Millionaires and Billionaires Own 79% of All Household Wealth


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Richard Schneider / Flickr

The triennial Survey of Consumer Finances released its 2019 data earlier today. This is the nation’s preeminent household wealth survey and I will be using it to produce many interesting facts and figures over the next couple of weeks.

For now, let’s just start with one headline figure. In 2019, households with net worths of $1 million or more owned 79.2 percent of all household wealth.

This is slightly down from 2016, but dramatically up from when the modern version of the survey began in 1989. In that year, millionaires and billionaires owned just 60.4 percent of all wealth.

By contrast, the bottom 50 percent of families owned just 1.5 percent of household wealth in 2019.

If we really want to tackle wealth inequality in this country, it is this wealth that we need to spread around. One way of doing that would be through a social wealth fund like we have proposed.