While Millennials continue to be a hot marketing topic, our latest column indicated that total spending power in aggregate is still with the Boomers when share of total net worth and share of total household income are considered by generation. This led a number of readers to question whether or not the Boomers have the highest spending power on average of all the generations we track. In that regard, we’re now addressing this specific question by focusing on the Gen Xers among upscale consumers and, again, among mass-market consumers to provide context. Gen Xers are the generation affluent marketers cannot afford to ignore based on their numbers, their average household income, and their average net worth.
Following are estimated indices for American adults by their generation for their average household incomes and average personal net worths. The Bureau of the Census is the source for average household incomes, and our ongoing survey for average personal net worths. The estimated number of adults in each generation, based on Census statistics, follows the generation’s name.
Average Household Average Personal
Generation (size) Income Index Net Worth Index
All Adults (236.9 million) 100 100
Millennials (67.9 million) 94 75
Gen-X (60.4 million) 118 113
Baby Boomers (74.9 million) 99 108
Seniors (33.7 million) 62 112
Notably, the 60 million Gen Xers, who now range in age from 34 to 48, are the second-largest generation, constituting 25% of all U.S. adults 18 or older, and are ranked #1 by far for their average household incomes (which many marketers use as one of their targeting metrics) and for their net worths by a very small margin compared with the Seniors.by Bob Shullman, August 6, 2014