstorming as to how to make things better and do it with a certainty that we rare;y see these days. i want everyine reading this comment to feel free to email me at to as me what I have in mind, especially canadians since my plans will come to fruition here first and sadly the us maybe never or we;ll have to wait and see if the population there will stand up and fight for their rights!

Anonymous said...

I am one of the older generation we are deciding whether or not to blame. I suggest we split my group in half, to be fair. Men & Women. Our level of success, and guilt vary greatly. I was a single mother for 28 years, always working at least 2 jobs (70 hour weeks) and running the home, and raising my kids alone. I was never rich, but could creatively make ends meet (nobody missed a birthday). Once I was almost able to purchase a home that required a $2k down, but the agent denied me because as a single woman, no matter that payments would be less than my rent, they felt I was a bad risk. Policy was not to sell to single mothers. I am still renting today, at 57. They did not often offer women such things as retirement benefits, but I paid probably 60 or 70 years worth of social security taxes in only 40 years. Here's how I ended up: I am permanantly disabled, being injured on my last job, and due to spinal problems I can never work again. I am not allowed to drive anymore (bad reflexes) and my income is $726 per month plus $80 in food stamps. I pay water, elect., and rent, on top of other expenses, like meds and cabfare. I eat one thin sandwich a day, and in the first 2 weeks of the month I can have yogurt OR a piece of fruit. I will likely either starve or freeze this winter, along with many of my cohorts, because the lovely golden years we worked so hard for, that they promised us, were a big gigantic lie. Women my age got royally f*cked, because unlike men, we were never paid enough to actually acquire assets (or were blocked from purchasing them) , and we took care of our own kids, instead. Men my age probably have a much higher statistic for net value than we women. Welcome to the real world--we're sorry, but we're ALL screwed.

Ken said...

Although I know these statistics have a lot of reasons, I will say that in trying to hire younger people I have gotten some real bad candidates. People come in chewing gum with holy jeans and a raggy t-shirt. I know it is not all, but some just won't try.

paul revere 2013 said...

they are just lazy dont wont to work want everything for free

paschn said...

I'm quite sure most of you will at best disagree and at worst howl at what you consider my lack of patriotism but here goes.
Unlike Western, (Roman Catholic), Christians the Muslim countries of the M.E. Refuse to embrace the global, (now, thanks to the West, U.S. in particular), Central Banking cabal. They have it forced down their throats through "regime change". Libya, Iran et al through their government controlled printing/distribution of their sovereign currency make higher education available to their people free or interest free as well as their healthcare. We, as a nation, have crushed smaller nations who's young people don't have a clue what it feels like to slave for years, (not to mention mom and pop who co-signed their student loans), to pay off not only the principal but the usurious, (here again, Muslim nations, by refusing the Central Banking rip-off don't practice it), interest as the "enlightened" Western "Christian" nations. Up until +/- 500 years ago the Roman Catholic church vigorously condemned usury/interest of any kind. Not only are all central Banks privately owned/operated, the same 6 or 8 banking dynasties own them all. We need to stop blaming our young or ourselves. We've all been "duped" by our leaders and their lack of honor/morals into thinking this treachery is "normal". Well, it isn't. The problem isn't with fiat currency, it's having it printed, (at interest), by the snakes of the FED RES, pandered to by treasonous swine in power.

Anonymous said...

I too am one of the older generation. I have saved every spare penny I could so I wouldn't be a burden to my kids in my old age. I have taken one vacation my whole adult life, lived in travel trailers for 8 years, took other people's junk and repaired it to sell, grew my own food, cut my own firewood to stay warm, etc. I worked seven days a week for over 40 years to get ahead. I worked at jobs that many people would reject. I don't believe in debt. I lived within my means, no matter how little that was. I wore used clothing and lived in places no one would want to live in because that was what I could afford. I have lived with no power and no running water. I have lived with no food in my house. I never took one dime of food stamps, free phones or any other government aid. I am now debt free and have enough savings to live comfortably. It's too bad our government doesn't have the same type of spending habits. The US wouldn't be in the mess it is in. It is very sad to see what is happening. I feel as though all my sacrifice was for nothing and all I have saved is at risk. Sad to say but the future looks pretty dim for everyone.

