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A Lost Generation? Young Families after the Great Recession

Registration for this event is closed.

Date:  Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Time:  Reception: 6 p.m. (Light fare will be served.)
Welcome and introduction: 6:30 p.m.
Program: 6:45‑8 p.m.
Location: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
One Federal Reserve Bank Plaza
Broadway and Locust St.
St. Louis, Mo. 63102 (map it)

Most families' wealth took a big hit in the Great Recession, but rebounding stock and house prices since then have supported a partial recovery for many. The typical family headed by someone born in the 1980s, however, fell further behind the path of wealth accumulation typical of earlier generations at the same ages. What's behind the very slow wealth recovery of the youngest families? Perhaps surprisingly, it's not weak income growth or low saving rates. Instead, it appears to be related to high debt burdens, including student loans and other kinds of non-mortgage debt.

Researcher Lowell R. Ricketts will compare and contrast three decades of wealth gains and losses experienced by typical families headed by people born between 1930 and 1989. To compare apples to apples, the disparate experiences of different generations are compared at the same stages in their life cycles. Ricketts, of the St. Louis Fed's Center for Household Financial Stability, will zero in on young Americans and discuss their prospects for getting back on the track of lifetime wealth accumulation established by earlier generations.

The event also will feature:

  • Robert Hopkins, senior vice president and regional executive of the St. Louis Fed's Little Rock Branch.
  • Ray Boshara, senior adviser and director of the Center.
  • William R. Emmons, lead economist of the Center.

Hopkins will give welcoming remarks. Boshara will give an introduction, with Emmons joining Ricketts for a short panel discussion. A Q&A with the audience will follow.

The event is open on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no cost to attend, but registration is required and will close April 13 or as soon as all seats are filled.

Questions? Contact Karen Casbourne at or 314-444-7471.

This presentation is part of the St. Louis Fed’s evening discussion series, called Dialogue with the Fed: Beyond Today’s Financial Headlines. View previous presentations at this site.