How Many People Have More Than $3,000,000 in Wealth? (2024)

You may already know the Census Bureau data shows there are 115,610,216 households in the United States and, that, as per the Federal Reserve data, roughly 1 out of every 5 of these households earns $100,000 or more per year; that 1 out of every 25 of them has a net worth of $1,000,000 or more. What about substantial wealth excluding houses, cars, furniture, jewelry … actual investment portfolios stuffed with cash, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate investment trusts, master limited partnerships, tax-lien certificates, or any of the other numerous securities one can own to compound capital?

Some of thebest data I can find indicates thereare 1,821,745 households thathave investmentportfolios valued at$3,000,000 or more1. This means roughly 1 out of every 63+ households. This group contains:

  • 893,344 households with $3,000,000 to $5,000,000
  • 679,242 households with $5,000,000 to $10,000,000, and
  • 249,159 households with $10,000,000+

When the nation’s largest trust company, U.S. Trust, went to study those who make the rankings in an annual publication calledInsights on Wealth and Worth [PDFor website], it found that the “vast majority (94%) … say they have a clear purpose in life. Three-quarters (75%) agree that their life’s purpose would not change even if they were to lose their wealth”. As a whole, the group is obsessed with maintaining good health – looking at other data sets, this makes sense given those in the group, relative to the general population, arefar less likely to smoke, drink in excess, be overweight, or have children out of wedlock. A disproportionate percentage of the list either owned their own business or worked as a corporate executive, but this isn’t a surprise if you’ve examined the Federal Reserve data; business owners, as a class, have net worth figures that are many, many, many times the rest of the population as a good operator is able to create value not only from the profit component but the capitalized value of those profits when and if he or she goes to sell the business. (There’s a degree of self-selection here because if you are not talented enough to run a business, you fail and lose everything, removing you from the data pool. And a lot do fail, thoughthere are some problems with the headline figures people repeat without thinking.)

Guess what else? As per all of the other data I’ve ever seen, stealth wealth rules the day. Barely more than1 out of 3 households have fully disclosed their wealth to their children; the kids and grandchildren have no idea how rich the investors have made themselves. Specifically:

  • 17 out of 100 have offered no disclosure at all,
  • 47 out of 100 have offered only a little bit of disclosure, and
  • 36 out of 100 have provided full disclosure.

That’s a whole lot of people who have no idea they are going to be on the receiving end of a boatload of wealth, provided charity doesn’t get it. The United States of America is full of people like Phyllis Stone, wearing frumpy house dresses, driving beat-up Chevy Cavaliers, and living in normal houses as their tens of thousands of shares of Exxon Mobil pump out six-figures in annual dividend income or, in some cases, successful executives and doctors who have no doubt done well, but haven’t let onhow well.

When U.S. Trust asked its sample group the reasons they were so secretive about their money,:

  • 34 out of 100 said, “I am concerned it will negatively impact their work ethic”
  • 20 out of 100 said, “I was taught never to discuss wealth”
  • 19 out of 100 said, “I am concerned they will discuss it publicly outside the family”
  • 17 out of 100 said, “My child/ren aren’t mature enough to handle it”
  • 15 out of 100 said, “I never thought about it”
  • 5 out of 100 said, “My child/ren aren’t old enuogh”
  • 6 out of 100 said, “I don’t know how to bring it up”

Perhaps, then, it isn’t surprising that the Williams Group wealth consultancy found that a whopping 70 out of 100 wealthy families will lose their wealth by the second generation and an almost unbelievable 90 out of 100 will have dissipated it by the third generation. One of the consequences of this winner-take-all meritocracy that has been unleashed by the rise of the microchip and globalization increasing productivity is what others have called the “high beta rich”; that we are now a nation of the self-made, with inheritance and “old money” becoming less and less important than it has ever been at any time in the history of not just the United States but of human civilization. Even the Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans hit an all-time high for the percentage of billionaires who are self-made, whereas when the list was first compiled decades ago in the 1980’s, it was mostly aristocratic families like the Rockefellers and DuPonts. The blue bloods are dead. Long live the entrepreneurs.

