Econ Quiz: Household Wealth

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October 2023

The Survey of Consumer Finances has some interesting information about how U.S. households accumulate and hold both wealth and debt. Today’s quiz focuses on non-financial assets held by U.S. families.

Nonfinancial assets include vehicles, residential property, non-residential property, and equity in a business. Roughly 91% of U.S. families report owning at least one non-financial asset.  In 2019, the most recent year for which data is available, 65% of families in the Survey of Consumer Finances reported owning their primary residence,13% reported owning a second residence or time share, 13% reported owning a business or part of a business, and 6.7% reported owning non-residential property.

Among those who owned each type of asset in 2019, the median value of a primary residence was $255,000. The median value of a business was $89,000 and the average value was $1.2 million. The median value of a second residence was $70,000 and the average value was $375,000.

Vehicles were the most commonly held non-financial asset. Roughly 91% of respondents reported owning at least one vehicle. What was the average value of a vehicle reported?

A. $10,000

B. $21,000

C. $4,5000

D. $17,000

E. $26,500


Answer: D. Among the 91% of households that own vehicles, the average value of a vehicle was $17,000.

Bhutta, et. al. (2020). Changes in U.S Family Finances from 2016 to 2019: Evidence from the Survey of Consumer Finances. Federal Reserve Bulletin, Vol. 106, No. 5

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