The income gap between the wealthy and the middle class in America is continuing to grow, and the overall level of wealth in the country is lower than in past decades. But despite this trend, there are now more millionaires in America than ever before. Boston Consulting Group recently published data showing that there are 8 million households in America with financial assets totaling at least $1 million, and this number doesn’t include the value of their homes or luxury goods. From 2010 to 2015, an additional 2.4 millionaires were minted. This comes to a rate of about 1,700 millionaires being made each day, and the firm estimates that there will be another 3.1 million millionaires created by 2020.
The oldest generation of Americans holds a disproportionate amount of the $55.6 trillion in personal wealth in this country, and many of them are now passing these assets on to their kids. Inheritance is rapidly becoming one of the main ways that wealth is accumulated. A recent survey by the Spectrem Group showed that over half of U.S. investors who are worth at least $25 million said that they inherited at least a portion of their money. (For more, see: The Number of Millionaires Continues to Increase.)
A study conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis last year indicates that about 75% of the U.S. population lives hand to mouth, unable to save any money during the year. The other 25% are labeled as “thrivers”, who are able to save money and grow their wealth. The gap between the top 1% of all earners and the rest of the population has also increased.
Urban Institute scholar Stephen Rose has published numbers that show that the number of upper-middle class citizens has increased dramatically since 1979, while the number of middle and lower-middle class citizens has declined, Bloomberg reports. Rose’s numbers also reveal that the top 2% of all earners has increased even faster than the upper-middle class. (For more, see: 5 Top Ranked Cities for Millionaires.)