Economics in a picture
Net wealth of the youngest households has declined since 2010
According to the Portuguese Household Finance and Consumption Survey (ISFF, in the Portuguese acronym), net wealth, measured by the difference between the value of assets and the value of liabilities is unevenly distributed among households of different age groups. Net wealth varies with the age of the household reference person according to a pattern related to the life cycle. As the graph illustrates, net wealth increases with age up to the retirement age and decreases thereafter, more gradually.
The comparison of the results of the 2010, 2013 and 2017 waves of the ISFF reveals some heterogeneity in the evolution of net wealth for different age groups. For some groups, namely those where the reference person is under 35 years old or between 45 and 64 years old, the median net wealth in 2017 was lower than in 2010. For the youngest households, the median net wealth was around 14 thousand euros, in 2017, less than half of the value of the same age group in 2010. For the remaining groups, the values in 2010 and 2017 are not statistically different.
For further details see Costa, S., Farinha L., Martins, L. and Mesquita, R. (2020). "Portuguese Household Finance and Consumption Survey: results for 2017 and comparison with the previous waves", Banco de Portugal, Economic Studies, Vol. VI, No 1.
Prepared by Sónia Costa, Luísa Farinha, Luís Martins and Renata Mesquita. The analyses, opinions and findings expressed above represent the views of the author and not necessarily those of Banco de Portugal or the Eurosystem.
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