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 (opens in new tab) over the past several years and that he and his companies have outstanding debt (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) 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  (opens in new tab)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 (opens in new tab). And, if you're wondering, Vice President Kamala Harris is thought to be worth around $6.3 million. (opens in new tab) She also released her and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff's 2020 tax returns, which can be found here (opens in new tab).

A post shared by Joe Biden (@joebiden) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

How did Joe Biden make his money?

Joe Biden Sr. (opens in new tab), 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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab). 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.

A post shared by Joe Biden (@joebiden) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) to hold a paid job and the first to have a doctorate degree.

RELATED STORIES

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

(Image credit: Joe Raedle)

Katherine’s a Boston-based contributor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle—from “Clueless” to Everlane to news about Lizzo. She’s been a freelancer for 11 years and has had roles with Cosmopolitan and Bustle, with bylines in Parents, Seventeen, and elsewhere. It’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.