Anonymous said...

Restore a debt jubilee.

Anonymous said...

The young people in our nation do have challenges. I am truly sorry for the burden placed on your generation by ours. The staggering debt. The totally dysfunctional way society operates. The total disconnect from reality and any form of common sense. The game is rigged. The United States is not a republic. We the people to not have a say on what happens within our government. I am 54 years old. I have owned a small business for 22 years and employ 9 people. I have struggled for years to keep this business running. I have two wonderful children - 18 and 21. I believed the party line. I knew our government wasn't perfect. 2009 woke me up. Our government is a bully and they have no shame. They are controlled not by the people they are elected to serve, but by special interests. Our leaders are self-serving and lie to cover up their game. Their agenda is only to serve the few, the elite. So what are your options - Challenge your beliefs first and definitely challenge anybody in a position of government. Be true to yourself. Take personal responsibility for actions. Stay as independent as possible. Take no debt if possible. Debt is enslaves your future. You will chase it forever if it gets out of hand. Have two roles - one to provide your day to day. The other is to work towards something you are passionate about. Don't chase money. Not everyone is leader, don't be a sheep. In your struggles, find common ground with others and push back. I wished I did earlier. I was too busy chasing the American Dream. Listen to George Carlin. He had it figured out a long time ago. Stay away for the emotional arguments in our society. The mainstream media and our leaders use this all the time to divert attention away for the real issues. Example: Terrorism - is the perfect of this game for our government. Instill fear - start new programs and spend more money to protect us. Department of Homeland Security,TSA, NSA, Patriot Act, NDAA. The boogie man will come and get you. Give up your liberty, freedom and money and our almighty government will protect you. Get educated on TPP - Trans-Pacific Pact. Say good bye to more jobs in the United States. Just like NAFTA was going to rock our world. Study U.N. Agenda 21, the Federal Reserve system(started in 1913), Central banks and the Petro-Dollar. Follow the power and money, and you will see why your future looks so bleak. This game that is ruining our country is not a Democratic or Republican issue. It has gone on for at least 50 years. Forget labels - Its world control for the few. Multinational companies do not care about government policies unless it affects their ability to earn a profit. Our leaders are bought and paid for by these companies. Let's stop fighting amongst ourselves as a people. Educate yourself on what's really going on. It's really sad. Check out this video:

Anonymous said...

Dear 57 yr old disabled single mom,
Where are the kids you sacrificed everything to raise? They should be taking you in to help you out . That's what family is for. You would do the same for them. Payback time.

Anonymous said...

okay. so the slave market is breaking down. i do appreciate that society runs smoother when the "work force" isn't marginalized. But exactly who is profiting when everything runs smooth? I get the idea we're finally making an omelet here... and as you know, eggs must be broken.

Anonymous said...

We have been warned plenty of times about this, starting with the founding fathers. Be truthful: have you ever read the writings of the founders? The real problem was we were the most prosperous nation on earth for a long time after WWII. But human nature, greed and avarice caused poor judgement and bad decisions. We let those who govern us take away our power over our own lives, a little at a time. They could not stand to see all the gold that lay at their feet without jumping to grab it and line their pockets. Now we are a country in decline. Expect nothing but arguments among us about why, and only more false promises from those that would profit even in our decline. But decline we will. Our old heroes and true leaders are gone.

vasan said...

us is a formed country with a complex dimensions.
natives were curbed and people from various domain started migrating till the present scenario.
modern science & its technologies altered this country to a very great extent in all these migrated segments who supported a new trend of independent living devoid of emotional or spiritual dimensions in them.
size of family shrunk, emotional dimension was neglected & ignored, nuclear family system was also diluted, distorted to perversive dimension.
basically, relationship was altered in the negative dimension. there are certainly exceptions in this regard which i do accept, but my expressions are directed in a general sense.
this is one predominant dimension which is worth exploring both in christian & islam dominating countries.
in christian dominating countries, society is predominant with a vast disparity of have & have not's with the influence of corporate sectors.
where as in islam dominating countries, society is predominant with vast disparity of have & have not's with the influence of religious dimension.
middle class do exist but not in a significant scale.
this is what is predominant but, reasons has to be explored.

