The majority of American “Affluents” (adults who live in households with at least $100,000 in annual household income) are Millennials and Generation Xers, per results from an Ipsos MediaCT study released in September. Specifically, one-third belong to Gen X (31-47), and another 1 in 5 are Millennials (aged 18-30). Boomers (48-66) account for the largest share of adults living in affluent households, though, at 39%, with Seniors (67+) taking up the remaining 8% share.
1 in 3 Hail From the South
While there is not much gender disparity among affluents (51% male; 49% female), there is more divergence on a geographic level. Southerners make up 33% of the affluent demographic, compared to 22% who reside in the Northeast, and 20% in the Midwest. 1 in 4 live in the West.
Overall, an estimated 59 million Americans qualify as affluents, living in households with a median income of $141,800, virtually unchanged from last year. The report finds that 1 in 4 US adults live in households with income of at least $100,000, citing US Census Bureau data.
1 in 10 Born Outside the US
Ipsos’ “The Mendelsohn Affluent Survey 2012” reveals that affluents come from diverse cultural and communal backgrounds. Although whites (85%) make up the vast majority, Hispanics (8%), Asians (7%), and Black/African-Americans (6%) also collectively comprise roughly 13 million affluents. According to a recent Nielsen report [download page], 1 in 10 African-American households have an annual household income of at least $100,000.
Interestingly, 17% of affluents speak a language other than English at home, and 11% were born outside the US. Some of these immigrants could well be business owners: a study released in May 2012 by the Small Business Association (SBA) [pdf] found that 10.5% of the US immigrant work force owns a business, compared to 9.3% of the US-born workforce. The Ipsos study reveals that 17% of affluents are business owners.
When it comes to employment status, 56% of affluents are full-time employees and 62% are in professional or managerial positions. 13% are C-suite executives.
About the Data: The Ipsos study was fielded beginning in March, and received 13,794 eligible responses before the July 13 deadline. The results were weighted to demographic targets from the US Census to ensure representativeness.