Fewer than 20 percent of all U.S. households are affluent, yet that group controls nearly half of all aggregate income, according to a new report from Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com.
A major component of their wealth? Residential real estate, thanks to “the run-up in values in major metropolitan areas, where the affluent tend to live,” according to the company.
Nearly 21 million households fall into an affluent category — singles earning at least $75,000 and households with more than one adult earning at least $100,000 — and wield an aggregate income of $3.6 trillion, an amount Packaged Facts predicts will grow by 27 percent over the next four years to $4.6 trillion in 2011.
Affluent Profile: Risk Takers, Workaholics
Eighty-seven percent of the affluent own their own home. And on average, households with an annual income of $150,000 or more live in a house worth more than $550,000, according to the report. They’re likely to be married with comparatively large families and live in the Northeast and Pacific regions.
Compared with the general population, affluent households are more likely to depend on multiple wage earners. Also higher than the general population is the number of self-employed: 10.6 percent of all affluent households and 15.3 percent of the super affluent.
The affluent also tend to:
- Be risk takers.
- Characterize themselves as workaholics who want to get to the top of their career.
- Spend more than twice the average on home furnishings and appliances.
Different Categories of Affluence
Packaged Facts divides the affluent market into three groups:
- Mass affluent: one-person households with an income of $75,000-$99,999 and/or adults with a household income of $100,000-$149,999
- Highly affluent: household incomes of $150,000-$249,999
- Super-affluent: household incomes of $250,000 or more
The two million households defined as super affluent have an average annual household income of $435,000. They account for only 1.2 percent of all households but generate 12 percent of U.S.
— By Camilla McLaughlin for REALTOR® Magazine Online
Tony Meier Seattle firstname.lastname@example.org