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Key findings

  • Average net worth peaks between ages 70 and 74.
  • The state with the lowest net worth is Mississippi, where as Hawaii is the wealthiest by that metric.  
  • The 91Ӱ Census Bureau conducts an annual survey on net worth.

Comparing your net worth to your peers is one way to determine your financial health. It provides a snapshot of your financial health by calculating how much money you’d have left over after paying all your bills and other obligations.

“The average net worth broken down by age provides insights into the wealth distribution and financial well-being of different age groups within a population,” said Donald Hays, survey statistician at the 91Ӱ Census Bureau. “We can use this data to observe patterns and trends related to wealth accumulation and economic disparities across different stages of life.”

We’ve broken down the average net worth by age so you can see where you stand relative to your peers.

Average net worth by age

Net worth is a measure of financial stability calculated as a person’s total assets minus their total liabilities.

The 91Ӱ Census Bureau conducts annual surveys to get the pulse of Americans’ net worth. We pulled data from the most recent survey from 2021 to determine the average net worth by age in America.

The survey included data from all states except Alaska, Delaware, the District of Columbia, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming, where the sample size was too small. The data also does not include pension plans or the value of home furnishings in asset calculations. 

The data shows that average net worth does vary significantly by age, with older groups having a higher net worth on average.

“Younger age groups, such as households with householders younger than 35, Generation Z or millennials, tend to have lower average net worth compared to older age groups,” Hays said. “This can be attributed to factors such as having recently started their career, limited time for wealth accumulation and higher levels of debt, such as student loans or mortgages.”

As people progress in their careers and accumulate more wealth and assets, net worth tends to increase before peaking right before retirement. Then, in retirement, people begin to withdraw from their savings to fund their golden years.

“It’s important to note that there can be significant variations within age groups, influenced by factors such as occupation, education level, geographic location and socioeconomic conditions,” Hays said. “Age alone never tells the full story.”

While having a benchmark to measure yourself against can help you invest and set savings goals, “Worrying about how your personal situation stacks up against your peers nationwide can be counterproductive,” warns Peter Hoglund, senior vice president and financial advisor at Wealth Enhancement Group. “Where you are in your financial life may not be where you want to be, but patience and consistency (are the keys) to reaching your goals.”

Related: How much does a financial advisor cost?

Average net worth by age 

The following table shows the average net worth by age. Some experts believe that excluding home equity is a more accurate representation of an individual’s net worth. That’s because if you were to sell your home for cash, you would have nowhere to live.

AGE OF HOUSEHOLDERAVERAGE NET WORTHNET WORTH (EXCLUDING HOME EQUITY)
Less than 35 years
$154,100
$106,200
35 to 44 years
$365,300
$248,700
45 to 54 years
$571,300
$403,400
55 to 64 years
$743,100
$556,500
65 to 69 years
$804,600
$593,200
70 to 74 years
$821,000
$593,000
75 and over
$761,000
$519,300

Average net worth by generation

Next, we broke down the average net worth across the nation by generation. Each generation is defined as follows:

  • Generation Z: born between 1997 and 2012.
  • Millennials: born between 1981 and 1996.
  • Generation X: born between 1965 and 1980.
  • Baby boomers: born between 1946 and 1964.
  • Silent generation: born between 1928 and 1945.
AGE OF HOUSEHOLDER BY GENERATIONAVERAGE NET WORTHNET WORTH (EXCLUDING HOME EQUITY)
Generation Z
$85,300
$62,790
Millennial
$237,800
$160,600
Generation X
$541,200
$381,100
Baby boomer
$795,900
$590,300
Silent generation
$734,400
$497,600

States in the 91Ӱ with the lowest net worth

Net worth also varies geographically because income and the market value of physical assets, like your home, are largely location-dependent. 

“For most households, the single largest contributor to net worth — 28.5% in 2021 — is the equity that households have in their own home,” Hays said. “Retirement accounts considered as a whole — which include IRAs, Keogh accounts, Thrift Savings Plans and 401(k) accounts — account for 34.1% of household net worth in 2021.”

States with the lowest average net worth are largely in the South. The lowest net worth is in Mississippi, where residents have an average of $205,400 in total net worth. This drops to $123,000 if we exclude their home equity. Mississippi residents also have the fewest assets at financial institutions, with only $19,860 on average and $107,400 saved for retirement.

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States with the lowest net worth in 2021

STATEAVERAGE NET WORTHNET WORTH (EXCLUDING HOME EQUITY)
Mississippi
$205,400
$123,000
Alabama
$274,000
$186,900
Louisiana
$295,800
$210,500
Nebraska
$300,400
$221,300
Oklahoma
$316,300
$222,300
Arkansas
$318,900
$243,200
Indiana
$335,000
$242,700
Rhode Island
$346,700
$214,900
Missouri
$358,300
$261,500
Georgia
$359,600
$246,500

Wealthiest states in the 91Ӱ by net worth

Looking at the numbers alone, the wealthiest states in the 91Ӱ by net worth appear to be in a different country entirely from the states with lower net worth. The wealthiest state in the nation has an average net worth, excluding home equity, of nearly six times the state with the lowest net worth.

