According to a press release on the study, the number of people in this age group maintaining an interest-bearing account or other savings instrument declined from 65% in 1985 to 55% in 2004. Ownership of a savings account with a bank fell from 61% to 47% between 1985 and 2004, the study found.
In addition to declining savings, the level of debt is rising among 25 to 34-year-old Americans. According to the press release, the study found the average level of debt for this age group was $3,118 in 1985 and climbed to $4,733 by 2004.
The median net worth for this group has fallen dramatically, according to study results. In 1985, it was $6,788, and by 2004 it was $3,746. As a percentage of income, net worth for 25 – 34 year olds went from 99% of income in 1985 to 92% of income in 2004.
The study was conducted by Christopher Thornberg and Jon Haveman, economists with Beacon Economics in Los Angeles, on behalf of Feed the Pig ( www.FeedthePig.org ), a national public-service campaign sponsored by the AICPA and the Ad Council.