A household's financial well-being hinges on more than merely income. One can get a more complete picture by examining a household's wealth — the financial resources available to it at any given point in time. This brief examines the wealth holdings (net worth) of households in 1988. The data were collected in spring 1988 by the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP).
Net worth is the value of the assets a household has accumulated minus any debts. Assets covered in the survey include interest-earning assets (such as savings accounts), stocks and mutual fund shares, real estate (own home, rental property, vacation homes, and land holdings), own business or profession, mortgages held by sellers, and motor vehicles.
Liabilities include debts secured by any asset, credit card or store bills, bank loans, and other unsecured debts. In 1988, the median net worth of American households was $35,752.