May 10, 2013

The Uneven Economic Recovery: Wealth of Upper 7% Rises, While Less-Affluent See Declines

$3,173,895

From 2009 to 2011, the mean wealth of the most affluent 8 million households rose to an estimated $3,173,895 from an estimated $2,476,244.

During the first two years of the nation’s economic recovery, the mean net worth of households in the upper 7% of the wealth distribution rose by an estimated 28%, while the mean net worth of households in the lower 93% dropped by 4%, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of newly released Census Bureau data.

From 2009 to 2011, the mean wealth of the 8 million households in the more affluent group rose to an estimated $3,173,895 from an estimated $2,476,244, while the mean wealth of the 111 million households in the less affluent group fell to an estimated $133,817 from an estimated $139,896.

These wide variances were driven by the fact that the stock and bond markets rallied during the 2009 to 2011 period while the housing market remained relatively flat. Affluent households typically have their assets concentrated in stocks and other financial holdings, while less affluent households typically have their wealth more heavily concentrated in the value of their home. Read more