Part 2: Amazing facts about us and and our incomes
By Dian Vujovich
In a previous blog I listed a few of the factoids about the economy and investing habits. All were a part of The Motley Fool list of “100 Startling Facts About the Economy” published earlier this month.
Here, in no particular order, are a few of the factoids I’ve selected from that listing of 100 as my Part 2 entry. The bulk of this list is income related. Read it and weep and/or wonder.
5. According to a study by Harvard professor David Wise and two colleagues, 46.1% of Americans die with less than $10,000 in assets.
11. Start with a dollar. Double it every day. In 48 days you’ll own every financial asset that exists on the planet — about $200 trillion.
21. Despite the overall population doubling, more babies were born in the U.S. in 1956 than were born in 2009, 2010, or 2011.
85. The U.S. birthrate declined 8% from 2007 to 2010, according to Pew. At 63.2 per 1,000 women of childbearing age, the 2011 U.S. birthrate was the lowest since records began in 1920.
34. According to a study by Environics Analytics WealthScapes, the average Canadian household is now richer than an average American household for the first time ever.
40. Two news headlines published on the same day last September summed up the U.S. economy perfectly: “U.S. Median Income Lowest Since 1995, ” and “Ferrari sales surge to record highs.”
49. According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, 44% of those working for minimum wage in 2010 had attended at least some college, up from 25% in 1979.
57. According to a study by Edward Wolff published in the Bureau of Economic Research, the inflation-adjusted median net worth of American families in 2010 hit the lowest level since 1969.
61. According to CNBC wealth reporter Robert Frank, the population of millionaires in America is now at or above its 2007 high.
70. “Of the Americans who earn over $150,000, 82 percent had a bachelor’s degree. Just 6.5 percent had no more than a high school diploma,” writes Catherine Rampell of The New York Times.
80. According to The Wall Street Journal, 49.1% of Americans live in a household “where at least one member received some type of government benefit in the first quarter of 2011.”
86. According to Wired magazine, “In a 2006 survey, 30 percent of people without a high school degree said that playing the lottery was a wealth-building strategy. … On average, households that make less than $12,400 a year spend 5 percent of their income on lotteries.”
87. According to David Wessel of The Wall Street Journal, Americans “spend about half of their food budgets at restaurants now, compared to a third in the 1970s.”
90. According to David Leonhardt, median family incomes have fallen substantially over a decade for the first time since the Great Depression. “By , family income was 8 percent lower than it had been 11 years earlier, at its peak in 2000.”
And my personal favorite:
88. We are used to hearing how much faster the earnings of the top 1% grow compared with everyone else’s, but we often forget that it used to be the other way around. From 1943 to 1980, the annual incomes of the bottom 90% of Americans doubled in real terms, while the average income of the top 1% grew just 23%, according to Robert Frank.
The entire Motley Fool list of “100 Startling Facts About the Economy” is at: http://tinyurl.com/bcbrw59.
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