http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2010/08/big-difference-between-average-and-median-net-worths.html "Here's an interesting post from Thomas Stanley (the Millionaires Next Door author) that sheds some interesting light on average versus median net worths in the US: "The average net worth of an American household is $434,782. However, there is a major problem with this wealth figure. When it comes to expressing the net worth/wealth of a household the average figure is very misleading. The presence of high net worth households, billionaires like Buffet and Gates, for example, highly skews the distribution and thus the average in an upward direction. "The median measure of household net worth paints a much more accurate picture of the character of wealth in America than does the average. The median is that of the typical household, the mid point range of all of the more than 115,000,000 households ranked from bottom to top along the net worth scale. "Today the median net worth of an American household is $91,304. It now costs more than this amount for a one year stay, drugs excluded, in a high grade nursing home. Therefore, less than one half of the households in this country do not have enough to pay for such a service even if they sold everything they owned and worked for. "The $91,304 net worth figure also is indicative of something else. The typical American worker who becomes unemployed today has only about two years of wealth to live on before he hits economic ground zero. "Most American households are nowhere near being financially independent. Nor will most be able to retire in comfort. Yet there is more bad news. What if the equity in homes and motor vehicles is factored out of the median net worth figure? Then the median figure is about $34,000 or about 2/3 of the annual median income generated by a typical American household today." IN OTHER WORDS, "MIDDLE INCOME" MEANS "POOR."