So, taking data from the US Census Bureau, USA Today, and other sources: https://www.census.gov/construction/nrs/pdf/uspricemon.pdf https://www.usatoday.com/story/mone...action-price-3-kbb-kelley-blue-book/26690191/ http://www.in2013dollars.com/1970-dollars-in-2017?amount=1 In 1970: Minimum Wage - $2.10 /hr, or $4,368 yearly Average Wage - $4.52 /hr, or $9,400 yearly Average New House - $23,450 Average New Car - $3,450 Average Yearly Tuition - 4 year public school - $358 Average Yearly Tuition - 4 year private school - $1,561 In 2017: Minimum Wage - $7.25 /hr, or $15,080 yearly Average Wage - $24.97 /hr, or $51,937 yearly Average New House - $368,300 Average New Car - $33,560 Average Yearly Tuition - 4 year public school - $9,650 Average Yearly Tuition - 4 year private school - $33,480 The difference between 1970 and 2017: Minimum Wage - 345% Average Wage - 553% Average New House - 1,571% Average New Car - 973% Average Yearly Tuition - 4 year public school - 2,696% Average Yearly Tuition - 4 year private school - 2,145% Now, between 1970 and 2017, the dollar has gone up roughly 630%... If we just do a straight adjustment for inflation (very rough, but close enough for our purposes: Minimum Wage - Negative 285% Average Wage - Negative 77% Average New House - 941% Average New Car - 343% Average Yearly Tuition - 4 year public school - 2,066% Average Yearly Tuition - 4 year private school - 1,515% Simply put - the cost of things such as a house, a car, or college tuition has increased many, many times more than wages have. In 1970 an average car loan with an 11% interest rate and a 3 year repayment term. Now... there are banks offering 72 and 84 month terms. In 1970, a person working minimum wage, 40 hours a week, and paying the national average 9.8% income tax rate could easily get a decent car and have it paid off in two or three years, even sooner if they were careful with their budget (say, $100 a month, or 27.5% of their gross income, they would have a 3500 dollar car paid off in 35 months). Today, a minimum wage worker paying the same percentage of their gross income, would be paying $350 a month, but it would take 96 months to pay off that average $33,560 car... even if they went with a low end car and call it HALF the average price, it's still 48 months). Now, factor in that in 2017, the rough income tax rate for a minimum wage earner is 15%... a six percent increase. It gets even worse when you look at homes. In 1970, a minimum wager worker could, putting 30% of their income towards it, get an average house on a 20 year mortgage; they would be paying about $110 a month and have it paid off in 18 years. Today, a minimum wage worker putting that same 30% towards it, would be paying about $380 a month, would be paying for 81 years... in order to do a 20 year mortgage, they would have to pay roughly 18,415 a year... which is 122% of their gross income. Ok, lets assume they work two full time minimum wage jobs. That puts them at 30k a year income. They would be paying 61% of their gross income to make a 20 year mortgage. Double the term length, and it would be 30% of their gross income (or about 50% of their net) on a 40 year mortgage, before the interest on the mortgage is even considered. Okay, I hear you saying "but minimum wage isn't supposed to be a living wage". Fine, lets compare average wages: 1970 - $9,399.52 average yearly wage with a $23,450 average house. Putting 30% of that income towards it, they can do a 10 year mortgage and have it paid in 8. Lets make it easier on their budget, and say they put 15% towards it - that gives them a 20 year mortgage, paid in 16 to 17 years. 2017 - $51,937.60 average yearly wage with a $368,300 average house. Putting 30% income towards it, it would take 23.6 years to pay it off... so a 25 year mortgage at least. Even if they get a "cheap" house, at say $200k flat, they would be doing a 15 year mortgage and paying for 13 years... or if they want to make their budget a bit simpler, paying 15% on a 30 year mortgage and paying for 26 years. Basically, they would be getting almost half the house at twice the cost... So, simply put... it isn't that millennials are lazy et al... it is that we find ourselves in a financial situation that is, quite simply, untenable. EDIT - edited to fix LaTeX formatting issue.