Average Net Worth Americans

Net Worth Americans

After I created my article on income inequality and the US Economic Crisis I received numerous requests for more information.

Information on the Average Net Worth of Americans is readily available, and I’ll provide you with a bunch of pie charts and graphs that explain everything.

This information comes from two main sources. The Federal Reserve Boards Survey of Consumer Finances and a couple Reports from the IRS.

I’m focusing on information from 2007 because it is extremely reliable. I’d like to use estimates that are more recent, but I prefer accuracy over recent guesses.

All of the data below is based on total Net Worths of American Households. There are currently 112,611,029 American households based on the Federal Reserve Board.

So here is everything you’d ever want to know about the Net Worths of Americans.

If you find this article helpful, please click here [googleplusone] so more people can find this 🙂

Average Net Worth US Citizens 2007

Average Net Worths of Americans

This is the big chart. It shows how much of the total Net Worth of the United States is owned by the different groups. As you can see the top 10% controls a massive amount (70% of the nations total Net Worth). Again this data comes from the Federal Reserve Boards Survey of Consumer Finances.

Understand that in 2008 the total net worth of the US was estimated to have dropped by 22.3%. If you want to see estimates on where the US stands now see the data covered in US Economic Crisis.

What you see above and below is where the US stood in 2007. Again because this data is as close to 100% accurate as you can get.

  • Avg Net Worth Bottom 25%: $4,600
  • Avg Net Worth Next 25 – 50%: $21,700
  • Avg Net Worth Next 50 – 75%: $78,900
  • Avg Net Worth Next 75 – 90%: $242,800
  • Avg Net Worth Top 10%: $1,606,600
  • Total Net Worth of the Top 400 (Forbes 2011): $1,707,250,000,000

Increase of Net Worth of Americans (1989 – 2007)

There has been a dramatic change in the Net Worth of the top 10% as you can see below.

Changes in US Net Worth

Year Bottom 25% 25 – 50% 50 – 75% 75 – 90% Top 10%
1989 $2,500 $14,000 $41,500 $128,300 $710,500
1992 $2,500 $12,900 $43,100 $119,700 $680,100
1995 $3,700 $16,200 $46,000 $134,400 $875,300
1998 $4,200 $18,900 $65,700 $195,000 $1,202,100
2001 $3,700 $20,500 $78,600 $253,200 $1,599,300
2004 $3,300 $18,900 $69,900 $244,700 $1,486,900
2007 $4,600 $21,700 $78,900 $242,800 $1,606,600

That’s a total increase in Net Worth of:

  • Bottom 25% : 45.6%
  • Next 25 -50% : 35.5%
  • Next 50 – 75% : 47.4%
  • Next 75 – 90% : 47.2%
  • Top 10% : 55.8%

Distribution of US Total Net Worth over the Years

Let’s take a look at what it looks like when we divide the above data in a bar chart.

Net Worth Bar Graph

Net Worth Based on Numerous Factors

Now I’ll provide numerous charts that show how much of Americas Net Worth is divided up based on numerous factors.

Net Worth Based on RaceNet Worth Based on Location in USNet Worth Based on Job TypeNet Worth Based on Job CategoryNet Worth Based on Home OwnershipNet Worth Based on Education



































You no doubt noticed how dramatically home ownership effects net worth. That’s the reason why American citizens were so hurt by the last economic collapse.

When a majority of your net worth is tied up in your home, you will be that much more hurt when the housing market collapses!

And, it definitely collapsed! In May of 2011 the Wall Street Journal reported that home values have fallen by 33%. Total loss of Net Worth of between 16 – 18%. Others have reported a loss of over 22.3% because of the fall in all other investments. More on the current situation here US Economic Crisis based on government estimates.

Here are two more charts to help explain this situation based on 2007 reports and FRB estimates for today.

Net Worth Home EquityHome Value Based on Net Worth

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16 Responses to “Average Net Worth Americans”

  1. Great work
    I’m working with another person to develop a website that encourages folks to “make a video, make a difference”. The website is designed to precipitate videos that will inform the public of the maldistribution of wealth (and closely related topics). I was surprised to discover the current distribution and Norton and Ariely research convinced me I was not alone in my “ignorance”. I plan to use some “sample” videos on the website to serve as examples. With your permission I’ll use some of yours. If you are interested I can also keep you informed of the progress of out site.

    • admin says:

      It sounds like a good idea. You can do whatever you’d like with my videos.

