Millennials became the biggest U.S. generation this year, numbering some 73 million people. In terms of wealth, by contrast, they're still living in the shadow of previous generations.
Despite making up nearly a quarter of the population, millennials — defined as those born between 1981 and 1996 — own a scant 3% of the country's wealth, according to the Federal Reserve's Survey of Consumer Finances. In comparison, when baby boomers were the age millennials are today (around 1989), they controlled 21% of all national wealth. Generation-X'ers at the same age (in 2004) held 6%.
And it's not simply that millennials aren't amassing much wealth — they're also sinking deeper into debt, carrying a disproportionately high 16% of the nation's liabilities, the Fed data show.