Economic snapshot | Wages Incomes and Wealth

Who has benefited from recent stock market gains

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A weekly presentation of downloadable charts and short analyses designed to graphically illustrate important economic issues. Updated every Wednesday.

Snapshot for March 17, 1999


Who has benefited from recent stock market gains


While more Americans own stock today than ever before, the truth is that the majority of Americans still don’t own any stock in any form, including mutual funds and 401(k)-style pension plans. Furthermore, most of those who do own stock don’t own very much. This week’s figure shows that almost all the gains from the run-up in the stock market in the 1990s have gone to the wealthiest 10% of households.

The top 1% of American households captured 42.5% of the stock market gains between 1989 and 1997. The next 9% of households received 43.3% of the total. This left just 14.2% of the benefits of the boom for the remaining 90% of American households.

Source: The State of Working America 1998-99.

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