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Home Publications The economic circumstances of cohorts born between the 1940s and the 1970s

The economic circumstances of cohorts born between the 1940s and the 1970s

Andrew Hood and Robert Joyce
Report summary

This summary is based on a report authored by IFS researchers, which used household survey data collected over the last 50 years to look at the incomes, wealth and expected inheritances of those born between 1940 and 1980, seeking to provide a sense of the likely economic position of the younger cohorts in later life, in absolute terms and relative to their predecessors. 

The main conclusion is that individuals born in the 1960s and 1970s are likely to be reliant on inherited wealth if they are to be any better off in retirement than their predecessors. However, the prevalence and value of expected future inheritances are distributed unequally, with households that are already relatively wealthy far more likely to benefit. The end result could be growing inequality within younger generations – rather than between older and younger ones.