from the Federal Reserve
The Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Consumer Finances for 2013 provides insights into the evolution of family income and net worth since the previous time the survey was conducted, in 2010. The survey shows that, over the 2010-13 period, the median value of real (inflation-adjusted) family income before taxes fell 5 percent, while mean income increased 4 percent. The differential movements in median and mean incomes are consistent with increased income inequality over the 2010-13 period, though some of that differential growth simply reversed the cyclical decrease in income inequality that occurred between 2007 and 2010.
Both median and mean real family net worth were little changed over the 2010-13 period, and the data suggest that the distribution of net worth also became more unequal over this period. Offsetting changes in asset ownership rates and asset prices left the middle of the net worth distribution relatively unchanged, while the top and bottom of the net worth distribution moved in different directions. This article reviews these and other changes in the financial condition of U.S. families, including developments in assets, liabilities, debt payments, and credit market experiences.