March 2019

Introducing the Distributional Financial Accounts of the United States

Michael M. Batty, Jesse Bricker, Joseph S. Briggs, Elizabeth Holmquist, Susan Hume McIntosh, Kevin B. Moore, Eric R. Nielsen, Sarah Reber, Molly Shatto, Kamila Sommer, Tom Sweeney, and Alice Henriques Volz


This paper describes the construction of the Distributional Financial Accounts (DFAs), a new dataset containing quarterly estimates of the distribution of U.S. household wealth since 1989, and provides the first look at the resulting data. The DFAs build on two existing Federal Reserve Board statistical products --- quarterly aggregate measures of household wealth from the Financial Accounts of the United States and triennial wealth distribution measures from the Survey of Consumer Finances --- to incorporate distributional information into a national accounting framework. The DFAs complement other existing sources of data on the wealth distribution by using a more comprehensive measure of household wealth and by providing quarterly data on a timely basis. We encourage policymakers, researchers, and other interested parties to use the DFAs to help understand issues related to the distribution of U.S. household wealth.

Accessible materials (.zip)

Keywords: Economic data, economic measurement, household economics, inequality, national accounts, wealth distribution, wealth dynamics


PDF: Full Paper

Back to Top
Last Update: January 09, 2020