Most of the data I’ve seen roughly approximates the breakdown on this Forbes page … around 70% of assets are accumulated in the current generation through business ownership, 25% are generated from high-income occupations, such as becoming a doctor, and 5% originates from inheritance. If you ever hear someone talking about how the rich in America are that way because of the silver spoon they were given at birth, know that you’re listening to someone who is living in a fantasy world. It hasn’t been true for decades. That economy is dead and gone.

The representative sample also held significantlyhigher cash reservesthan typical investors:

  • 8 out of 100 held 50% or more of their portfolios in cash
  • 14 out of 100 held 25% to 50% of their portfolios in cash
  • 40 out of 100 held 10% to 24% of their portfolios in cash
  • 38 out of 100 held less than 10% of their portfolios in cash

The last group isn’t much of a surprise because there’s some research I’ve been reading lately indicating that there are a lot of high net worth individuals living paycheck to paycheck in the United Statesdue to apropensity to over invest. Though not a perfect overlap in demographic, the paper I’m currently reading, written by Greg Kaplan at Princeton University, Giovanni L. Violante at New York University, and Justin Weidner at Princeton University, deals with it. It’s calledThe Wealthy Hand-to-Mouth[PDF].

1In its 2015Insights on Wealth and Worth [also available in Executive Summary PDF], U.S. Trustlooks at data fromCerulli Associates, Cerulli Lodestar – Retail Investor Subscription, 2013 and uses it to paint a picture of America’s rich, from which it drew for a study sample. You can order the recently released 06/25/2015 edition if you want slightly updated figures, but it’s going to cost you $17,000.

How Many People Have More Than $3,000,000 in Wealth? (2)

Author:Joshua Kennon

Joshua Kennon is a Managing Director of Kennon-Green & Co., a private asset management firm specializing in global value investing for affluent and high net worth individuals, families, and institutions. Nothing in this article or on this site, which is Mr. Kennon's personal blog, is intended to be, nor should it be construed as, investment advice, a recommendation, or an offer to buy or sell a security or securities. Investing can result in losses, sometimes significant losses. Prior to taking any action involving your finances or portfolio, you should consult with your own qualified professional advisor(s), such as an investment advisor, tax specialist, and/or attorney, who can help you consider your unique needs, circ*mstances, risk tolerance, and other relevant factors.

How Many People Have More Than $3,000,000 in Wealth? (2024)


How Many People Have More Than $3,000,000 in Wealth? ›

Some of the best data I can find indicates there are 1,821,745 households that have investment portfolios valued at $3,000,000 or more1. This means roughly 1 out of every 63+ households. This group contains: 893,344 households with $3,000,000 to $5,000,000.

What percent of Americans have a 2 million dollar net worth? ›

Top 2% wealth: The top 2% of Americans have a net worth of about $2.472 million, aligning closely with the surveyed perception of wealth. Top 5% wealth: The next tier, the top 5%, has a net worth of around $1.03 million. Top 10% wealth: The top 10% of the population has a net worth of approximately $854,900.

What is top 1% net worth? ›

In the U.S., it may take you $5.81 million to be in the top 1%, but it takes a minimum net worth of $30 million to be considered among the ultra-high net worth crowd. As of the end of 2023, this ultra-high net worth population is on the rise, reaching 626,000 globally, up from just over 600,000 a year earlier.

What percentile is a $3 million net worth? ›

The 95th percentile, with a net worth of $3.2 million, is considered wealthy, facilitating estate planning and possibly owning multiple homes. The top 1%, or the 99th percentile, has a net worth of $16.7 million and represents the very wealthy, who enjoy considerable financial freedom and luxury​​.

What percentage of retirees have $3 million dollars? ›

According to EBRI estimates based on the latest Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances, 3.2% of retirees have over $1 million in their retirement accounts, while just 0.1% have $5 million or more.

