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California Is the 3rd Worst-Paying State for Millennials

-Editorial

Millennials in California are having a hard time getting a well-paid job that would help them make a living while working on their career.

The current state of the economy and the high cost of living is making millennials struggle economically. It is hard for this young generation to make ends meet when it is hard to get a job when everything is so expensive.

Numbering over 72 million, millennials have surpassed Baby Boomers to be the largest living adult generation. Millennials, defined by the Pew Research Center as people born between 1981–1996, are now in their prime home-buying years.

However, millennial homeownership rates have lagged that of older generations—in part, because while home prices have been rising, income has not kept pace. According to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the median annual income for full-time working millennials was $42,000 in 2019, leaving many millennials struggling to afford a home.

In the El Centro, California area, millennials earn a cost-of-living adjusted median income of $38,976.

Nationally, data from the Census Bureau shows that while the homeownership rate in the U.S. was 64.6% in 2019, the rate for millennials was just 39.9%. The median income for 25 to 34-year-olds has increased 2.5-fold since 1980; however, housing prices have more than tripled over the same period. Median income growth for that age group kept pace with housing prices until the year 2000 when housing prices began to rise more steeply. Although housing prices dropped significantly during the Great Recession, they have been rising rapidly since 2012.

At the state level, millennials living in Minnesota and Massachusetts had the highest median incomes after adjusting for cost of living, at $51,282 and $50,137 in 2019, respectively. Due to its very high cost of living, millennials living in Hawaii tend to earn less with a cost-of-living adjusted median income of $37,849 last year. The cost of living in Florida is about the same as the national average, but millennials in Florida earned just $34,990 in adjusted median income, the lowest in the country.

To find the best-paying states for millennials, researchers at HireAHelper analyzed the latest data on income and home prices from the U.S. Census Bureau and Zillow. The researchers ranked states according to the cost-of-living adjusted median income for full-time working millennials. Researchers also calculated the unadjusted median income for full-time millennials, the median home price, and the millennial homeownership rate.

The analysis found that in California, millennials earn a cost-of-living adjusted median income of $38,995. Out of all states, California is the 3rd worst-paying for millennials. Here is a summary of the data for California:

  • Median income for full-time millennials (cost-of-living adjusted): $38,995
  • Median income for full-time millennials (unadjusted): $45,000
  • Median home price: $586,659
  • Millennial homeownership rate:5%
  • Cost of living (compared to the national average): +15.4%

For reference, here are the statistics for the entire United States:

  • Median income for full-time millennials (cost-of-living adjusted): $42,000
  • Median income for full-time millennials (unadjusted): $42,000
  • Median home price: $259,906
  • Millennial homeownership rate:9%
  • Cost of living (compared to the national average): N/A

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