Sunday 7 January 2007

Wealth Scoreboard

For Australians the HILDA survey provides statistically valid data about household net worth and lets you see where you stand in relation to others of similar age or income. For US readers Scott Burns has some interesting posts about his "Wealth Scoreboard" based on similar data for the US. To save you hunting around his website for the latest figures, here they are:

Here’s how the Scoreboard works. Households in the U.S. are divided by age groups and then by the net worth required to be in the top 1 percent, top 5 percent, top 10 percent, and top 25 percent of all households in that age group. A median figure is also provided so you can tell whether you are in the top, or bottom, half of your age group.

If you are 50 to 59 years old, for instance, you’ll need a net worth of at least $188,000 to be in the top half of households that age. You’ll need 3 times that, $570,000, to be in the top 25 percent. And you’ll need a whopping $9,554,000 to be in the top 1 percent. (See table below.)

The Wealth Scoreboard

The table shows median net worth for households, arranged by age of the chief earner. To find your rank, go to the right age category and find the net worth closest to yours. (Data are from 2004; all U.S. dollars are in nominal terms, in thousands.)

Age Group

Top 1%

Top 5%

Top 10%

Top 25%


80 or Older






70 - 79






60 - 69






50 - 59






40 - 49






30 - 39






20 - 29






Source: VIP Forum, based on data in the 2004 Survey of Consumer Finances

The Scoreboard is put together by VIP Forum, a Washington DC based group that does research on wealth and wealth management practices. The basic data comes from a Federal Reserve survey that is done every three years, the Survey of Consumer Finances. The last survey was done in 2004.

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