Every three years the Federal Reserve releases a report on the distribution of income and wealth in the U.S. It’s that time again. The report, “Recent Changes in U.S. Family Financies: Evidence from the 2001 and 2004 Survey of Consumer Finances,” (pdf) provides detailed statistics providing a glimpse of how much people make, how much they are worth, and the basis of that wealth. One of the main advantages of this report is that, it provides detailed information on wealth. While the Census releases an annual report (pdf) on income and poverty, it does not do the same for wealth.
Income: we learn that median income rose only 1.6% during this 3-year period (significantly lower than the previous two reports). Median family income in 2004 was $43,200. For those with a high school diploma it was $35,600, while for those with a college degree it was $73,000.
Wealth: the trend for the growth of wealth was similarly sluggish (up 1.5%) in comparison to the previous two reports. Median family wealth in 2004 was $93,100. Education again mattered, as those with just a high school diploma were worth $68,700 while those with a college degree had a median wealth of $226,100. The median wealth for families in the lowest 25% of families was $1,700. For those in the top 10% it was $1,430,100. When it comes to stock ownership, overall 20.7% of families own stock (median value: $15,000), but for families in the top 10% of families the number is 62.9% (median value: $110,000). When it comes to vehicles, the value for those in the bottom 25% is $5,600 while for those in the top 10% it is $30,600. For housing, the value of the primary residence for those in the bottom 25% is $65,000 while those in the top 10% own houses with a median value of $450,000.
There is much more in this report worth checking out.