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U.S. Gains 800,000 New Millionaires Since 2011

By Alex Padalka February 21, 2017

About one in 20 American households has $1 million or more in investable assets, and while that proportion hasn’t changed much since 2011, those households control a much bigger portion of U.S. wealth, according to the most recent edition of Phoenix Marketing International’s Wealth and Affluent Monitor.

Close to 6.8 million U.S. households had $1 million or more in investable assets as of mid-2016, or about 4% more than the year prior, according to the report, which used the Survey of Consumer Finance and Nielsen-Claritas data to make its estimates. Compared to the general population, about 5.5% of all U.S. households had more than $1 million in investable assets, a slight increase over the 5.1% who had $1 million or more in 2011 and the 4.8% in 2006, the report says.

Concentration of wealth, however, continues to grow, according to the report. Households with $1 million or more investable assets now control around $20 trillion in total liquid wealth, or about 59% of the U.S. total.

The biggest growth from the previous year occurred in the wealth of households with between $1 million and $10 million, which grew $809 billion to $17.8 trillion, according to the report. At the same time, what the report calls the “broad affluent” segment, which has between $250,000 and $1 million in investable assets, actually shed $56 billion in wealth from 2015 to 2016, according to the report. Almost all of it — $54 billion — was lost by households who hold between $250,000 and $500,000, the report says. And the 14 million “near-affluent” households — those who have between $100,000 and $250,000 in investable assets — lost $79 billion collectively from 2015 to 2016, according to the report.

As for the rest? The 70% of “non-affluent” households now control less than 10% of the country’s investable assets, the report says.

Phoenix Marketing International also says that where the wealth is concentrated hasn’t changed much but merely shifted around a bit. Maryland and Connecticut continue to have the highest ratios of millionaire households, with 7.55% and 7.4% respectively. They’re followed by New Jersey, Hawaii, Alaska, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Virginia, the District of Columbia and Delaware, which even at 10th place still has 6.28% of its households with $1 million or more in investable assets, according to the report.