December 15, 2014
One in five young adults – ages 18 to 34 years old – live in poverty, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
“More millennials are living in poverty today, and they have lower rates of employment, compared with their counterparts in 1980,” the Census states. “One in five young adults lives in poverty (13.5 million people), up from one in seven (8.4 million people) in 1980.”
The data comes from a new Census release called “Young Adults: Then and Now,” which “illustrates characteristics of the young adult population (age 18-34) across the decades using data from the 1980, 1990 and 2000 Censuses and the 2009-2013 American Community Survey.”
In 1980, according to the Census, 14.1 percent of the total population ages 18 to 34 were living in poverty, which is determined by the millennial’s income in the past 12 months. In 1990, the percentage of millennials in poverty increased to 14.3 percent. In 2000, it climbed to 15.3 percent. And in 2009-2013 it reached the highest level recorded in the dataset of 19.7 percent.
Employment metrics, along with poverty metrics, have worsened for millennials. “Today, 65 percent of young adults are employed, down from 69 percent in 1980,” reports the Census. In 1980, 69.3 percent of the population ages 18 to 34 were employed. In 1990, the percentage climbed to 70.6 percent. In 2000, it dipped to 68.7 percent, and in 2009-2013 it dipped again to 65.0 percent – the lowest level recorded in the dataset.
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