Some related threads on this topic: Pain in Middle America Difficult Job Market for the Young the REAL suicide rate: 1 out of 50 Rising number of overdoses amid dim job prospects for Millenials Millennials say no to kids, population 'replacement level' turns negative Do you know what my opinion on this is? It's probably not quite as bad as it currently sounds. Being able to assess what's actually happening in the economy, if I can draw an analogy, is a little bit like looking out at space through a telescope at a distant star. What you're actually seeing in that telescope is what happened two years ago. It takes time for the light coming from that distant star to reach you. Looking through a telescope is like looking back in time. By the same token, when all of this first started happening, most people were not aware, or did not seem to notice. I think the problems started showing up as early as 2005. Even in 2009 there didn't seem to be much public awareness of the personal toll that had been inflicted on many people. There were some people who tried to raise the alarm, but it mostly went unnoticed. Now, by the year 2018 the public is just beginning to piece together the full magnitude of what happened. Things have improved a little bit from what they were a few years ago. But it will likely take another year or two to be able to assess what the current situation is right now. What did happen, however, is likely to have far reaching implications for the next couple of decades, including on demographics.