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The Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of MichiganThe Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan

Sheldon Danziger quoted in AP story, "U.S. Wealth Gap Between Young and Old Is Widest Ever"

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sheldon Danziger was quoted in an Associated Press (AP) article published in a number of news outlets, including the New York Times, about the wealth gap between young and old in the U.S.

According to a recent analysis of U.S. census data, the gap between households headed by someone 65 or older and households headed by someone under 35 is the largest on record. The study reports that older households now have a net worth 47 times more than their younger counterparts, double what this gap was in 2005.

The gap, according the study's authors at the Pew Research Center, can be explained by the downturned economy. Many young adults are pursuing degrees while they wait for the job market to improve. In the meantime, they are accumulating more debt especially as tuition rates increase and government funding decreases, Danziger explained to the AP. Net worth also increases over time. "The elderly have a comprehensive safety net that most adults, especially young adults, lack," Danziger said.