From a report by the Fed:
From 2007 to 2010, the median for those households in the bottom quarter of net worth fell from $1,300 to zero. That's a 100 percent drop. The mean for that group went from a net worth of minus $2,300 to negative $12,800.
So, to be clear here - If you are about the 12th percentile in wealth in the U.S., you have no net worth, and the people 0-12th percentile are much farther underwater than the 13th-25th are above water.
Things are really bad, all of the way up to the 75th percentile for net worth:
By comparison, the median and mean plunges in net worth were not so great for Americans in the 50th-to-75th percentile group, but still large. Median net worth for that group fell 43.3 percent.
The recession has not been nearly as hard on the top 25%:
For the 75th-to-90th percentile group, on the other hand, median and mean net worth fell only 19.7 percent and 14.4 percent, respectively.
For the top 10 percent of the population, the median net worth fell 6.4 percent and the mean fell 11 percent.
The belief is that in 2009-11 the stock market grew, while housing values actually continued to fall. Poor people own houses but few stocks. Wealthier people own a higher level of stocks.
Even more depressing - people no longer have pensions and, with no savings, feel they have no reasonable chance of retiring:
37 percent of workers said they expect to delay their retirement beyond age 65. In 1991, only 11 percent expected to do so. In 2007, 41 percent of those surveyed said they felt sure they would have enough savings and investments for retirement. In 2012, only 21 percent said.