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十年来,美国家庭财富严重缩水

2014-07-30    来源:chinadaily    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

The Typical Household, Now Worth a Third Less

Economic inequality in the United States has been receiving a lot of attention. But it’s not merely an issue of the rich getting richer. The typical American household has been getting poorer, too.

The inflation-adjusted net worth for the typical household was $87,992 in 2003. Ten years later, it was only $56,335, or a 36 percent decline, according toa study financed by the Russell Sage Foundation. Those are the figures for a household at the median point in the wealth distribution — the level at which there are an equal number of households whose worth is higher and lower. But during the same period, the net worth of wealthy households increased substantially.

The Russell Sage study also examined net worth at the 95th percentile. (For households at that level, 95 percent of the population had less wealth.) It found that for this well-do-do slice of the population, household net worth increased14 percent over the same 10 years. Other research, by economists like Edward Wolff at New York University, has shown even greater gains in wealth for the richest 1 percent of households.

For households at the median level of net worth, much of the damage has occurred since the start of the last recession in 2007. Until then, net worth had been rising for the typical household, although at a slower pace than for households in higher wealth brackets. But much of the gain for many typical households came from the rising value of their homes. Exclude that housing wealth and the picture is worse: Median net worth began to decline even earlier.


“The housing bubble basically hid a trend of declining financial wealth at the median that began in 2001,” said Fabian T. Pfeffer, the University of Michigan professor who is lead author of the Russell Sage Foundation study.

The reasons for these declines are complex and controversial, but one point seems clear: When only a few people are winning and more than half the population is losing, surely something is amiss.

相关内容

《纽约时报》报道,美国的贫富差距问题一直以来都受到广泛地关注。但这个问题不仅仅关乎富人更富,也与典型的美国家庭变得更贫困有关。

罗素·赛奇基金会资助的一项调查显示,经济通货膨胀调整后,2003年典型美国家庭的收入净值为87,992美元。十年过后,这个收入则仅有56,335美元,足足减少36%。这些是处在财富分配中层的家庭的收入数据,这个标准也意味着有相同比例的家庭的收入高于或低于这个水准。然而与此同时,富裕家庭的净收入实际上是在增加的。

这项研究也分析了净收入处在95%以上的家庭(对于这个层次的家庭,95%的人口都稍显贫穷)。研究发现,对于人口中很富裕的这部分人来说,在相同的十年里,他们的家庭净收入则增长了14%。其他调查则显示最富裕的1%家庭财富增长甚至更快。

对于中产阶级家庭,从最近的2007年经济衰退开始,更大的损失开始显现。在此之前,尽管增速不如富裕层次家庭,典型家庭的净收入也在缓慢地增长。但是典型家庭的大部分收入来自于他们房产价值的增加。如排除房产因素,中产阶级收入在更早时就进入了衰退期。

研究报告作者密歇根大学教授费边 T·普费弗表示,房地产泡沫掩盖了自2001年以来中产阶级财富缩水的趋势,影响这些衰退的原因既复杂,又充满争议,但是有一点是清楚的:只有少数人在获利,半数以上的人都在失利,“一定有什么地方不对”。


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