According to the New York Federal Reserve, 14% of the U.S. population lives in households that have “negative” wealth. In other words, these are households that have more debts piled up than assets, which puts their net worth in minus territory.
But what does a negative wealth household look like?
In the following chart, VisualCapitalist's Jeff Desjardins compares the data on negative wealth households with the data on their positive counterparts. There are some obvious and stark contrasts...
Households that are deep in the red have the majority of their wealth in the family car – automobiles make up 45% of the value of their total assets. Housing makes up 20% of their assets by value.
For positive wealth households, it is the reverse: 40% of wealth is in the home, and 15% in vehicles.
The composition of debt is also very telling. Negative wealth households have a whopping 47% of debt in student loans, while positive houses have just 6%.