What is the average net worth in America?
Ever wondered how much your net worth is? Or how your finances compare to your peers? This article takes you through the net worth and income of the average American.
In October 2023, the Federal Reserve published a report, Survey of Consumer Finances, which examined the average net worth, income, assets, debt, and financial vulnerability in the US.
The findings paint an interesting picture of how family incomes and net worth have changed over the pandemic and periods of high inflation.
According to the report, real, or inflation-adjusted, median net worth swelled by 37% in 2022 from 2019, pre-pandemic.
Americans aged 65-74 have the highest net worth, with the median standing at $409,900.
Under-35s have the lowest median net worth at $39,000.
Jumps in net worth between 2019 and 2022 can be attributed to rising house and corporate equity prices.
Americans with a college degree earn over 12 times more than those who do not have a high school degree.
Americans living in urban areas have a higher net worth than those who live outside a Metropolitan statistical area (MSA).
What is the average net worth by age in the US?
According to the Federal Reserve’s report, here is a breakdown of both median and average American net worth by age.
It’s important to note that average figures are often skewed by richer households, which can drive the numbers upwards. Instead, median figures provide a more accurate portrayal of the average net worth by age in the US.
According to the research, the “reference person” is the head of household listed.
|Age of reference person||Median net worth||Average net worth|
When compared to 2019, net worth has increased across the board.
|Age of reference person||2019 median net worth||2022 median net worth|
Under-35s saw one of the biggest increases, with their median net worth more than doubling in three years.
The figures also paint a good picture for retirees and soon-to-be retirees, both groups seeing significant jumps in their median net worth.
This growth can be attributed to many factors, including rising house prices, increased wages and increased corporate equity prices.
What is the average net worth by education in the US?
According to the Federal Reserve’s report, here is a breakdown of both median and average American net worth by education.
|Reference person||Median net worth||Average net worth|
|No high school diploma||$38,100||$175,600|
|High school diploma||$106,800||$413,300|
|Some college education||$136,500||$541,100|
What is the average net worth by housing status and location in the US?
The Federal Reserve’s report also revealed the median and average American net worth by housing status and whether they live in an urban location or not.
|Reference person||Median net worth||Average net worth|
|Living in a metropolitan area||$199,200||$1,133,100|
|Not living in a metropolitan area||$146,400||$652,100|
What is the average income by age in the US?
The Federal Reserve’s report also explored the median and average American income by age.
|Age of reference person||Median income||Average income|
How do I calculate my net worth?
When you think of net worth, you’ll be forgiven for thinking it’s just for the wealthy or to determine celebrity rich lists.
So, what is net worth?
Your net worth is the value of your assets minus your liabilities. It is extremely important for everyone as it provides an accurate insight into your financial well-being and stability.
Calculating your net worth is relatively easy. As mentioned, it is simply the value of your assets minus your liabilities.
Your assets are all your income streams, including your savings, investments, cash, cars, real estate, retirement accounts, and other investments. Your liabilities can be everything from loans and bills to debts.
Each person's net worth will vary dramatically as it is subject to unique circumstances. How much you earn, where you live, your educational background and even your family background will factor into your net worth. The table above showing net worth by age group should give you a good indication of where you stand compared to your peers.
How do I increase my net worth?
During our lives, and especially as we get closer to retirement, many of us want to achieve financial freedom.
This means having enough money to cover your expenses and live how you want without worrying about financial constraints.
However, a number of factors impact how much money you have to your name – age, education, housing status, race, and where you live.
As mentioned earlier, it also depends on your unique situation and your financial goals. If you plan to live modestly, you will not need as much money as if you plan a more extravagant lifestyle.
If growing your net worth is part of your financial plan, here are some tips to help get you started.
Limit debt – Debt poses the biggest challenge to growing your net worth and can eat away at your income. Where possible, avoid high-interest loans. If you have debts, prioritize paying them off. The quicker you can clear your debt, the quicker you can build your savings.
Invest wisely – If you want to grow your net worth, you need to make your money work as hard as you do. Investing is one of the biggest ways you can achieve this. However, you have to invest wisely. If you’re younger, you can afford to take some risks as you have more time to make up for any losses. However, if you’re closer to retirement, you need to be more conservative with your choices. Remember, investing has its risks and rewards.
Prioritize your retirement accounts – Putting away money for the future is a great way to build your wealth. Take a 401(k) for example. Here, you put pre-tax money into an account to grow over time. In many cases, your employer will also match your contributions, essentially providing you with free money to contribute to your overall net worth.
Speak to a professional – While these tips can point you in the right direction, getting expert financial advice is invaluable. A financial advisor will work with you to determine your incomings and outgoings and create a bespoke strategy to help you reach your financial goals.
Want to grow your net worth? A good place to start is Unbiased. Here, you can get matched with an independent SEC-regulated financial advisor who can put you on the path to financial success.
Senior Content Writer
Rachel is a Senior Content Writer at Unbiased. She has nearly a decade of experience writing and producing content across a range of different sectors.