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of whiners. Can't find a job? Maybe you should open a Whinery and sell wristbands for the woebegone pitiful ones. The same conditions existed in the early seventies, but there was no peanut gallery of whiner supporters pushing the idea that anyone is entitled to a job. Want a job. Make it yourself because the dirty little secret is that no one cares about you and no one is thinking about you. Booo Hooo.

Anonymous said...

As a 34-year old entrepreneur here are some quick reactions to this:

1) Everyone keeps saying "we need more jobs." But the truth is, we have lots of jobs in the US – like around 3M of them I think going unfilled – the problem is that they require a science, mathematics, or engineering background. As such, those jobs require self-discipline and training. So, yeah, when those jobs don't get filled they go overseas because we would rather jobs be high-paying and require a soft skill set.

2) What gave rise to Silicon Valley being the leading innovation cluster in the world was that during the 60s was that most of Higher Education was either free for students or subsidized. With that, it meant that after graduation there wasn't pressure to get right on to a fast-track career where you "follow the money." For instance, a lot of graduates in my age group that should have been scientific innovators ended up selling out to Wall Street because they needed to pay off debt. But of course this creates no value for society or any tangible wealth. It just adds to more people milking what's left in the system. They don't create anything – they just figure out clever ways to transfer wealth from one pot to another in 4D. But innovation only happens when people feel like they can take a risk and try out new things. If there's stress and pressure and looming debt – not likely to happen. So the opportunity cost right now for not making world-class technical education cheap and affordable I would argue is even higher than the $1 trillion in student debt we now have in the US.

3) Ultimately, regardless of age and geography, poverty and hardship are often due to a lack of perceived options. The paradox is that perception may or may not reflect that actual opportunities in front of people. In the US, it's usually the latter. So while I don't blame my generation for being brainwashed with false expectations and socialized to have everything handed to them, it's still just frustrating to see that right now with the Web (70% of Americans have broadband access) we have tools – from raising money (e.g.,,, etc) to marketing systems (e.g.,, etc.) accessible to all of us that years ago would have cost most companies millions of dollars to maintain. But instead of encouraging young people to think outside of the box and create their own opportunities and startups – often the dialogue in the public sphere revolves around how to keep whining about how the old broken models aren't working and that the only way to fix them is to spend more money on trying to fix the problems. Bleh.

If we only had more people thinking for themselves in this world the greater majority of our problems, or our crisis of perception rather, would phase out naturally. Culture, attitude, and belief – these are some of the new competitive advantages that set apart those that get ahead from those that get left behind.

Technology Recruiter--50+ said...

As the parent of multiple children between 21 and 28, I sincerely appreciate the perspective of this blog. It's very challenging right now. (Although I started my career when interest rates for buying a house were 12.5%!--so it's never been easy.)

As a technology recruiter and someone who just turned 50, I would encourage everyone to read the the book "The World is Flat." What we are experiencing today in the white-collar sector is exactly what the blue-collar sector experienced in the 70's. Why?... because the Internet allows work to be 'what you do' and not 'where you are' at any given moment. What we need is leaders who understand globalization and the changing U.S. economy (sorry, I don't think Obama is up to it). We are a declining super-power (study England--they owned the sea in the 1800's just as the U.S. owned the air in the 1900's--as well as, manufacturing, etc.) It's time to reconsider our place in the world and how to adapt instead of clinging to the past. Our focus should be on education and teaching people 'to think' instead of 'what to think'. I have personally worked with 20-somethings from foreign countries who have lived in at least 2-3 different countries by the time they are 25. They sacrifice home and comfort to succeed. They face their fears and language barriers to chase what we define as 'tradtional success'. Not all are perfect but they are well-educated and take risks.

And lastly, have faith--those of you with 'alternate' degrees who have followed your passion. The next 100 years in the U.S. belong to the creatives, the thinkers, and those willing to risk and struggle to achieve something that matters. It won't be easy and it's difficult now--everyone wants/needs a steady pay check and insurance--I get that--but you will have your day if you don't succumb to too much comfort or just existing.

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