If you've been following the news, Millennials - the generation born between 1981 and 1997 - are simultaneously ruining all things sacred and doomed to a life without equity or pensions. But in one country, the outlook for the Millennial generation is far less bleak. According to the BBC, while most millennials saw a decrease in their disposable incomes in recent years, Norwegian millennials saw a 13 percent increase.
In the US, millennials saw a five percent decrease, and Germany saw a 9 percent dip. In other parts of Europe, disposable incomes have decreased by as much as 30 percent.
Norway is bucking the trend, where people in their early 30s make an average of $56,000 per year.
So what's Norway's secret? The country's rapid economic growth. In 2017, Norway was a the top of the Legatum Prosperity Index, an analysis of the economic growth and vitality of 110 countries. The oil and gas sector holds the keys to much of Norway's growth.
The BBC asked Hilde Bjørnland, an economics professor based at BI Norwegian Business School in Oslo to explain how that growth made an impact on millennials.
She said it's not just the amount of money Norway brings in, but what it does with it.
Bjørnland explained, “[Norway] has managed the oil [money] well in that it is saving, and using a portion of that to put back into society. So rather than a few getting a lot, many people have access to this wealth.” With all this wealth, Norway has invested in over 9,000 companies, turning its sovereign wealth fund into over $1 trillion.
But Norway doesn't just reinvest its wealth with an eye to the future. The country's focus on redistribution also puts Norway at the top of the charts when it comes to income equality. According to the two most cited measures of income inequality, the Gini index and the Palma ratio, Norway ranks at number three and number two respectively for income equality.
Bjørnland said, “Young people and people in lower-paid industries have [experienced] the growth rates in their wages each year... and the differences between those who earn a little and those who earn a lot are not so large as in other countries.”
Another piece of the puzzle for Norway? Its free education at most schools and public universities, coupled with easy access to low-interest student loans.
Learn more about studying in Norway.
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