Canadian millennials lagging behind past generations, report says
Emily Chan, CTVNews.ca
Published Monday, March 7, 2016 2:30PM EST
A new report says young people in Canada are lagging behind previous generations when it comes to their incomes.
The data, which was compiled by The Guardian in the U.K., shows a stark contrast between how much millennials make in comparison to their parents and grandparents.
While the average young person made wages above the national average in the past, that's no longer the case in the U.K., Canada, Germany, France, the U.S., Spain and Italy, The Guardian found.
In total, the newspaper looked at eight countries, and only youth in Australia appeared better off than their predecessors.
"In almost all of these countries we've looked at, except Australia, young people's incomes have grown less than the national average, which shouldn't really be the case," Guardian journalist Shiv Malik told CTV's News Channel.
Malik and his co-workers looked at families and couples and analyzed how their annual household disposable income has changed in the past few decades.
They then divided the households into different categories, according to the age of the "head of the household or spouse."
According to the data, household disposable income for those in the 70 to 74 age bracket has grown 16 per cent in Canada since 1987. In that same time, household disposable income grew five per cent for Canadians aged 65 to 69.
For those aged 25 to 29, however, household disposable income fell by four per cent.
This trend raises important questions about the gap between young and old, Malik said.
"Why are we keeping younger people with a massive burden?" he said. "Why aren't we allowing them to share in national growth like other age groups?"
Malik said a number of factors are holding millennials back, including low wages and globalization.
"We make young people compete on a global stage like never before," he said.
According to The Guardian, demographics, joblessness and rising house prices are also bringing down young people's prospects and limiting their opportunities.
Meanwhile, pensioners are living better than ever before, Malik said.
"You've got so many people who are just retired, not working, and actually pretty well off," he said. "That's never happened before."
Compared to Canada, the disparities between young and old are even more pronounced in other Western countries.
In the U.K., household disposable income has grown 66 per cent since 1979 in households that fall in the 70 to 74 age range. Meanwhile, it's fallen two per cent for 25 to 29 year olds.
And in Italy, where household disposable income went up by 20 per cent since 1986 for the 70 to 74 age range, income fell 19 per cent for those aged 25 to 29.
But the news isn't bad for young people everywhere, Malik said.
Outside of the western world, many young people are better off than past generations.
"There is a good a news story, which is that Gen Y-ers in China and India are doing better than ever before," he said. "That's that trade-off there."