American millennials, soon to be the country’s largest generation, are better educated than their older counterparts and today account for 21% of all consumer discretionary spending in the U.S., according to a new study by WalletHub, a personal finance website.
Yet millennials are economically less well off than their parents. They comprise the biggest age group in the U.S. workforce, but earn 20% less than baby boomers did at the same age.
WalletHub mainly credited this to the financial crisis in whose shadow millennials came of age and entered the workforce, finding their job prospects and earning potential significantly reduced.
Their experience, however, varies depending on where they are located. WalletHub on Tuesday published a ranking, showing where millennials have succeeded and where they have struggled.
It compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across five key dimensions: affordability, education and health, quality of life and economic health — each of which was assigned 22.5 points on a 100-point scale — and civic engagement, which was assigned 10 points. It then determined each state and the District’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its total score, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for millennials. These broader categories included a number of millennial-relevant metrics, from the share of millennials living with their parents to depression rates to the average price of a Starbucks latte.
The study defined “millennials” as individuals who were born between 1981 and 1997. Pew Research Center recently said it would use 1996 as the last birth year for millennials in its future work.
Check out the gallery for the 10 best states for millennials, with each one’s overall score and how it ranked across the five key dimensions.
— More slideshows on ThinkAdvisor: