What is the average net worth? This is a question that is often asked, but the answer can vary greatly depending on a number of factors.
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In 2016, the median net worth of American households was $97,300. This means that half of all households had more than this amount, while the other half had less. But what is the average net worth? And how does it compare to the median?
The average net worth of American households is much higher than the median. In fact, it is more than four times as high! In 2016, the average net worth was $461,000.
There are a number of reasons why the average is so much higher than the median. One is that there are a small number of very wealthy households skewing the results. Another is that many households have zero or negative net worths (meaning their debts exceed their assets). This brings down the average.
So, if you want to know how your net worth compares to others, it’s best to look at the median rather than the average. But if you’re curious about what the typical American household has in terms of assets and liabilities, then the average net worth figure is a good place to start.
The definition of net worth:
Net worth is defined as the total value of your assets minus the total of your liabilities. Your assets are everything you own and can use to pay your debts. Your liabilities are everything you owe.
The average net worth in the United States:
In the United States, the average net worth is $692,100. This number comes from a Federal Reserve study that was conducted in 2013. The study defined net worth as “the value of assets owned minus the value of liabilities owed.”
Assets in this case included things like homes, cars, savings accounts, and investments. Liabilities included things like credit card debt, student loans, and mortgages.
The median net worth in the United States is $97,300. This means that half of Americans have a net worth of more than $97,300 and half have a net worth of less than $97,300.
The top 10% of Americans have a median net worth of $2,265,800. The top 1% have a median net worth of $8, Weaver’s analysis showed that many working-class people — even if they had full-time jobs — were not making enough to keep up with rising living costs. More than 60 percent of workers said they lived paycheck to paycheck at least some of the time in 2016; 38 percent said they did so all or most of time.”
The average net worth by age group:
Different sources will give you different numbers for the average net worth by age group. Depending on which study you look at, the average net worth for someone in their 20s can range from $6,000 to $20,000. For someone in their 30s, the average net worth is between $16,000 and $44,000. And for someone in their 40s, the average net worth ranges from $36,000 to $100,000.
The average net worth by household:
The median net worth of U.S. households was $97,300 in 2016, according to the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances. The average net worth was $692,100.
There are a few things to consider when interpreting these data. First, net worth is not the same as income or even wealth. It is possible to have a high income but low net worth (if you spend everything you make) or vice versa. Second, these data may understate the true levels of net worth because they exclude many high-net-worth households, such as those with incomes in the top 1 percent of the distribution, who were not required to participate in the survey.
Still, these data offer a snapshot of the typical American household’s balance sheet and can be helpful in understanding how much debt and savings most families have.
The average net worth by race and ethnicity:
“As of 2016, the median net worth for all U.S. households was $97,300, according to the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances. But there is a wide disparity in wealth between different groups.
White households had a median net worth of $171,000 in 2016 — nearly double the level of black households ($17,600) and more than 10 times the level of Hispanic households ($20,700). Asian households had a median net worth of $154,000.”
The average net worth by education:
While a college degree doesn’t guarantee higher earnings, it is still associated with increased earnings and wealth. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the average net worth by education.
As you can see from the table below, the higher your level of education, the higher your average net worth. For example, households headed by someone with a professional degree have an average net worth more than 10 times that of households headed by someone without a high school diploma.
No High School Diploma: $20,600
High School Diploma: $62,000
Some College: $76,200
Associate Degree: $84,000
Bachelor’s Degree: $159,400
Master’s Degree: $216,700
Professional Degree: $1.03 million
While a college degree doesn’t guarantee you’ll become a millionaire, it is still associated with increased earnings and wealth. So if you’re considering going back to school to get a higher degree, know that it could pay off in the long run – both in terms of your career and your bank account.
The average net worth by occupation:
The table below shows the average net worth by occupation. The data is from 2013.
Occupation Average Net Worth
CEO $5.3 million
CFO $2.9 million
Dentist $1.8 million
Engineer $1.6 million
Teacher $0.6 million
The average net worth by geographic region:
The average net worth in different geographic regions can vary widely. In 2016, for example, the average net worth in the United States was $55,890. The average net worth in the United Kingdom was £31,471 ($41,185).
Geographic region is just one factor that can affect your net worth. Other factors can include your age, income, and investment portfolio.
The average net worth by country:
The average net worth varies considerably from country to country. In the United States, the average net worth is around $620,000. However, in Switzerland the average net worth is a whopping $4 million!
Other countries where the average net worth is high include Australia ($3 million), Denmark ($2.7 million), Norway ($2.6 million), and Canada ($2.5 million). On the other hand, countries like Mexico ($17,000), India ($7,000), and Brazil ($5,000) have much lower averages.
Net worth is calculated by subtracting total liabilities from total assets. So, if you own a home and a car outright and have no other debts, your net worth would be the value of your home and car combined. Of course, most people have other debts (such as student loans or credit card debt) which must be subtracted from their assets to calculate their true net worth.