Net Worth Implosion: It’s Not Just Housing. Age 35 To 44 See 59% Decline – CNN

June 25, 2012
net worth housing

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Americans’ net worth collapsed in recent years, but don’t blame the housing market for it all.

A CNNMoney analysis of new Census Bureau data shows that if you strip out the effects of the housing collapse, median household net worth still fell by 25% between 2005 and 2010. The decline was driven largely by the plummeting stock market, which devastated Americans’ portfolios and retirement accounts.

“The median household is no wealthier than they were in 1984,” said Scott Winship, economic studies fellow at Brookings Institution.

Asian, black and Hispanic households each lost a much greater share of median net worth, around 60%, than their white counterparts, at 30%.

As for median home equity values, Hispanic households experienced a 55% drop, while Asians saw a 43% decline and blacks a 35% decrease. Whites, on the other hand, lost just under a quarter.

Age was also a factor, with younger Americans losing a greater share of their wealth than their parents’ generation.

Households of people age 35 to 44 saw the largest percent decline in median net worth of any age group: 59%. If home equity isn’t factored in, they lost 40%.

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