CNN Money: Middle class Americans: Not so wealthy by global standards

June 11, 2014

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The numbers seem to back it up. Americans’ average wealth tops $301,000 per adult, enough to rank us fourth on the latest Credit Suisse Global Wealth report.

Americans’ median wealth is a mere $44,900 per adult — half have more, half have less. That’s only good enough for 19th place, below Japan, Canada, Australia and much of Western Europe.

“Americans tend to think of their middle class as being the richest in the world, but it turns out, in terms of wealth, they rank fairly low among major industrialized countries,” said Edward Wolff, a New York University economics professor who studies net worth.

Super rich Americans skew average wealth upwards. The U.S. has 42% of the world’s millionaires, and 49% of those with more than $50 million in assets.

Home ownership rates are higher in many European countries than in the U.S., giving Joe European more assets to his name than his American counterpart. Plus, it’s easier for Americans to borrow money, which eats away at their net worth, said Jim Davies, an economics professor at Western University in Ontario, Canada, and co-author of the Credit Suisse report.

Middle class Americans were also hurt greatly by the housing collapse at the end of the last decade. The median wealth of families was $77,300 in 2010, a nearly 40% drop from 2007, according to Federal Reserve statistics.


To read the rest of this article and watch video reporting, click here.

 

Curated from money.cnn.com

  • commchf

    30 years of supply side economics have destroyed our middle class

    • RimaRegas

      Yes. That, and deregulating the banks.