DVD Release DateFederal Reserve Economists Assess the Wealth of Home Alone's McCallister Family Based...

Federal Reserve Economists Assess the Wealth of Home Alone’s McCallister Family Based on Their Property

  • Economists believe the McCallister family in Home Alone were likely in the top 1% of earners based on their property.
  • External shots of the McAllister house were filmed in a wealthy Chicago suburb, hinting at their financial status.
  • The novelization of Home Alone suggests that Peter is a prominent businessman and Kate is a fashion designer, which could explain their wealth.

For years, fans of Home Alone have been debating the extent of the McCallister family’s wealth. How could Peter and Kate McCallister afford such a massive house, numerous gifts, and luxurious vacations? Economists seem to have found the answer: the McCallisters were incredibly wealthy.

After years of speculation on social media, The New York Times sought a professional opinion from the Federal Reserve regarding the family’s seemingly endless wealth. They ultimately concluded that the McCallisters were likely part of the top 1% of earners based on their property.

Before any thorough analysis, the filming location of the McAllister house on Lincoln Avenue in the affluent Chicago suburb of Winnetka was a strong indicator of their financial status. According to Realtor.com, Winnetka is one of the wealthiest areas in the US, placing the family in a privileged position. The New York Times further explains:

“Working with the assumption that the McCallisters did not spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing, the economists also determined the home would have been affordable to a household with an income of $305,000 in 1990 (about $665,000 in 2022). In the middle of 2022, a similar house would cost about $2.4 million, based on the Zillow estimate for the Home Alone house. A home of that value would be affordable to a household with an income of $730,000, which would be in the top 1 percent of Chicago-area households.”

How Did the McCallisters Earn Their Money?
20th Century Fox

While it was evident that the McCallisters had substantial wealth, the source of their income was not as clear. Some dark theories over the years have suggested that Peter McCallister worked as a lawyer for the Mob. The novelization of Home Alone, however, offers a clue into the family’s earnings. According to Todd Strasser’s book, published in 1990 alongside the film’s release, Peter McCallister is described as a “prominent businessman” or possibly a day trader, while Kate is a fashion designer—explaining the numerous mannequins in the house.

Based on data from Salary.com, a successful fashion designer’s income could reach up to $500,000 a year. While it is difficult to pin down the earnings of a “prominent businessman,” it is reasonable to assume that it would be in the same range or higher. In short, the McCallisters were undoubtedly multimillionaires.

Home Alone and its sequels are available to stream on Disney+.