This chart explains the biggest difference between Baby Boomers and millennials
The biggest long-term story in the US economy is the generational divide between Baby Boomers and millennials.
The Boomers, born in the wake of World War II with birth dates spanning roughly 1946 to 1962, were the largest population group in the US for decades.
But now millennials, or people born roughly from 1980 to 1995, are taking over.
In its latest small business survey, Bank of America found that the divide in optimism between millennials, who are just entering the prime of their lives, and Boomers who are on the back side, is quite stark.
Boomers enjoyed one of the US economy's best runs from around 1980 to 2000 only to see the whole thing sort of blow up (twice!) in the last 15 years. And so somewhat predictably, Boomers have little faith in their local, the US national, and global economies over the next year.
Millennials, on the other hand, are bullish on the whole thing, with three-quarters of millennial respondents saying they think their local economy will improve over the next year.
This, of course, makes sense.
Boomers are losing power and reading articles like this one in the Washington Post about how they ruined the economy. Millennials, on the other hand, are sort of required to be bullish on the US economy because whether they like it or not, as a young person they are explicitly long the US and global economies.
The average millennial can not only expect to be around to live with the consequences of their economic, social, and political behavior longer than the average Boomer, but as millennials begin to form families they will naturally begin to feel a stronger sense of responsibility about the economy.
And the easiest way to feel responsible is to believe you're going to make it better.
Bank of America
(Disclosure: This post was authored by a Millennial who is generally bullish on the US economy.)
- We tried chicken nuggets from Chick-fil-A, Wendy's, Burger King, and McDonald's — and the winner is clear
- GOLDMAN SACHS AND TEEN VOGUE: Here are the 20 brands millennial women love
- GOLDMAN: Millennial women have a 'foot fetish' — here's what we know about it