On a real, per capita basis, the net worth of the average person living in the U.S. reached a new all-time high of $273,560. This measure of wealth has been rising, on average, about 2.4% per year since records were first kept beginning in 1951. Life in the U.S. has been getting better and better for generations. If you're hungry for more details of the steady march of progress, check out Human Progress, a worthwhile project of Cato, my favorite think-tank.
The debt/net worth ratio of non-financial corporate business stands at 57%, up from a post-recession low of 51% in late 2010, but down considerably from its all-time high of 82% in 1989. Meanwhile, the debt/net worth ratio of non-financial non-corporate business has fallen from 57% in 2010 to 43%. The federal government has leveraged up in the past 7 years, but not the private sector.
Income inequality is not a factor either in the ongoing rise in wealth. As the chart above shows, the share of total income earned by the top 5% and top 20% of households has been essentially unchanged for many years.