The recent recession has destroyed nearly two decades of American’s wealth, according to Federal Reserve data published earlier this week.
In the three years from 2007 to 2010, the median net worth of families plunged 39 percent from US$126,400 to US$77,300. That puts Americans on par with what they had in 1992.
The greatest economic upheaval was among middle-class Americans, the Fed reported. Half of middle-class Americans fell to a lower economic rung, as their median net-worth – the value of assets such as homes, automobiles and stocks minus any debt – suffered the greatest drops.
By contrast, America’s wealthiest families’ median net worth rose slightly, the Fed reported.
According to Fed data, during the three-year period American’s median income fell nearly 8 percent, to US$45,000. Market-based retirement accounts declined 7 percent, to $44,000.
Median credit card balances dropped 16 percent, from US$3,100 to US$2,600.