Jon Miller

Jon MillerThe recent recession hurt the finances of most Americans. But as the economy slowly recovers, Generation Xers—those born between 1961 and 1981—appear to have been hurt the most. The average American household’s net worth in 2013 was 14 percent below the 2007 pre-recession peak, according to a March 23 article posted by NBC News, but for Gen Xers, the average net worth plunged 27 percent. The drop only increased the already growing gap between those who have and those who don’t, according to ISR researcher Jon Miller. “It probably increases the spread between the top and the bottom, just as we’ve seen in general,” he told NBC News. “The people who are getting hurt are getting hurt a lot.” The dynamic bodes ill not only for Gen Xers, but also for their children, since parents may be unable to put aside money for college—increasingly seen as a necessary prerequisite for success. “They’re going to be harder pressed to send their children to college, which comes to the issue of opportunity,” Miller said. “It is the lower middle groups that will struggle more with college expenses.”