Posts Tagged with families
By Kevin G. Hall
(MCT)—A new survey of U.S. family finances released by the Federal Reserve on Monday documents in painful detail just how deeply the Great Recession and its aftermath has been felt in family budgets across America.
The Survey of Consumer Finances, conducted every three years and covering a span from 2007 to 2010, documents steep declines in family income that correspond to what many Americans already know about their own declining net worth.
It also shows how the U.S. South and West have felt more pain than the rest of the country because of the severity of the housing sector’s downturn there, and provides evidence that the self-employed and business owners have taken it on the chin in recent years.
The survey findings provide fodder for both the re-election efforts of President Barack Obama and the campaign of presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Obama can use the data to show what a terrible economy he inherited, while Romney can use the data to show how bad things remain.
The Fed survey found that the median value of family income, when adjusted for inflation and before taxes, fell by 7.7 percent—from $49,600 in 2007 to $45,800 in 2010. The median is the midpoint of all family income, and while it fell in all four corners, it fell most in the South and West.
“The decline in median income was widespread across demographic groups, with only a few groups experiencing stable or rising incomes,” the Fed survey said. “Most noticeably, median incomes moved higher for retirees and other non-working families. The decline in median income was most pronounced among more highly educated families…and families living in the South and West regions.”
The Fed found that median net worth fell 38.9 percent—from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010.