American Household Wealth Slumps 18 Percent

A decade of wealth evaporates.


It's official: We're poorer by almost a fifth.

The Federal Reserve reports American household wealth fell by $11.1 trillion, or nearly 18 percent, during 2008, with a huge $5.1 trillion drop occurring in just the last three months of 2008.

The drop, the largest ever quarterly decline on record at the Fed, is likely going to look worse as continued declines in stock and real estate prices erase even more wealth. It's also a much larger drop than the last big year-over-year decline in 2002, when the burst tech bubble sent household net worth down 3 percent.

The NYT has more.

  • Kirk Shinkle

    Kirk Shinkle is a senior editor for U.S. News Money and manages the Best Funds portal. Follow him on Twitter @KirkS or email him at

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