SOI Tax Stats – Personal Wealth Statistics

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

Research Papers

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.


Additional Information

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.

File readers

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.

Source Article

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