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The Demographics of Wealth

The Demographics of Wealth is a series of essays written by the staff of the center. The essays are based on the staff’s analysis of over a quarter-century’s worth of data collected by the Federal Reserve through its Survey of Consumer Finances. The results of the survey provide the most comprehensive picture of American families’ balance sheets and financial behavior over time.

The series confirms the conventional wisdom that more education is associated with more income and wealth. But the essays also show that inherited demographic characteristics—your race or ethnicity, your age and birth year, and even your parents’ level of education—profoundly shape the economic and financial opportunities you have and the outcomes you achieve.

2018 Series

Essay No. 1: The Financial Returns from College across Generations: Large but Unequal

Essay No. 2: A Lost Generation? Long-Lasting Wealth Impacts of the Great Recession on Young Families

2015 Series

Essay 1 video

Essay No. 1: Race, Ethnicity and Wealth

Essay 2 video

Essay No. 2: Education and Wealth

Essay 3 video

Essay No. 3: Age, Birth Year and Wealth

Videos of the Nov. 3, 2015, discussion of the essay series and related topics.