Chart notes | Wealth

Tables

Table 6.1. Distribution of income compared with distribution of wealth, 2010. The table is based on unpublished analysis of 2010 Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) data prepared in 2012 by Edward Wolff for the Economic Policy Institute. The definition of wealth used in this analysis of the SCF is the same definition of wealth used in the analysis of the SCF conducted by Bricker et al. (2012), except that the Bricker et al. analysis includes vehicle wealth, while this analysis does not.

Table 6.2. Change in wealth groups’ shares of total wealth, 1962–2010. See note to Table 6.1.

Table 6.3. Change in average wealth, by wealth group, 1962–2010. See note to Table 6.1.

Table 6.4. Share of households with low net worth, 1962–2010. See note to Table 6.1.

Table 6.5. Median household wealth, and share of households with zero or negative wealth, by race and ethnicity, 1983–2010. See note to Table 6.1.

Table 6.6. Wealth groups’ shares of assets, by asset type, 2010. See note to Table 6.1.

Table 6.7. Average household assets, by wealth group and asset type, 1962–2010. See note to Table 6.1.

Table 6.8. Average and median household assets, by race/ethnicity and asset type, 1983–2010. See note to Table 6.1.

Table 6.9. Share of households owning stock, 1989–2010. See note to Table 6.1.

Table 6.10. Average household debt, assets, and net worth, by wealth group, 1962–2010. See note to Table 6.1.

Table 6.11. Median household debt, by race and ethnicity, 1983–2010. See note to Table 6.1.

Table 6.12. Distribution of debt by its purpose, 1989–2010. Data for years 2001–2010 are from Bricker et al. (2012). Data for prior years are from the Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Consumer Finances, Tables Based on the Internal Data.

Table 6.13. Household financial obligations as a share of disposable personal income, for renters and homeowners, 1980–2011. Data refer to annual averages from the Federal Reserve Board (FRB), “Household Debt Service and Financial Obligations Ratios.” Per the FRB, the financial obligations ratio (FOR) adds automobile lease payments, rental payments on tenant-occupied property, homeowners’ insurance, and property tax payments to the debt service ratio (an estimate of the ratio of debt payments on outstanding mortgage and consumer debt, to disposable personal income). The homeowner mortgage FOR includes payments on mortgage debt, homeowners’ insurance, and property taxes, while the homeowner consumer FOR includes payments on consumer debt and automobile leases.

Table 6.14. Household debt service as a share of family income, by income group, 1989–2010. Data are from Bricker et al. (2012), Table 17.

Table 6.15. Share of households with high debt burdens, by income group, 1989–2010. Data are from Bricker et al. (2012), Table 17.

Table 6.16. Share of households late paying bills, by income group, 1989–2010. Data are from Bricker et al. (2012), Table 17.

Table 6.17. Median and mean wealth per adult in 20 advanced countries, 2011. Data are from the Credit Suisse Research Institute’s Global Wealth Databook 2011. Note that in international comparisons of income it is standard practice (including at EPI) to convert currencies using “purchasing power parity” (PPP) exchange rates instead of market exchange rates. PPPs are based on the price of buying a given “basket” of goods and services in each country, thereby equalizing the purchasing power of currencies. It should be noted that for these data, market exchange rates, not PPP exchange rates, are used to convert currencies to U.S. dollars. The authors of the report argue that there is a case to be made for using market exchange rates for international comparisons of wealth because in every country a large share of personal wealth is owned by households in the top few percentiles of the distribution, and these households tend to move their assets across borders with relative frequency. Results are not available using PPP exchange rates. It also should be noted that the ratio of mean to median is the same regardless of what exchange rates are used.

Figures

Figure 6A. Average household net worth, net financial assets, and net tangible assets, 1965–2012. Data for net worth and assets are from the Federal Reserve Board’s Flow of Funds data, Table B.100, “Balance Sheet of Households and Nonprofit Organizations.” The data were adjusted for inflation using the CPI-U-RS (Consumer Price Index Research Series Using Current Methods), and divided by the number of U.S. households based on Census Bureau data. The household data are from the Current Population Survey/Housing Vacancy Survey Historical Tables, Table 7, “Annual Estimates of the Housing Inventory: 1965 to Present” (http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/housing/hvs/historic/index.html). The number of “owner occupied” homes was taken as a percentage of “total occupied” homes to calculate a percentage of homeownership.

Figure 6B. Share of total household wealth growth accruing to various wealth groups, 1983–2010. Data are derived from Table 6.3.

Figure 6C. Ratio of average top 1% household wealth to median wealth, 1962–2010. Data are derived from Table 6.3.

