Boomers and Silents Represent 70% of the Wealth and Affluent Market

February 24, 2017

This article is included in these additional categories:

Boomers & Older | Global & Regional | Household Income | Youth & Gen X

Today’s marketers very much hold a focus on Millennials – and even Gen Z. But when it comes to wealth in the US, younger generations distantly trail their older counterparts, despite some gains. In fact, new data from Phoenix Marketing International (PMI) indicates that roughly 70% of the wealth and affluent market (those with investable assets of at least $100k) is made up of Americans born before 1965.

Baby Boomers are easily the most influential of the generations in this aspect, comprising 55% of the wealth and affluent market. Not to be forgotten, the Silent generation represents an additional 15% of the market, a larger proportion than the Millennial generation (aged 36 and under). Gen X for its part, while now the largest generation of affluents by income, comprises 17% of the wealth and affluent market.

These figures bring to mind a widely-cited statistic published by Nielsen earlier this decade, in which Boomers were projected to control 70% of US disposable income by this year.

States With the Highest Concentration of Millionaires

The PMI data indicates that roughly 5.5% of all US households enjoyed at least $1 million in investable assets as of mid-2016 (up from 5.1% in 2011). The top 5 states by concentration of millionaires, however, each saw more than 7% of their households having at least $1 million in investable assets. Those were:

  • Maryland (7.55%), #1 since 2011;
  • Connecticut (7.4%), unchanged from 2015;
  • New Jersey (7.49%), up 1 spot from 2015;
  • Hawaii (7.35%), down 1 spot from 2015; and
  • Alaska (7.15%), unchanged from 2015.

Utah (#17), Michigan (#29), Arizona (#30) and Ohio (#31) saw the biggest year-over-year jump in the rankings, each climbing 5 spots, while New Mexico (down 11 spots to #43) had the biggest decline.

The report notes that some states have seen their rankings change dramatically over the past decade. Florida, for example, ranked #10 in 2006, but has plummeted in rank to #32 last year. Despite its improvement last year, Michigan has dropped from being ranked #18 in 2006 to #29 this past year.

States rising in the millionaire concentration rankings since the pre-financial crisis years include North Dakota, South Dakota and Texas.

Wealth Gap Widens

The astounding wealth gap in the US persists, per the report. To wit, the top 1% of wealthiest households in the US held almost one-quarter (24%) of total liquid wealth in the US as of June 30, 2016. That’s about 2-and-a-half times the share of liquid wealth (9%) held by non-affluents (less than $100k in investable assets), who comprise 70% of US households.

About the Data: PMI describes its methodology as follows:

“The Wealth & Affluent Monitor (W&AM) sizing estimates in the U.S. are developed using a combination of sources including the Survey of Consumer Finance (SCF) as well as Nielsen-Claritas. The SCF provides the framework and allows us to determine the general distribution of households by their level of investable assets. Estimates are further refined using the age and income distributions provided by Claritas. Investable assets include education/custodial accounts, individually-owned retirement accounts, stocks, options, bonds, mutual funds, managed accounts, hedge funds, structured products, ETFs, cash accounts, annuities, and cash value life insurance policies.”

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