US Millennial Men 2018

How They’re Faring Financially in the Post-Recession Economy

About This Report
Millennial men don’t live down to the stereotype as their generation’s losers, not least because they make more money than their female counterparts. But many have lots of debt and little wealth, and they lag behind the women in earning college degrees.
Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Even before the Great Recession, millennial men were often viewed as their generation’s weaker sex—failing (unlike millennial women) to get their act together and become financially independent adults. As millennials get older and the recession becomes more distant, the men have at least partly outgrown those stereotypes, to the extent they were ever accurate. But they do have their financial struggles.

Are millennial men out-earning millennial women?

For now, yes, millennial men out-earn millennial women in the US. Among singles ages 25 to 34, men averaged a yearly $44,819 in the most recent figures vs. $40,748 for women. Among all full-time workers that age, men make a weekly $857 compared with $738 for women.

Are millennial men building wealth?

No, not like previous generations. Millennials have scant net wealth, with a Federal Reserve report pegging the median figure at $11,100 for US households headed by those ages 35 and younger vs. $97,300 for total households. High levels of debt—including lots of car loans—offset most of the meager assets they do have.

Are student loans holding back millennial men?

It’s no myth that student loans are a heavy burden for millennials. The Fed says more than four in 10 US families headed by under-40s had student debt as of 2016, owing a median amount of $19,000. Men owed less than women, but mostly because men are less likely to attend college.

Do US millennial men lag in getting a bachelor’s degree?

Yes and no. Women are already more likely than men to have a bachelor’s degree or higher—34% vs. 40% as of 2016. And enrollment figures show the gap is widening, even in professional and graduate programs. Despite these gender gaps, though, millennial men are more likely than men in previous generations to have a college degree.

Are millennial men likely to be homeowners?

Slow to reach the adult milestones of getting married and having kids, millennials have also been slow to become homeowners. That’s changing at the older end of the generation, though student debt is still one obstacle for many would-be buyers. A majority of 35-to-39s are homeowners, as are nearly half of 30-to-34s.

How many millennial men live with their parents?

Even though some older millennials are buying homes, many millennial men (and women) live in their parents’ homes. One federal report says 28% of 25-to-29s and 11% of 30-to-39s were doing so last year.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report assesses the financial condition of millennial men in areas including income, net worth, retirement readiness and incidence of homeownership. Though not great, it’s better than the “perpetual adolescent” stereotype of millennial men might readily suggest.

KEY STAT: Prudently or otherwise, millennial men (45%) are less likely than millennial women (59%) to feel guilty about spending on themselves—and less likely to worry about how much money they make (61% for men vs. 75% for women).


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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. As We Get Farther Away From the Recession, Are Millennial Men Making a Decent Income?
  3. How About Their Net Wealth? Do They Have Any?
  4. Is Student Debt Really a Big Deal for Millennial Men and Women?
  1. Are Millennial Men Doing What They Need to Get on Track for Retirement?
  2. Are Millennial Men Gloomy Or Cheery About Their Financial Situation?
  3. Are Millennial Men Lagging Behind Millennial Women in Getting College Degrees?
  4. Are Millennials Finally Becoming Homeowners?
  1. Key Takeaways
  2. Read Next
  3. Sources
  4. Media Gallery

Read This With Insider Intelligence


Mark Dolliver


Tricia Carr
Managing Editor, Interviews
Jennifer Pearson
VP, Research