Some 67.5 million American adults lived in a household with annual income of at least $100,000 (“affluents”), a 5 million (or 8%) increase from last year, details Ipsos in its latest annual study of the affluent population. As such, 28% of the adult population can be classified as affluent, as can 23% of all US households. So who are these affluents?
While Millennials (18-32) comprise 22% share of affluents, roughly two-thirds of affluent Millennials qualify on the basis of their parents’ income rather than their own. (The definition of affluence is based on living in a household with annual income of at least $100,000, rather than personal income of that level.) The most highly represented generation is Boomers (50-68), who represent 38% of the affluent population. (For details on advertising to this prized segment, see the MarketingCharts Debrief, “Advertising to Baby Boomers: The Why and How.”)
The affluent and wealthy also are far more likely than the general adult population to have postgraduate coursework (study or degree), with 31% of affluent adults and 43% of the wealthy having at least 5 years of college, versus 10% of the adult population at-large.
Somewhat unsurprisingly, these high-income adults also tend to be in managerial and professional positions: 63% of affluent adults and 66% of wealthy adults hold these roles, compared to 23% of adults in general.
When it comes to race/ethnicity, the data indicates that the affluent and wealthy adult populations are less diverse than the population at-large:
84% of affluents and 83% of wealthy adults are white, compared to 79% of general population adults;
6% of affluents and 5% of the wealthy are black/African American, versus 12% of the adult population; and
8% of affluents and the wealthy are of Hispanic descent, compared to 15% of the general adult population.
Past-year affluent spending was greatest for the following categories:
Automotive – including the purchase price of vehicles and motorcycles, as well as auto maintenance and supplies ($398 billion in aggregate spending; 20% of total spend);
Personal insurance ($227B; 11% share);
Home & garden ($208B; 10% share);
Education expenses ($201B; 10% share); and
Groceries ($193B; 9% share).
While total spend on automotive, education, alcoholic beverages and groceries grew the fastest, those aggregate increases were driven more by the increase in affluent population size than to average spending per affluent, which decreased across most categories.