The Economic Perspective: “Progress on the Wealth Gap”

Mary:  I’m Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at progress on the wealth gap.  Mike, two kinds of economic gaps are often discussed.  One is the income gap between high earners and low earners.  The other is the wealth gap between high wealth and low wealth households, which many think is more significant.  What has been the recent trend in the wealth gap?


Mike:  Summary Answer

  • New data from the Federal Reserve show the wealth gap narrowed between 2016 and 2019, mainly due to families with low wealth had strong gains in wealth
  • Mainly due to economic progress for low-wealth households, with faster rising wages and plunging unemployment
  • Allowed more low-wealth households to buy homes – an important source of wealth – and start businesses
  • I’m MW


Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.