Nov 16, 2021 - Economy

Charted: Americans' wealth

U.S. household net worth as a multiple of GDP
Data: Bureau of Economic Analysis; Federal Reserve Board; World Bank; McKinsey Global Institute analysis; Chart: Axios Visuals

U.S. household net worth has soared to a nearly sixfold multiple of the country’s gross domestic product.

Why it matters: The past two decades of growth in net worth are mostly due to the appreciation of assets like real estate and equities — not to the accumulation of savings, according to a new report out from McKinsey Global Institute.

  • This growth has been supported by loose monetary policy “launched against the backdrop of two massive shocks— the 2008 financial crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic,” the McKinsey analysts write.

Not a coincidence: Net worth levels broke away from historical norms around the time the U.S. began its long-running low-interest-rate policy.

Go deeper: U.S. wages and salaries jump 1.5% in last quarter

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