Census Bureau: Mean Family Net Worth, Income, and Education

Last Friday, The Census Bureau released 2007 Statistical Abstract. In the Income, Expenditures, and Wealth part, I found some interesting numbers that show how much (on average) we make and the mean household net worth for the past decade (from 1995 to 2004).

The first table is the mean family net worth for different age groups. It shows that the group under age 35 has the least net worth. Is it because that this group of people are still paying off their student loans or mortgages? The report didn't give any explanation behind the big gap between this group and the adjacent one (age 35 – 44).

Age of
family head
1995
mean
1998
mean
2001
mean
2004
mean
<35 $53.2K $74.0K $96.6K $73.5K
35-44 $176.8K $227.6K $276.4K $299.2K
45-54 $364.8K $420.2K $517.6K $542.7K
55-64 $471.1K $617.0K $775.4K $843.8K
65-74 $429.3K $541.1K $717.9K $690.9K
>75 $317.9K $360.3K $496.2K $528.1K

The second table is the income difference between male and female with different educational background. There are lots of discussions on whether a college degree is worth the time and money. Well, the argument probably won't stop for any time soon, but the data clearly shows the value of getting a higher degree as people with only a high school diploma earn nealy 50% less than those with bachelor's degree across all different age groups.

Sex &
Age
<9th
grade
9th – 12th
grade
High
school
Some
college
Asso.
degree
Bachelor's
or more
Male
18-24 $16,805 $20,156 $23,119 $23,872 $26,554 $33,952
25-34 $20,977 $26,797 $33,509 $40,417 $42,200 $58,500
35-44 $25,733 $30,968 $40,885 $49,498 $50,832 $85,368
45-54 $26,139 $33,781 $43,638 $52,314 $53,701 $89,499
55-64 $29,067 $34,341 $44,619 $54,630 $55,888 $95,568
65+ $23,499 $32,695 $38,108 $59,160 N/A $86,713
Female
18-24 N/A $16,698 $18,915 $19,727 $23,070 $27,650
25-34 $23,142 $19,646 $26,132 $27,927 $32,145 $49,339
35-44 $17,401 $23,908 $28,975 $33,814 $38,078 $57,208
45-54 $21,853 $22,076 $29,729 $36,008 $40,785 $56,596
55-64 $20,496 $22,625 $30,590 $36,032 $37,467 $55,511
65+ $28,687 N/A $27,955 $31,018 N/A $44,576

I also found surprise from this table is the income difference between male and female and the biggest gap is actually for people with college degrees. With the same educational background, female workers earn considerably less than male employees across all age groups.

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4 Responses to “Census Bureau: Mean Family Net Worth, Income, and Education”

  1. Super Saver |  Dec 23, 2006 at 6:16 am

    Interestingly, salary means seem to peak or plateau early in one’s career. It seems to happen approximately in the 35 to 44 timeframe. Those with a BS degree or higher seem to advance but at a slower rate after 44.

  2. The Sun |  Dec 23, 2006 at 11:13 pm

    I guess the reason for the peak is that 35 to 44 is the period that people are most productive as they have already accumulated enough experience, know the corporate culture and started to take the management responsibility. And the change of role from technical to management can also lead to big change in salary. If the change didn’t happen in the 40s, then the change becomes small in the 50s.