Renting and sharing are growing, potentially changing the economy

This can be a lifestyle or this can be the consequence of economic precariousness, the renting instead of owning movement keeps growing in the United States, especially among the youth.

Are Millennials different? asked three researchers with the Federal Reserve Board (FRB) in 2018. “At comparable ages, homeownership was near 50 percent for Generation X members in 2001 and only 34 percent (16 percentage points lower) for millennials in 2016,” they wrote in a paper.

“The Generation X households held, on average, more than $52,000 financial assets in 2001, nearly $22,000 more than millennial households in 2016,” they added, therefore providing evidence that millennials do own less than the previous generation.

In addition to the minimalist wave that is building up on ecological and ethical considerations, the renting and sharing movement corresponds in part to a lifestyle willingly chosen by young people who wish to live a freer life from geographical, sociological, professional perspectives.

However, if it does accompany the growth of social media and connected devices that is deeply changing our collective way of life, this millennial trend also translates growing job insecurity and rising cost of living.

Consequently, the youth may rather be adapting to the “new mediocre” than really fueling their “less is more” way of life, therefore less owning and more renting and sharing could be a necessary tool instead of a deliberate choice.