Hawaii tops the list with the highest average net worth of any state in 2021 despite having the 12th lowest average personal income, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Residents in the Aloha State also have the highest amount of equity in their homes at $769,100 on average.

It may be surprising to see that New York is not on the list of wealthiest states, given the average annual personal income is roughly $1.5 million, according to BEA data. This exclusion is because personal income is not part of net worth. Instead, net worth is derived from savings and assets. If you spend every dollar you make, you can’t grow your net worth.

States with the wealthiest net worth in 2021

STATEAVERAGE NET WORTHNET WORTH (EXCLUDING HOME EQUITY)
Hawaii
$1,178,000
$769,100
Massachusetts
$812,100
$579,400
Maine
$783,900
$552,100
California
$768,800
$479,700
New Jersey
$735,900
$557,600
91Ӱ
$729,100
$486,400
Oregon
$716,900
$517,900
Virginia
$694,300
$533,200
Maryland
$692,400
$527,900
Washington
$689,200
$410,200

What makes up your net worth 

Your net worth is made up of your assets minus your liabilities, giving you the net amount of money you’d have left after paying off all your debts. 

Assets

Assets are cash or anything that can be sold for cash, including financial assets, like savings accounts and investments. Also, physical assets like your home, vehicles and even jewelry can count toward your net worth.

Some net worth calculations may exclude your primary residence from net worth because if you sold it, you’d have nowhere to live.

Liabilities

Liabilities are what you owe, including your mortgage, any loans you hold and your outstanding bills. Your credit card balances are also a liability since this is money you owe to your credit card company.

How to calculate net worth 

Before calculating your net worth, it’s helpful to compile all your assets and liabilities first. Next, subtract your total liabilities from your total assets.  

For example, you could make a list of everything you own, from your bank and investment accounts to your jewelry and art. Add the fair market value for all these items in one column, then, in another column, tabulate all your debts. To calculate your net worth, subtract the total in the liabilities column from the total in the assets column.

For help calculating your net worth, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. provides an .

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Net worth is the money you’d have left over after selling all your assets and paying off all your debts. It’s often used as a measure of a person’s financial stability. Net worth can be positive, indicating your assets exceed your liabilities; negative, indicating you owe more than you own; or zero, indicating your assets equal your liabilities. Ideally, your net worth is a positive number, which shows you have a financial cushion.

What net worth is considered wealthy largely depends on a person’s age and location. We can use data on the average net worth by age and in various states to determine what may be considered wealthy for an individual in a particular region. 

The average net worth of 35- to 44-year-olds is $365,300. So someone in that age bracket with more than this could be considered wealthy, especially if she lives in Mississippi, where the average net worth across all ages is $205,400. However, $365,300 may not be considered wealthy for someone living in Hawaii, where the average net worth across all ages is over $1.1 million.

Net worth is the difference between your assets and your liabilities, so to increase your net worth you can either increase your assets or decrease your liabilities. Your assets include your savings as well as physical assets like real estate. To decrease your liabilities, you can work on paying off debt and avoid taking on more debt, including credit card debt.

“For those looking to grow wealth slowly and predictably, home ownership and debt reduction is the most important part of that plan,” Hoglund said.

Blueprint is an independent publisher and comparison service, not an investment advisor. The information provided is for educational purposes only and we encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding specific financial decisions. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Blueprint has an advertiser disclosure policy. The opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Blueprint editorial staff alone. Blueprint adheres to strict editorial integrity standards. The information is accurate as of the publish date, but always check the provider’s website for the most current information.

Coryanne is an investing and finance writer whose work appears in Forbes Advisor, 91Ӱ News and World Report, Kiplinger, and Business Insider among other publications. She discovered her passion for personal finance as a fully-licensed financial professional at Fidelity Investments before she realized she could reach more people by writing.

Stephanie Steinberg has been a journalist for over a decade. She has served as a health and money editor at 91Ӱ News and World Report, covering personal finance, financial advisors, credit cards, retirement, investing, health and wellness and more. She founded The Detroit Writing Room and New York Writing Room to offer writing coaching and workshops for entrepreneurs, professionals and writers of all experience levels. Her work has been published in The New York Times, 91Ӱ, Boston Globe, CNN.com, Huffington Post, and Detroit publications.

Farran Powell

BLUEPRINT

Farran Powell is the lead editor of investing at 91Ӱ Blueprint. She was previously the assistant managing editor of investing at 91Ӱ News and World Report. Her work has appeared in numerous publications including TheStreet, Mansion Global, CNN, CNN Money, DNAInfo, Yahoo! Finance, MSN Money and the New York Daily News. She holds a BSc from the London School of Economics and an MA from the University of Texas at Austin. You can follow her on Twitter at @farranpowell.