Families often experience financial roller coasters, but the last three years have been a sad ride for most families, with little to be thrilled about. Americans have taken some serious hits financially in recent years, and new data from the Federal Reserve's Survey of Consumer Finance, released in June of this year, shows exactly where those hits have been taken.
Median family net worth fell by almost 40 percent from 2007 to 2010.
For three years prior to 2007, net worth had been on the rise for most groups.
The median family net worth of the past decade according to Business Week:
People are still bringing home the bacon, but it isn't as much as before.
Over the three years of 2007-2010, the median value of family income before taxes fell 7.7 percent, according to the Federal Reserve.
The "median" income is different than the average. Fifty percent of people earn more than the "median" income, and fifty percent of people earn less than the "median" income.
The survey found that median household wealth in 2010 was just below its 1989 value, according to Business Week.
This means we have not gotten any wealthier in two decades.
Left: 1989 is when Michael Jackson became the King of Pop.
The median wealth of 35 to 44-year-olds took a drastic plummet since 2007, falling from nearly $90,000 to almost $40,000.
The median wealth of people ages 65 to 74 was steadily rising since 1990, and then began to fall in 2007.
The median wealth for this age group still sits at nearly $200,000, however.
Those ages 55 to 64 have also seen their median wealth fall substantially since 2007, from about $250,000 to below $175,000.
For many of the figures calculated by the Survey, income and wealth from the high end of the population bumped up the mean statistics, or the average.
For example, the mean wealth of those ages 55 to 64 in 2010 was about $850,000, even though fifty perent of that age group has wealth under $200,000.
Likewise, the mean family net worth only fell about 15 percent since 2007, while the median fell by almost 40 percent.
The mean net worth for the lowest twenty percent of individuals rose by 6 percent from 2007 to 2011.
The stock market and essentially every aspect of family finance fluctuated greatly from 2007 to 2010, and some things are still at their lows.
For example, the survey reported that the average rate for a three-month certificate of deposit (CD) fell from 5.46 percent in 2007 to 0.28 percent three years later.
The survey found that debt has remained basically unchanged for the last three years.
Interestingly, the survey reported that "the share of families with high payments relative to their incomes also fell after rising substantially between 2001 and 2007."
Families may be getting smarter about their finances, despite the economic pressure.
According to the survey report,
"the decline in median income was most pronounced among more highly educated families, families headed by persons aged less than 55, and families living in the South and West regions."