Figure 6D. Average annual net worth of “Forbes 400” wealthiest individuals, 1982–2011. Data for 1982 to 1999 are adapted from Broom and Shay (2000) Table 2, “‘Forbes 400’ Individual Fortunes.” Data from 2000 to 2011 are from Forbes annual lists of the richest 400 Americans. All data are adjusted to 2011 dollars using the CPI-U-RS.

Figure 6E. Median household wealth by race and ethnicity, 1983–2010. See note to Table 6.5.

Figure 6F. U.S. stock market, 1955–2011. Data on the Standard & Poor’s composite index of the 500 largest U.S. firms (the S&P 500) are from the Economic Report of the President (Council of Economic Advisers 2012), tables B-95, “Historical Stock Prices and Yields, 1949–2003,” and B-96, “Common Stock Prices and Yields, 2000–2011,” deflated by the CPI-U-RS in 2011 dollars and indexed to 1960=100.

Figure 6G. Wealth groups’ shares of total household stock wealth, 1983–2010. Data are derived from Table 6.6; see table note to Table 6.6.

Figure 6H. Annual homeownership rate, 1965-2011. Annual data are from the Current Population Survey/Housing Vacancy Survey, Historical Tables, Table 7, “Annual Estimates of the Housing Inventory: 1965 to Present,” http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/housing/hvs/historic/index.html. To calculate the rate of homeownership, the number of owner-occupied homes was taken as a percentage of total occupied homes.

Figure 6I. Homeownership rate, by income group, 2009. Data are from the Census Bureau’s American Housing Survey, National Tables, Table 3-12, “Owner Occupied Units,” http://www.census.gov/housing/ahs/data/ahs2009.html, most recently published in 2009. Due to budget constraints, the two-year schedule for this survey was delayed in 2012, and 2011 data were not available in time for this publication.

Figure 6J. Homeownership rate, by race and ethnicity, 1975–2011. Data prior to 1994 are taken from the Current Population Survey (CPS) Annual Social and Economic Supplement, provided by the Census Bureau upon request. Data from 1994 onward are taken from the CPS/Housing Vacancy Survey, Annual Statistics: 2011, Table 22, “Homeownership Rates by Race and Ethnicity of Householder” (http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/housing/hvs/annual11/ann11ind.html). As with other CPS microdata analyses presented in this book, race/ethnicity categories are mutually exclusive (i.e., white non-Hispanic, black non-Hispanic, and Hispanic any race).

Figure 6K. Home prices, 1953–2012. Home price data are from Robert Shiller, of Yale University, who publishes a quarterly series of home price data, which was featured in his book Irrational Exuberance (http://www.econ.yale.edu/~shiller/data.htm). The home price index is set to 1997Q1=100.

Figure 6L. Total homeowner equity as a share of total home values, 1969–2011. Data are from the Federal Reserve Board’s Flow of Funds data, Table B.100, “Balance Sheet of Households and Nonprofit Organizations.”

Figure 6M. Foreclosures per 1,000 owner-occupied dwellings, 2000–2011. Data on foreclosures are from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit; data series “Number of Consumers with New Foreclosures” (http://www.newyorkfed.org/newsevents/news/research/2012/an120227.html). The number of owner-occupied dwellings was taken from the Current Population Survey/Housing Vacancy Survey, Historical Tables, Table 8, “Quarterly Estimates of the Housing Inventory: 1965 to Present” (http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/housing/hvs/historic/index.html).

Figure 6N. Enrollment in defined-benefit versus defined-contribution pension plans among workers with pension coverage, 1983 and 2010. Figure produced from data in Munnell (2012), Figure 4.

Figure 6O. Debt as a share of disposable personal income, all and by type of debt, 1946–2011. Data on disposable personal income, consumer credit liability, total liabilities, and mortgage liabilities are from the Federal Reserve Board’s Flow of Funds data, Table B.100, “Balance Sheet of Households and Nonprofit Organizations.” Data on home equity loans are from Flow of Funds data, Table L.218, “Home Mortgages,” and are unavailable prior to 1990. The various liabilities are taken as shares of disposable personal income for display in the graphs.

Figure 6P. Consumer bankruptcies per 1,000 adults, 1989–2011. Data on bankruptcies are American Bankruptcy Institute Annual and Quarterly U.S. Bankruptcy Statistics, “Annual Business and Non-business Filings by Year” (http://www.abiworld.org/Content/NavigationMenu/NewsRoom/BankruptcyStatistics/Bankruptcy_Filings_1.htm). Data on the adult population are calculated with labor force statistics from the Current Population Survey, Civilian Non-institutional Population Series, Ages 18 and Over.

Figure 6Q. Median wealth per adult in 20 advanced countries, 2011. See note to Table 6.17.

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