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Noah Smith

Generation X Earns More But Has Less

Why Americans born from 1965 to 1980 aren't wealthier than their parents.
For Generation X, life isn't a bed of roses.

For Generation X, life isn't a bed of roses.

Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

It's pretty common these days for the media to make fun of millennials. But back in the 1990s, the previous generation, Generation X, got much the same treatment. They were slackers, they were entitled, blah blah blah. 

In truth, members of Generation X -- Americans born between 1965 and 1980 -- earn substantially more money than their parents did at the same point in their lives. That is one conclusion of a report by the Pew Charitable Trusts from September, which tracked Generation X households and compared them with their parents at similar ages.