Spreading the Wealth? 2009 - 2011 Sees Gains for Top 7%

According to data recently released from the U.S Census Bureau and analyzed by the Pew Research Center, 2009 to 2011 (sometimes thought of as the first two years of the recovery) saw mean net worth gains of 28% for the top seven percent of households.  The lower 93%, however, saw net mean losses of 4%.  Putting numbers to the percentages, that accounts for 8 million households in the top seven percent and 111 million households in the bottom 93%.

According to Pew, these difference occurred owing to the changes between the stock and bond market and the housing market;  more affluent families tended to have financial holdings in the stock and bond markets, while less affluent families wealth tends to be stored in their homes.  The ensuing difference in markets let to the top seven percent of households owning 63% of the nation's aggregate wealth in 2011, which was an increase from 56% in 2009.

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