Business, Economics and Jobs

Family net worth drops 40 percent in US


The average family net worth dropped 40 percent from 2007-2010, according to the Fed.


Chung Sung-Jun

The average American family lost nearly 40 percent of its wealth from 2007 to 2010, the Federal Reserve said in a report Monday.

The study showed the largest losses were concentrated among households with the most assets tied to their homes.

According to Reuters, the Fed said in a statement, "Although declines in the values of financial assets or business were important factors for some families, the decreases in median net worth appear to have been driven most strongly by a broad collapse in house prices."

According to the Wall Street Journal, median net worth of families fell to $77,300 in 2010 from $126,400 in 2007, a drop of 38.8 percent. This marks the largest drop since the current survey began in 1989.

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Incomes dropped the most among middle-class families, according to the Wall Street Journal. The wealthiest 10 percent, by net worth, saw their median income fall 1.4 percent between 2007 and 2010, while families in the middle class saw their income drop by as much as 12.1 percent. The lower-middle class saw their income fall by 3.7 percent.

According to the Washington Post, the survey is conducted every three years. It noted that Fed economists said that although housing prices had fallen and unemployment continues to drop, those improvements largely do not change the survey results.

The Post also noted that with these numbers, American families have no more wealth than they had in the early 1990s.