The wealthiest 1% of Americans controlled about $41.52 trillion in the first quarter, according to Federal Reserve data released Monday. Yet the bottom 50% of Americans only controlled about $2.62 trillion collectively, which is roughly 16 times less than those in the top 1%. CNBC reports:
Wealth across all U.S. households increased during the first quarter. Overall, the net worth of households and nonprofits rose to $136.9 trillion during the first quarter, a 3.8% increase from the end of 2020, according to separate data published by the Federal Reserve on June 10, 2021. But those gains weren’t distributed equally.
The recent gains in household wealth, in particular, can be largely attributed to stock holdings, which were up about $3.2 trillion, according to the Fed. The rise in home values also played a role, with real estate holdings increasing by $1 trillion.
But some critics contend that the Fed’s low interest rate policieshave boosted the stock market, giving an edge to those who own stocks and investments. The wealthiest 10% of Americans, for example, own about 89% of stocks and mutual funds held in the U.S. as of the first quarter of 2021, according to Fed data. The bottom 50% of U.S. households hold around 0.5%.