The net worth — the value of assets owned minus all debts — of Americans doubled, on average, from 1983 through 2010, with increases in all age groups except those 29-37. The term “the American Dream” is often used to refer to the desire for a higher standard of living than the previous generation. The 29-37 age group saw a decline of 21% compared with the same age group in 1983. In 2007, the value of houses began dropping during the Great Recession, which tended to affect younger Americans the most because they typically had mortgages with higher balances — often more than the value of their homes. They also were more likely to have higher student loan debt and a higher unemployment rate, making it more difficult to pay off debt and save for the future.
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