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Millennials Are Paying for 'the Western World’s Most Stunning Accounting Disaster to Date'

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Natasha Hakimi Zapata
Assistant Editor and Poetry Editor
Natasha Hakimi Zapata is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Latin American Literature at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain. She also holds a Creative Writing M.F.A. from Boston University and both a…
Natasha Hakimi Zapata

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A staggering Guardian investigation reveals how, far from being “the most indulged young people in the history of the world,” Westerners born in the 1980s and mid-1990s have been betrayed by previous generations that have left them in debt, jobless and locked out of property markets.

The Guardian’s series, which will be published over the next couple of weeks, combines decades of data on eight of the world’s largest developed nations with accounts of “the fortunes, feelings and finances of the developed world’s young adults, as well as … fallacies surrounding them.” The newspaper also promises to analyze what the results of these “betrayals” have been and will be, such as a decline in birthrates.

From The Guardian:

In our series, we will reveal that today’s young people are not delaying adulthood because they are – as the New Yorker once put it – “the most indulged young people in the history of the world”. Instead, it appears they are not hitting the basic stages of adulthood at the same time as previous generations because such milestones are so much more costly and in some cases they are even being paid less than their parents were at the same age.

In Australia, millennials are being inched out of the housing market. In the UK, new figures will show the notion of a property-owning democracy has already been terminated. In the US, debt is the millennial millstone – young people are sitting on $1.3tn of student debt.

Across Europe, the issue centres more around jobs – and the lack of them. The numbers of thirtysomethings still living with their parents is stubbornly high in countries such as Italy and Spain, with grave implications for birthrates and family formation in places whose demographics are already badly skewed towards elderly people.

“We’ve never had, since the dawn of capitalism really, this situation of a population that is ageing so much and in some countries also shrinking, and we just don’t know whether we can continue growing the economy in the same way we once have,” said Prof Diane Coyle, an economist and former UK Treasury adviser.

Read more. And for other, related articles published at The Guardian on Monday, click here, here and here.

— Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata

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