How many people have $3,000,000 in savings in usa? ›

1,821,745 Households in the United States Have Investment Portfolios Worth $3,000,000 or More.

Where does net worth of 3.5 million rank? ›

The 95th percentile is considered wealthy, with $3.2 million household net worth, so even more spending power, which means estate planning and possibly more than one home.

What is the net worth of the top 5% in the US? ›

On the other hand, the top 5% wealthiest Americans have a net worth of just over $1 million. Therefore, about 2% of the population possesses enough wealth to meet the current definition of being rich.

How many people have $2000000 in savings? ›

Among the 47 million households headed by someone age 60 or older, 7% had household investable assets of at least $2 million, Drinkwater said. Only 6% of the 89 million households in the U.S. headed by someone 40 to 85 years old has that amount, Drinkwater said.

What is the net worth of the top2%? ›

People with the top 1% of net worth in the U.S. in 2022 had $10,815,000 in net worth. The top 2% had a net worth of $2,472,000. The top 5% had $1,030,000. The top 10% had $854,900.

Does net worth include home? ›

Your net worth is what you own minus what you owe. It's the total value of all your assets—including your house, cars, investments and cash—minus your liabilities (things like credit card debt, student loans, and what you still owe on your mortgage).

What net worth makes you rich? ›

Someone who has $1 million in liquid assets, for instance, is usually considered to be a high net worth (HNW) individual. You might need $5 million to $10 million to qualify as having a very high net worth while it may take $30 million or more to be considered ultra-high net worth.

How many people have a net worth of $1000000? ›

Let's break it down with a cold splash of truth. There are about 22 million people in the US sitting on a net worth of over $1 million. That might seem like a hefty squad of millionaires to you, but let's put things into perspective. That's less than 7% of the U.S. adult population, my friend.

Can I live off interest on 3 million dollars? ›

Living off the interest of $3 million is possible when you diversify your portfolio and pick the right investments. Here are six common investments and expected income for each year: Savings and money market accounts. Savings accounts are one of the most liquid places to hold your money besides a checking account.

How long will $3,000,000 last in retirement? ›

As mentioned above, $3 million can easily carry you through 40 years of retirement, making leaving the workforce at 50 a plausible option. Many dream of early retirement, but if you're lucky enough to already have $3 million set aside for this phase of your life, you could do more than dream.

How many Americans have $1000000 in retirement savings? ›

However, not a huge percentage of retirees end up having that much money. In fact, statistically, around 10% of retirees have $1 million or more in savings.

Is a net worth of 2 million considered wealthy? ›

Being rich currently means having a net worth of about $2.2 million. However, this number fluctuates over time, and you can measure wealth according to your financial priorities. As a result, healthy financial habits, like spending less than you make, are critical to becoming wealthy, no matter your definition.

Is 2 million a high net worth? ›

Types of High-Net-Worth Individuals (HNWIs)

An investor with less than $1 million but more than $100,000 is considered to be a sub-HNWI. The upper end of HNWI is around $5 million, at which point the client is referred to as a very-HNWI. More than $30 million in wealth classifies a person as an ultra-HNWI.

What percentage of US population has $3 million dollars? ›

According to the MacroMonitor, by 2022-23, the number of U.S. households with $3 million or more in financial assets represents 3.2% of all households, totaling 4.6 million.

What percentage of households are worth 2 million? ›

Fact #1: According to recent statistics, approximately 5% of American households have a net worth exceeding 2 million dollars. This means that out of the roughly 128 million households in the United States, around 6.4 million fall into the category of high net worth individuals.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Allyn Kozey

Last Updated:

Views: 5471

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (43 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Allyn Kozey

Birthday: 1993-12-21

Address: Suite 454 40343 Larson Union, Port Melia, TX 16164

Phone: +2456904400762

Job: Investor Administrator

Hobby: Sketching, Puzzles, Pet, Mountaineering, Skydiving, Dowsing, Sports

Introduction: My name is Allyn Kozey, I am a outstanding, colorful, adventurous, encouraging, zealous, tender, helpful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.