At a time when economic news appears to come in two forms, “grim” and “grimmer,” this opening line from an article in today’s New York Times is especially bleak. Binyamin Appelbaum writes:
“The recent financial crisis left the median American family in 2010 with no more wealth than they had in the early 1990s, erasing almost two decades of accumulated prosperity, the Federal Reserve said Monday.” — The New York Times
The article is based on the Federal Reserve’s 2010 Survey of Consumer Finances, released today. Published every three years, the survey offers incomparably detailed information about U.S. families finances, the Fed says.
The survey demonstrates just how much wealth and income American families have lost over the course of the recession, and hangs much of the blame on the housing bust. As the Times story puts it:
“The median family, richer than half of the nation’s families and poorer than the other half, had a net worth of $77,300 in 2010, down from $126,400 in 2007, the Fed said. The crash of housing prices explained three-quarters of the loss.” — The New York Times
Median family income fell by more than 7 percent during the same period.
That drop was felt here in Idaho, as well, though it wasn’t as steep. According to data from the Census Bureau, median family income in Idaho was $54,342 in 2007. By 2010, it had fallen to $52,342, a 3.4 percent decline.
Also worth noting? Idaho’s median family income is well below the national average. In 2010, for example, median family income for the U.S. as a whole was over $60,000.