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Family Finances

The Federal Reserve Board recently released the findings from its 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances. The study is conducted every three years to collect information about U.S. family incomes, net worth, use of credit, and other financial matters. Some highlights:

  • Average (mean) family income rose 4% between 2010 and 2013 in real (after inflation) terms, but median income fell 5%.
  • Overall, debt obligations fell during the three-year period.
  • Fewer families held debt secured by a primary residence, and those who did have home-secured debt owed less.
  • The fraction of families with credit card debt decreased, as did the average balance owed by those with credit cards.
  • However, education debt increased, both in terms of the percentage of families having such debt and the average value of the debt.
  • Both mean and median net worth remained largely static.