Can the average American family be called millionaires? Yes, but …

It seems hard to believe, and it’s one of those cases where definitions mean everything, but the average family in America has achieved millionaire status.

That’s according to the Federal Reserve’s latest authoritative survey of consumer finances, and it comes with lots of asterisks attached.

But first, the data: The mean net worth of the average American household, even adjusting for inflation, was $1.06 million last year. Compared with 2019, that figure was up 23%, boosted by rising house prices and a surging stock market

OK, here comes the but: The median, as opposed to the mean, net worth of the typical American household is just $192,900. That figure still represents an impressive after-inflation gain of 37% over those three years, but it’s more in line with what everyday experience suggests.

The median household refers to the grouping smack in the middle of rankings. The average, or mean, gets boosted by the likes of billionaires Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos. American households by income in the top 10% have a net worth, on average, of $6.63 million, according to the Fed.

Showing the massive importance of home ownership to amassing wealth, those who own their residence have an average net worth of $1.53 million, compared with just $155,000 for renters.

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