Also understand that, on both wealth and income, tabulation may be challenging. Definitions pose traps for the uninformed.

For example, it is relatively easy for the Fed, in its “flow of funds” studies, to keep track of prices and ownership of stocks, bonds and funds. But what about the value of farmland in Burleigh County? Or fine art owned by brain surgeons and fund managers? What about housing?

One must make simplified assumptions and informed estimates. The quarter-to-quarter fluctuation in the value of all the trailer houses in the country isn’t going to change anything. Ditto for farmland, although changes for the latter across the whole United States from say, 2012 to 2020, can amount to trillions. The value of family owned small businesses is never measured directly but is important.

Moreover, some estimates of household wealth, as this Fed one, try to include all assets. But there are others

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