The poorest half of United States households saw a boost in wealth amid the pandemic, Bloomberg reported.
The bottom 50 percent of the country saw a boost to $2.62 trillion in the first quarter of this year, according to Fed data. That was eclipsed by the wealth of the top 1 percent, with that bracket reaching $41.52 trillion.
Broken down further, the bottom 50 percent saw a $3.61 trillion boost in real estate, $1.34 trillion in consumer durables, $0.16 trillion in corporate equities and $0.82 trillion in pension entitlements, the Fed reported.
Much of the new wealth at the top came from stock market surges, according to Bloomberg, with the richest 1 percent holding equities worth $20 trillion as of the last quarter, an increase from $11.5 trillion the previous year. In addition, their share of overall stock ownership rose to 53.5 percent, an all-time high.
Another driver was the nationwide boom in housing sales, Bloomberg reported. The top 10 percent of households now own real estate assets worth around $11.8 trillion. Meanwhile, the bottom 50 percent accumulated $1.4 trillion in that category.
Fed data from early June showed that the net worth of households and nonprofits increased to reach $136.9 trillion in the first quarter of 2021.
There was also a boost of both directly and indirectly held corporate entities, amounting to a rise of $3.2 trillion. And real estate rose in value by $1 trillion.
But household debt was on the rise, too, reaching $62 trillion in Q1 2021. Household debt also increased by 5.8 percent at an annual rate, which was a decrease from the 6.3 percent from the previous quarter.