This page contains a net worth percentile calculator for the household wealth distribution in the United States in 2016 (newest data as of 2019).
Enter net worth for a net worth percentile estimate, down to the closest .5%.
Net Worth Distribution Calculator for the United States
What is Net Worth?
Net worth is the ultimate number to track for your personal finance. Net worth is your total value if you sold everything and paid off all of your debts. Tracking your net worth over time will put you on the road to financial independence or retirement.
How do you calculate your net worth?
To calculate net worth, add up the value of every single one of your assets. That might include a home, a car, all checking and savings accounts, brokerage accounts, retirement accounts, and everything else that could be liquidated.
Next, subtract the sum of all of your debts. This might include a mortgage, some credit card debts, your student loans, any personal loans, and other places you owe money.
The result is your net worth. With that net worth in hand, compare yourself to the net worth of other Americans on this page.
Want an easier way to track net worth? Personal Capital calculates your net worth and tracks it over time so you can see improvements at a glance. They’ll also offer advice on reducing fees and spending, as well as advise on investing and allocation.
Who Are the One Percent in America by Wealth?
The 1%, usually refers to the top 1% of income earners in the United States. We’re instead fans of using net worth – as our co-writer points out, it’s easy to convert net worth to income but not always vice versa.
- The top 1% is roughly the highest wealth 1,259,817 households. (This data represents around 125,981,700 households.)
- Net worth of over $10,374,030.10 would put a household in the top 1% with the 2016 data.
Who are the .1% by net worth?
At this point, you’re stretching the dataset quite a bit. We’ll provide a number, but please note that it is probably a couple million dollars away in either direction from the ‘true’ value.
- Roughly 125,981 households have the top .1% of net worth.
- More than $43,090,281.00 in wealth would put a household in the top .1% with 2016 data.
Please also see our article on the one percent in net worth and income in America. However, for a quick cut, that’s what the data reveals.
How Many Households Have Between $1,000,000 and $2,000,000 in Net Worth? (Or Other Boundaries)
We’ve built an estimate of the number of households between net worth thresholds directly into the tool. You can get a rough cut of any two numbers you’d like simply by subtracting or multiplying. Let’s do it together for households between $1 million and $2 million in net worth:
- $1,000,000 in wealth is near the 88% in America. Around 15,117,804 households matched this bracket or more.
- $2,000,000 in wealth is around the 93.5% in America. Around 8,188,810 households or so matched this net worth or more.
There are two ways to compute the rough number of households:
15,117,804 – 8,188,810 = Roughly 6,928,994 households in America have between $1,000,000 and $2,000,000 in wealth. (call it 7,000,000)
93.5% – 88% = 5.5%.
5.5% * 125,981,700 = 6,928,993.5 or 6,928,994 households.
If you’re interested in millionaire research, see our post on the number of millionaires in America. We look at millionaires, decamillionaires and many more breakdowns of this wealth data.
Accredited Investors in America Based on Net Worth
To invest in private equity funds, angel funds, venture capital, hedge funds, , and other types of private investments an investor needs to be an Accredited Investor. In America, the most common way to qualify is through net worth, having a net worth of $1,000,000 not including equity in a primary residence.
We estimate that of the ~12.4 million accredited investor households, around 11.3 million qualify just through the net worth criteria. Investors can also qualify through individual or household income.
Here is our math on the number of accredited investors in America.
What Do We See in This Year’s Wealth Percentile Data?
The data is perfectly comparable to the 2013 SCF data, and we’re happy to report that every single net worth bracket increased in wealth over the three years between surveys. Be careful not to draw improper conclusions – the data is not longitudinal, so we can’t state with certainty that individual households improved. However, the static data shows an improvement at every breakpoint.
Here’s the improvement at every wealth decile versus the 2013 wealth percentile calculations:
|Net Worth Bracket||2016 Wealth Breakpoint||2013 Wealth Breakpoint||Difference|
Here’s the same information in easy-to-share graph format:
For research on millionaires, see our millionaires in America article.
Source and Methodology on the Net Worth Percentile Calculator for 2016
Our data comes from the 2016 Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances. It encompasses 6,248 actual American households in the public set. Those households are spread across 5 sets with replicate weights, and weight to 125,981,700 households. We turn this into 200 quantiles, so wealth is estimated to the half percentage. See our article on wealth brackets for more details on methodology.
Net worth numbers come from the Federal Reserve’s provided macro. We also make estimates ignoring primary home equity by taking the estimated value of the primary residence and subtracting from it all debts secured by the residence. This includes mortgages, home equity loans, and similar.
Note: remember that if you sell a primary residence you still need to pay rent. We aren’t fans of this calculation method but we heard your arguments and built it into the tool.
A note on accuracy: SCF data is self-reported and is presented to you today as the result of a complex survey design. The survey data includes a warning: “[B]ecause detailed information on the sample design cannot be released, and because of the complexity of the SCF design, users cannot apply some of the standard procedures for variance estimation.”
For research, information and estimation purposes, you can trust the numbers you see. For anything where you need more detail, run the numbers or go knock on some doors yourself.