(CBS Local) – Graduation inspires many different feelings from college students. First and foremost, pride. But not long after, anxiety sets in about the impending job search.

This generation is much less likely to out-earn their parents, found in a study conducted by Stanford and Harvard universities and UC Berkeley,via the LA Times which calls into question the so-called American dream.

In 1940, children were born with a near certainty that they’d earn a higher income than their parents when they grew up, which is something every loving parent hopes for their kid. That was also coming off the back of the Great Depression as well as an expanding country, but the study found that there was a 92% chance of that happening in 1940. These days, the percentage has exponentially dropped. Those born in 1984, that’d currently be 32, has just a 50% shot at earning more than their parents.

The data was derived from a database of tax records as well as Census data, with an adjustment for inflation. The study says that the driving force for the difference is how unevenly the money is distributed. Rich get richer, and so on.

“It’s a little nerve-wracking,” Emily Erdbrink, recent college grad still in search of a job, told the LA Times. “I think my parents didn’t have a fallback cushion, as I do, so they had to work harder. There was more of a drive to get money.”


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