Using the 2007 Survey of Consumer finances, this Fact finds large differences in the level and composition of wealth across the income distribution. Before the recession, working-age families in the bottom-quintile had median net worth of $4,300 and held the majority of their wealth in housing. Top-quintile families had median net worth of over $500,000 and held less than one-quarter of their wealth in housing. With few liquid assets to draw from in case of a financial emergency, bottom-quintile families were in a vulnerable position at the onset of the recession.
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