      I just made this video because I saw biased information coming out from both the right and the left. I only used 2 government sources being the Federal Reserve Boards Survey of Consumer Finances and IRS Tax Stat data.

      I’m glad you found it enlightening 🙂

  2. Vicki says:

    Net worth = your assets (your savings, your investments, the value of your home) minus your liabilities (your debts). I wonder what is the average net worth of Americans who are debtors versus Americans who are not debtors? It is a very important distinction. Someone who earns a 6 figure income, but has a jumbo mortgage would be in the bottom 25%, based on your data. Someone who earns $10 an hour but has a paid off home mortgage and a home valued at $130K would be in the 50 to 75%. Taxing “the wealthy” will simply translate into taxing low to middle income people who choose to stay out of debt in order to bail out high income people who borrow too much to finance a lifestyle they cannot really afford. Tax the highest income bracket if you must, but leave frugal savers alone.

    • admin says:

      I agree with your thoughts on net worth and that is exactly how I calculated net worth. I provide the answer to your question about debt in my US Income Article.

      I was amazed at the amount of debt people have. I’m extremely cheap and watch every penny as well. I just wanted to create an article with the real numbers in it. I don’t think anything is really going to change.

      I think one of the major problems in the US is the lack of access to education. I see no reason for colleges to operate the same today as they did 100 years ago. I doubt that this system will change however.

      • Logan says:

        Sorry, but the US’s university system is the best in the world. It’s not cheap for a top tier school for sure. “Access” to education is not the issue. We are experiencing an education gap between quality of education at the high school level and education at the university level. As well as a “skills gap” between workplace demand and available labor. Proper skills for a 21st century economy is the real issue. Scientific based disciplines are again the wave of the future. A degree in finance doesn’t prepare you for a job at google or an alternative energy company. Science and technology feeding into the energy, agriculture, health care and software industries are what will propel us competitiveness and economic prosperity.

        • admin says:

          I agree that the vast majority of the unemployed are unemployable because of their lack of 21st century skills.

          Whether the US university system is the best in the world I don’t know?

          What I do know is that the vast majority of students graduating from technical schools have the skills to perform in the profession listed on the degree.

          Students graduating from 4 year universities normally can not say the same. I recently interviewed 33 college grads with degrees in computer science. From that group only 4 could actually perform as a entry level web designer. 1 of those 4 graduated from a technical school that was a great degree less expensive and only required 2 years of education instead of 4. She was dramatically superior to the other 3 students that graduated with a 4 year degree.

          I don’t believe in good enough. As per high schools, we can fix many of the troubled youths by sending them to boot camps. It has been proven to work with the most troubled of children.

          The real problem is that it is easier to ignore these children until they shoot someone or commit some other crime.

          Just my opinion

          • jeff says:

            I often hear of the skills gap. I wonder when the commitment was made to defeat Germany and Japan, the lack of skills in the US prevented hiring to create the weapons of war. When the race to the moon was declared, it was abandoned right away, because no one had the training to land on the moon. I find the “skills gap” historically not very convincing.

  3. Chris says:

    Any idea when we’ll have data for 2008 – 2010? These are obvious critical years given the change due to the economic crisis.

  4. pacman says:

    Average is a bad measure for this article.

    99 people could have 1 million net worth
    1 person could have 25 billion net worth

    The average goes from $1 million to $25 million

    Similarly for poor people the numbers could be pulled down

    • admin says:

      I constantly see median incomes which seem to dramatically inflate the numbers. That’s why I choose average. I understand your point and agree that statistics can be twisted based on bias.

      It may seem that I have an extreme liberal bias? I don’t believe in mass redistribution of wealth, but instead believe people / corporations should pay for the services provided by the government. I also believe citizens should receive an income based on how much income they generate. Business owners should receive rewards for taking risks, but also pay the price when a risk goes wrong.

      I could go on forever, but I don’t believe in either political party. I also don’t believe anything is being done to solve the numerous problems that exist. That’s a shame because just a few changes would cause dramatic results

  5. meryl says:

    if the average net worth of the top 10% is $1,600,000 how is it that the average value of non-financial assets for this group is $2,255,000

    • admin says:

      Heck if I know? I just copied everything from the federal reserve survey I listed as a source. It may seem like I’m highly political from this video, but I don’t care for either side and vote against whomever is currently in office irregardless of party

  6. David says:

    So, do you have a figure for the total combined net worth of all Americans? The figure you have is just for the Forbes 400. Thanks!


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