One thing we learn when we're young is that talking about money is tacky, particularly with strangers. That said, how could we, personally, have enough data regarding our peers' finances in order to calculate how much Millennials make in each state? Well, we wouldn't. The way were were brought up to regard money has naturally seeped into our development and shaped our mentality towards finances. We barely feel comfortable talking to our dearest friends or significant others about their finances. We've been raised to regard our finances as intimate private numbers, which in many ways is a classy gift but in other ways, it keeps us from having a solid awareness of the financial climate around us. So without the hat of a research analyst, we'd never go so far as to ask people about how much money they make.
Alas, thanks to the folks over at Business Insider, who most certainly have a forever hall pass and certified research analyst hat, the research has been done for us. Using data from the American Community Survey, courtesy of the Minnesota Population Center, Andy Kiersz and Kathleen Elkins put together a super useful and informative infographic that clearly depicts the Millennial (born between 1981-1997) income differences between states. Due to the fact that the Millennial generation statistically makes less money than the generation prior, and that student loan debt is at a record-breaking high, there's a lot of interest right now on what that means for the future for the economy and the future of student loans.
The higher end of the median spectrum is a yearly salary of $43,000 in D.C. while the lower end checks in with a yearly salary of $18,000 in Montana. What I found most surprising was that major city states checked in with some of the lowest numbers. New York's median Millennial income is $25,000, California's at $21,900 and Illinois' at $20,000. With all of the young working professional busting their asses in each other those city states, I expected the median to be much higher. But what makes Business Insiders' data most interesting is that they've also included the salary data for employees in the prior generation. So while the Millennial income median in New York might only be $25,000, the overall employee median is $40,000. And while the Millennial median in California might be $21,900, the overall employee median is $35,000. And the while the Millennial median in Illinois might be $23,00, the overall employee median is $37,500. It should be noted however, that despite the shocking gap between income medians, the data might have been lowered by the increasing amount of part-time workers — another increasing trend that will no doubt have a huge impact on the economy and the way we view financial stability and security.