In the News …

Stocks increase household wealth

The dramatic rise in the value of securities traded over the past few years has added more than $3 trillion to household wealth since 1991, according to a Federal Reserve survey reported in USA Today. When securities held in other plans, such as pension, retirement, and life insurance, is added, the total climbs to $4.5 trillion in household wealth.

The Federal Reserve reports that more than 41% of U.S. households held stocks in 1995-up from 37.2% in 1992 and 31.7% in 1989. The middle class has experienced an even more dramatic rise in stock ownership since 1989. Ownership of stocks by households in the $10,000 to $25,000 income range has nearly doubled, while in the $25,000 to $50,000 range, stock ownership has increased 44%.

In 1995 stocks and mutual funds made up 13.8% of family assets, whereas in 1989 that figure was 7.3%. These figures bode well for gift planners who can clearly benefit their organizations and donors by encouraging gifts of appreciated assets such as securities.

Source: USA Today. March 24, 1997, page 4-B.

A growing segment of the economy

  • ¬†Nonprofits are growing faster than either for-profit or government entities, a new study from Nonprofit World suggests. (Figures are based on information from 1994.)
  • Nonprofits make up 4.2% of all U.S. institutions at 1.03 million — up from 739,000 20 years ago.
  • ¬†Nonprofits’ income has grown, on average, 3.7% per year for two decades.
  • Nonprofits employ 6.7% of the U.S. workforce — that’s 9,656,000 workers.
  • Women make up 68% of those employees, whereas they comprise 44% of other sectors.

The report, Non-profit Almanac: Dimensions of the Independent Sector, 1996- 1997, can be ordered from Jossey-Bass Publishers, 350 Sansome Street, San Francisco, California 94104 (800-956-7739 or 415-433-1704) or from Independent Sector, 1828 L Street, N.W., Washington. DC 20036 (202-223- 8100) for $24.95 plus $5 shipping.

Population estimates

As of July 1, 1996, the U.S. population hit 265.3 million according to the Census Bureau, an increase of 0.9% over the past year. This represents a slight decline over the same period measured the year before and reflects a continuing lower birth rate since 1990. The median age rose from 34.3 to 34.6 years.

Source: USA Today, March 25. 1997, Page 3-A (Editor’s note: Find helpful information from the Census Bureau on the web at

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