March 3, 2010

Personal Savings Rate History 1959 to 2010

You can get recent savings rate information at the BEA.   For the 4th quarter of 2009 the personal savings rate was just over 4%.   The personal savings rate is the percentage of personal income saved, so its the total amount saved / total personal income for the nation.

The Fed has historical data on the personal savings rate going back to 1959.    I plotted that data in the chart below to show the trend from 1959 to 2010.

From 1959 to 2010 the Average was 7.0%, the Median was 7.5%, the minimum was 0.8% and the maximum rate hit 14.6%.   From 1959 to 1995 the rate averaged 8.4%.  The average rate from 1995 to 2010 had dropped to 3.4%.


  1. Maybe the answer to this is obvious but percent of what? For example you quoted a number of 4%. Is that percent of GDP or percent of personal income?

  2. Randy, Its the percent of personal income. I should have said so in the post so I'll make an edit to do so.


  3. what is the value of a $50k life insurance policy purchased in 1959 worth today?

  4. I assume the last poster is asking about a cash value life insurance. The value of a life insurance plan is defined by the terms of the plan. Every insurance policy is different and the investment returns will vary. THere is no way of knowing how much a policy is worth in cash value without reading the specifics of the policy. I would assume that a policy would have some sort of statement that tells you what the cash value is. If you need to know how much a policy is then the only way I'd know is to read your documentation or contact the insurance company and ask them.


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