Monday, March 01, 2004

Facts about Wealth in the United States

Title Facts about Wealth that every American should know
Source: Office of Social Justice, Archdioeces of St. Paul and Minneapolis

This page defines wealth as, "what you own minus what you owe. In other words, it is net assets."

Selected quotes from the page:
  • The [richest 1% of Americans] now own more than the bottom 90% [of Americans].
  • The top 10% [of Americans] own 71% of all private wealth.
  • Over 86 percent of the value of all stocks and mutual funds, including pensions, was held by the top 10 percent of households. In 1998, the top 1 percent of Americans owned 47.7 percent of all stock.
  • Bill Gates alone has as much wealth as the bottom 40% of U.S. households.
  • In the 22 years between 1976 and 1998, the share of the nation's private wealth held by the top 1% nearly doubled, going from 22% to 38%.
  • In 1982 the wealthiest 400 individuals in the "Forbes 400" owned $92 billion. By 2000 their wealth increased to over $1.2 trillion.
The concentration of wealth is accelerating...