What is the Personal Wealth Study?
The Personal Wealth Study uses information reported on Form 706, United States Estate (and Generation Skipping Transfer) Tax Return, to estimate the wealth of the living population. These estimates, based on the Estate Multiplier technique, appear every three years. The estimates are limited to that segment of the population for whom personal wealth is at least equal to the estate tax filing threshold in effect for the estimation period.
For information about selected terms and concepts and a description of the data sources and limitations, please visit Personal Wealth Study Metadata.
SOI Data Tables
Included Items: Total and selected assets, debts and mortgages, and net worth.
All Top Wealthholders by Size of Net Worth
Female Top Wealthholders by Size of Net Worth
Male Top Wealthholders by Size of Net Worth
Female Top Wealthholders by Age
Male Top Wealthholders by Age
Top Wealthholders by State of Residence
SOI Bulletin Articles
The articles below contain detailed analysis, including some year-to-year comparisons, as well as an explanation of estimation methodology and data tables. All of the articles are in .pdf format. These articles were also published in the quarterly SOI Bulletin.
2013 2007 2004 2001 1998 1995 1992 1989 1986
The Underlying Methodology of the Estate Multiplier Technique Recent Improvements for 1989
Preliminary Estimates of Personal Wealth, 1982: Composition of Assets
Estimates of Personal Wealth, 1982: A Second Look
Trends in Personal Wealth, 1976-1981
The following are research papers written by SOI analysts. The papers below are in .pdf format.
|Consider the Source: Differences in Estimates of Income and Wealth From Survey and Tax Data|
|Authors:||Barry W. Johnson Kevin Moore
Statistics of Income, IRS Federal Reserve Board of Governors
|This paper examines the comparability of administrative and survey data, focusing specifically on data from Federal income and estate tax returns collected by the Statistics of Income (SOI) Division of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) sponsored by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.|
|Updating Techniques for Estimating Wealth from Federal Estate Tax Returns|
|Author:||Barry W. Johnson
Statistics of Income, IRS
|This paper documents the history and development of the estate multiplier technique, a statistical methodology for estimating the wealth of a living population using data reported on returns filed for wealthy decedents, with an emphasis on recent methodological improvements.|
The Federal Reserve Board of Governor’s triennial Survey of Consumer Finances, which is supported by the Statistics of Income Division, provides estimates of household finances, including wealth, income, and debts. Analyses of survey results, as well as public-use data sets, can be accessed online at through the Federal Reserve.
Bulletin articles and research papers are available in Adobe PDF format, which requires the free Adobe Acrobat reader to view and print these files. Data tables are available in Excel version 4.0. A free Excel viewer is available for download, if needed.