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The Economic Policy Institute recently published the 2011 State of Working America’s Wealth and the data is fascinating.
It’s also very timely, since many of us have seen our portfolios recover completely from the lows a few years ago, but we’re wondering how we stack up.
Some of the highlights are obvious, including the impact of the housing debacle devastating millions of people’s net worth. What’s interesting is how the housing market impacted different classes:
Wealthy households, for example, tend to hold a much higher percentage of their wealth in stocks and bonds, whereas less-affluent households typically hold most of their wealth in housing equity—which is why the recent troubles in housing have disproportionally affected the middle class.
The paper has a lot of very powerful graphs that illustrate the widening gap between the top 1% and everyone else. Here are the statistics about the top 1% that I find most intriguing:
And of course, for everyone wondering how you stack up, here is the average wealth of the top 20% in 2009:
Here is a complete breakdown of the average wealth by each of the 20% increments in 2009:
What do you think of the data?