San Francisco leads the US in density of high-asset households, according to [download page] an October report from Nielsen. Nielsen defines Mass Affluents as having income-producing assets (IPAs) of between $250,000 and $1 million (excluding real estate). Those assets include, among others, stocks, 401(k)s and money market savings. Mass Affluents skew higher than the mass market for these assets, and are concentrated less in old-money areas and the Sunbelt, and more in and around coastal metropolises.
San Francisco leads in market penetration, with 21.8% of households characterized as mass affluent, around twice the US average. In terms of penetration, Washington DC (18.6%), Hartford and New Haven, CT (18.2%), Boston (18%) and New York (16.8%) round out the top 5, while also in the top 10 are Honolulu, HI (the only entry not on the East or West Coast), Baltimore, Monterey-Salinas, CA, San Diego, and Santa Barbara.
Assets More Remarkable Than Income
Data from Nielsen’s “Affluence in America: A Financial View of the Mass Affluent” indicates that although 42% of Mass Affluent households have incomes greater than $100,000, the bulk (46.4%) fall into the $50,000 to $100,000 range, while another 11.6% earn under $50,000. At an average income of $105,500, they earn more than twice that of Mass Market households ($50,722), about 60% more than the average US household ($62,912), but just over two-thirds that of Affluent households ($155,135).
More than 13 million US households are classified as Mass Affluent, or about 11% of all households. Two-thirds of Mass Affluents are over 55 years old.
Mass Affluents Have A Taste For “The Finer Things”
Mass Affluents are almost three times as likely as the general population to belong to a country club (indexing at 287 where 100 represents the average US household). They are also more than twice as likely to attend classical music or opera performances once a month or more (272), contribute to National Public Radio (NPR; 263), buy light classical music (251), contribute to Public Broadcasting (PBS; 251), belong to a civic club (246) or go sailing (237).
They are also far more likely to read consumer finance and lifestyle print magazines. Of 10 such publications, Mass Affluents show above-average readership ofÂ Kiplinger’s Personal Finance (index of 232),Â Veranda (219), Conde Nast Travel (212), Sunset (211), Architectural Digest (208) and Barron’s (207). They can also be found reading Coastal Living (207), Wine Spectator (203), Golf Digest (202) and Travel & Leisure (198).
About The Data: Based on several sources: Nielsen Financial Track, a syndicated survey of financial behavior conducted in the US; P$YCLE, a segmentation system that uses demographics and financial behaviors to classify US households into 58 consumer segments; Mediamark Research & Intelligence (MRI), a consumer survey company that collects data on the adult public’s use of media, product consumption and lifestyles and attitudes; and Pop-Facts Demographics, current-year estimates and five-year projections for hundreds of demographic line items .