Seattle Household Net Worth Ranks among Top in Nation
Making money and possessing wealth is two different things. A lot of people might not have given much thought into it, but the marketing-analytics firm Acxiom has some idea about wealth. The firm uses a variety of public records and private sources to predict a household’s net worth.
As per their data, Seattle is one of the richest places in the nation.
As per Acxiom’s calculations, the median net worth of a household in King and Snohomish counties is just shy of $400,000. It should be noted that the median means the middle point where half the households have more, and half have less.
The firm ranks our area 10th highest among more than 100 metro areas in the U.S. The median net worth for all those areas is about $110,000, meaning that we’re nearly four times wealthier here.
A household’s net worth includes the sum of all of its assets, minus its liabilities. Assets include financials — savings, investments, pensions and so on — plus the other stuff, like the house, car, boat or anything else that could be sold for cash. And liabilities include mortgage, car loans, credit card debt, etc.
As per their calculations, Seattle is one of the nation’s wealthiest areas; the distribution of wealth here is far from even.
The most significant factor of wealth is homeownership, and the difference in wealth between a homeowner and a renter is enormous. As per the calculations, the median net worth for a household that owns its home in the Seattle area is nearly $900,000. This is around 25 times higher than the median net worth for renter households ($36,000).
The discrepancy seems starker; it makes sense. A home is considered as the biggest asset for most people, and that’s especially true in this area, where home values are incredibly high. As homeowners tend to be older and more established, they are expected to have accrued more wealth through other types of assets, too.
It should be noted here that, Seattle renters aren’t exactly doing badly when compared with their peers around the country. The Seattle renters’ net worth is still nearly six times higher than the national median for renters, which is just $6,400.
However, there is a huge wealth gap along racial and ethnic lines in the Seattle area, as there is across the U.S. Households headed by a white or Asian person here have a median net worth of around $450,000, for Latinos it stays approximately $90,000 and for black households, only about $23,000.
Homeownership plays a more significant role in the wealth gap. Most white and Asian households own their home, while most black and Latino households rent. As per the census data, just 28 percent of black households in King and Snohomish counties own their home, compared with 64 percent of white households.
As per the data, age also is another factor in wealth.
As Seattle is well known for its well-paid young tech workers, those high incomes don’t necessarily mean they have amassed much wealth. Most of these tech workers are carrying college debts. They probably don’t own a home and may not have much in the way of savings or investments yet.
And on the contrary, an older retired married couple may live on a modest income, but they’re more likely to have gained wealth through a home that’s accrued tremendously in value, as well as savings, investments and other assets.
As per the data, senior citizens in this area have a median net worth more than three times greater than millennials.
For some people, their liabilities outweigh whatever assets they might own. It is also common in Seattle, a relatively wealthier area. According to the data, 70,000 households in King and Snohomish counties have a net worth of zero or less, including one in eight renters.
The area with a highest net worth in the United States is San Rafael, California — that’s ultra-wealthy Marin County, near San Francisco — with a median of $1.1 million.
As per the survey, the lowest net worth is in the Brownsville, Texas, area, in the Rio Grande Valley, which has one of the highest rates of poverty in the nation. The median net worth there is just $8,400.
Along with net worth, Seattle incomes are among the highest in the nation. As per the census data, the median household income in the Seattle metro area is $ 82,000, that is 36 percent higher than the U.S. median.