Today, everything from movie tickets to college tuition is more expensive, and not simply because of inflation. In a new study, Student Loan Hero examined just how much pricier things are for today’s young people than they were for their predecessors and found that, in many cases, costs have spiked.
“Millennials and other generations have benefited from a 67 percent rise in wages since 1970,” Student Loan Hero reports. “However, these gains have not been enough to keep up with ever-inflating living costs. Rent, home prices and college costs have all increased faster than incomes in the U.S.”
As SLH’s data shows, housing prices have gone way up. In 1960, the median home value in the U.S. was $11,900, which is the equivalent of around $98,000 in today’s dollars, and in 2000, SLH notes, it rose to over $170,000. And it has only kept rising. As of April 2018, the median home value has ballooned to over $210,200, according to Zillow. Adjusting for inflation, that’s a 114 percent increase since 1960.
The cost of higher education has grown at an astonishing rate as well. Attending a public university in 1987 cost around $1,490 per year, the equivalent of $3,190 in today’s dollars, Student Loan Hero reports, citing data from College Board. For the 2017-2018 school year, students forked over an average of $9,970 in tuition and fees. That’s an increase of 212 percent.
To attend a private university, students paid an average of $7,050 in 1987, or $15,160 in today’s dollars. In 2017-2018, that price had grown to $34,740, an increase of 129 percent.
No wonder so many millennials are having a hard time saving.
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