What Is American Wealth?

American wealth is a term used to refer to the total amount of personal wealth held by citizens of the United States. Personal wealth includes net worth, which is the total value of a person´s assets minus liabilities. It may also include disposable or investable assets. The term “American wealth” is most often used to describe the total wealth in the nation, rather than individual households or as a measure of the overall standard of living.

Average Wealth of American Households

The median net worth of American households was $97,290 in 2019. This means that half of U.S. households had a net worth of more than $97,290 while the other half had a net worth of less than $97,290. This is a slight decrease from 2018 when the median net worth was $98,887. The median or typical American household is doing slightly better than it was in 2000, when the median household net worth was $60,500.

U.S. Households Making over $300k

According to the data from the Federal Reserve, around 8% of American households make more than $300,000 each year. This number is actually slightly lower than it was in 2016, when 8.7% of households were earning over $300k annually. Those households are considered to be among the super-rich, as they are earning significantly more than the U.S. median income.

Wealth Inequality in America

The data also reveals the level of inequality in the American wealth distribution. According to the Federal Reserve, the top 10% of households earns 45.6% of all U.S. income. It is estimated that the top 1% of households, those earning more than $937,000 a year, owns 20% of all U.S. wealth. This represents a concentration of wealth in the hands of those few wealthy households.

Consequences of Wealth Inequality

Wealth inequality is a reality in America, but it is important to note the consequences of such large gaps in wealth. For one, income inequality can lead to an unequal access to education, health care, food, and other resources. It can also lead to a lack of economic mobility, as those who are born into poverty may not have access to the same kind of resources as their wealthier counterparts. This could in turn lead to a decrease in economic growth as those individuals may not be able to contribute fully to the economy.

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