What Is Joe Biden's Net Worth?

At one point, he was known as the "poorest man in Congress."

joe biden
(Image credit: Win McNamee)

Last year, we learned that President Trump paid $750 or less in taxes over the past several years and that he and his companies have outstanding debt that may exceed $1 billion. This stands in stark contrast to the current president, Joe Biden, who was once referred to as the "poorest man in Congress." Granted, President Biden is wealthy by anyone's standards, but his net worth and how he obtained it is far easier to trace, especially because he has released his tax returns every year for more than a decade, including while vice president and, now, president. With a family history that spanned both wealth and hardship, Biden spent many years as "Middle Class Joe" before he obtained his current net worth.

How much is Joe Biden worth today?

President Biden is reportedly worth $9 million at present, which is significantly more than earlier in his career. This number, estimated from Forbes and calculated in 2019, is based on a total portfolio of $4 million in real estate (President Biden and wife First Lady Dr. Jill Biden own two homes in Delaware), cash/investments worth $4 million, and a federal pension worth more than $1 million.

Before President Biden took office, the Bidens released their tax returns from 2016 to 2018, which showed that they paid about a third of their income in taxes in 2017 and 2018 ($3.7 million and $1.5 million, respectively), and that they donated a significant amount to charity in 2017 and 2018 ($1 million and $275,000, respectively).

On May 17, 2021, President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden released their tax returns for 2020 and reported a federal adjusted gross income of $607,336 while paying $157,414 in taxes. You can see more information on their recent tax returns here. And, if you're wondering, Vice President Kamala Harris is thought to be worth around $6.3 million. She also released her and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff's 2020 tax returns, which can be found here.

How did Joe Biden make his money?

Joe Biden Sr., who had a profound impact on his son, came from wealth—his father ran a division of American Oil. But Joe Sr. set out as an entrepreneur and had several business failures, leaving the family impoverished, according to his son's memoir (at one point the children even went to stay with their grandmother). Joe Sr. eventually found work selling cars and the family settled in Delaware–where they remain to this day—and Joe Jr. completed a work-study program to attend the prestigious Archmere Academy in Claymont.

President Biden started working at a law firm after his marriage to first wife Neilia and then became one of the youngest senators ever elected with a starting salary at about $42,500 a year ($250,000 in today's dollars, adjusted for inflation). He started releasing his tax forms in 1998. Dr. Biden's work in community colleges also contributed to their overall salary; she's been an educator for more than three decades. In 2009, President Biden's senator salary was $169,300, then his salary as President Obama's vice president averaged about $225,000 every year.

How much did Joe Biden make as vice president?

When President Biden officially ended his term as VP, he filed a financial disclosure form that listed his net worth between $897,000 and $489,000. As VP, he earned about $225,000 every year. But then, in the subsequent two years, the couple apparently made more than $15 million in speaking fees, book tours (both he and and Dr. Biden released memoirs), and leadership at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement at the University of Pennsylvania. In turn, they were able to make more donations and pay off one of their mortgages—one is still outstanding, as well as a line of credit for one of their sons—and buy a new property in Rehoboth Beach.

What is Joe Biden's salary as president?

U.S. law states that the United States president has to be paid a salary while in office. In 2001, Congress raised the presidential salary from $200,000 to $400,000 and added an extra expense allowance of $50,000 a year. The president also receives a $100,000 nontaxable travel account and $19,000 for entertainment. The presidential salary is taxable, but the other added expenses are not.

Dr. Biden plans to continue to teach while serving as the first lady. "If we get to the White House, I'm gonna continue to teach," she told CBS Sunday Morning last August. "It's important, and I want people to value teachers and know their contributions, and lift up the profession." This makes her the only first lady to hold a paid job and the first to have a doctorate degree.


democratic presidential nominee joe biden and running mate sen kamala harris d ca address the nation

(Image credit: Joe Raedle)
Katherine J. Igoe
Contributing Editor

Katherine’s a contributing syndications editor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle. In her role, she writes stories that are syndicated by MSN and other outlets. She’s been a full-time freelancer for over a decade and has had roles with Cosmopolitan (where she covered lifestyle, culture, and fashion SEO content) and Bustle (where she was their movies and culture writer). She has bylines in New York TimesParentsInStyle, Refinery29, and elsewhere. Her work has also been syndicated by ELLEHarper’s BazaarSeventeenGood Housekeeping, and Women’s Health, among others. In addition to her stories reaching millions of readers, content she's written and edited has qualified for a Bell Ringer Award and received a Communicator Award. 

Katherine has a BA in English and art history from the University of Notre Dame and an MA in art business from the Sotheby's Institute of Art (with a focus on marketing/communications). She covers a wide breadth of topics: she's written about how to find the very best petite jeanshow sustainable travel has found its footing on Instagram, and what it's like to be a professional advice-giver in the modern world. Her personal essays have run the gamut from learning to dress as a queer woman to navigating food allergies as a mom. She also has deep knowledge of SEO/EATT, affiliate revenue, commerce, and social media; she regularly edits the work of other writers. She speaks at writing-related events and podcasts about freelancing and journalism, mentors students and other new writers, and consults on coursework. Currently, Katherine lives in Boston with her husband and two kids, and you can follow her on Instagram. If you're wondering about her last name, it’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.