It Takes Nearly $8 Million to Join the Wealthiest One Percent | Demos (2024)

You would need to hold over seven million dollars to be one of the top one percent wealthiest Americans in 2013.

Yesterday,a Pew post, also picked up byEzra Klein, was making the rounds claiming that it would take around $2.5 million to enter the top one percent of wealth holders. The post used the Census' Survey of Income and Program Participation, an excellent way of understanding poverty.

Here's how Pew summarized the Census findings:

In August, the Census Bureau releaseddetailed wealth tabulationsthat imply that the minimum wealth level needed to qualify for the wealthiest 1% of American households increased from $2.3 million in 2009 to $2.4 million in 2011. That in itself indicates there were wealth gains at the very top of the wealth distribution. On the other hand, the minimum wealth level needed to be in the wealthiest 4% of households fell from 2009 to 2011, from which one infers that wealth declined for households at the wealthiest 4% level.

The overall story is borne out by every survey: the top 1% wealthiest Americans have been adding to their net worth every single year. But the $2.4 million number Pew cites is far too low, because the Census doesn't adequately capture what's happening at the top.

More accurate surveys show a lot more concentrated wealth. The Federal Reserve's Survey of Consumer Finances, a demographic and economic survey based on interviewswith over 4,000 families, isa better way to gauge wealth. Why? Among surveys, it's the most thorough way to look at the composition and distribution of the country's wealth, particularly those of high net worth.

Here were their findings, based on a 2013 survey:

It Takes Nearly $8 Million to Join the Wealthiest One Percent | Demos (1)

So the more accurate threshold to enter the rarefied top 1% ofwealthholders, $7,880,400, is almost three times as high as the Census estimates.

It Takes Nearly $8 Million to Join the Wealthiest One Percent | Demos (2024)


How much wealth do you need to join 1%? ›

According to the latest findings from the 18th edition of the Wealth Report by Douglas Elliman and Knight Frank, a person needs $5.8 million to be considered in the wealthiest 1% — a figure that, while substantial, is a far cry from the billionaire benchmark.

What is the top 1% wealth in the US? ›

In the U.S., it may take you $5.81 million to be in the top 1%, but it takes a minimum net worth of $30 million to be considered among the ultra-high net worth crowd. As of the end of 2023, this ultra-high net worth population is on the rise, reaching 626,000 globally, up from just over 600,000 a year earlier.

How much money does it take to be considered rich? ›

You'll need to earn more than half a million annually to be considered among the highest earning residents in 11 states and Washington, D.C. "This comes down to cost of living," Murray said.

How much wealth do you need to join the richest 1% around the world, Bloomberg? ›

It now takes at least $5.8 million to join the richest echelon in the world's largest economy, almost 15% more than about 12 months ago, according to research from Knight Frank.

What is the top 1% income in Monaco? ›

According to this year's report, Monaco leads with $12.9 million required to join the 1% club. Currently, more than 30% of Monaco's estimated 38,000 residents are millionaires. Luxembourg follows at $10.8 million, with Switzerland at $8.5 million securing the third position.

How much money do I need to be top 1% of my age? ›

How Does Income Change with Age?
Age RangeTop 10%Top 1%
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Oct 20, 2023

Who owns most of the wealth in America? ›

The top 1% of American earners now control more wealth than the nation's entire middle class, federal data show. More than one-quarter of all household wealth, 26.5%, belongs to Americans who earn enough money to rank in the top percentile by income, according to Federal Reserve statistics through mid-2023.

What is the average net worth of a 50 year old American? ›

Average net worth by age
Age by decadeAverage net worthMedian net worth
4 more rows

What is top 5 percent net worth in us? ›

The most recent data from the Fed's Survey of Consumer Finances took a snapshot of the American public at the end of 2022. At that point, a net worth of $3,795,000 was enough to put you in the top 5% of all American households.

What income is considered middle class? ›

The Pew Research Center defines the middle class as households that earn between two-thirds and double the median U.S. household income, which was $65,000 in 2021, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.21 Using Pew's yardstick, middle income is made up of people who make between $43,350 and $130,000.7 This is a ...

What income is upper middle class? ›

Many have graduate degrees with educational attainment serving as the main distinguishing feature of this class. Household incomes commonly exceed $100,000, with some smaller one-income earners household having incomes in the high 5-figure range. "The upper middle class has grown...and its composition has changed.

How rich is the average person? ›

The average American net worth is $1,063,700, as of 2022. Net worth averages increase with age from $183,500 for those 35 and under to $1,794,600 for those 65 to 74. Net worth, however, tends to drop for those 75 and older.

Who is the wealthiest person in the world? ›

Bernard Arnault, chairman of LVMH, is the richest person and the richest man in the world with a net worth of $215 billion. After Arnault is Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.

How many billionaires are in Monaco? ›

Top Billionaires in Monaco with Net Worth

Explore the unique contributions of these visionaries and more, totaling 3 individuals, to Monaco's economic vibrancy.

How many billionaires are there in the world? ›

There are now more billionaires than ever: 2,781 in all, 141 more than last year and 26 more than the record set in 2021. They're richer than ever, worth $14.2 trillion in aggregate, up by $2 trillion from 2023 and $1.1 trillion above the previous record, also set in 2021.

How much to be in 1% club? ›

To join the 1% club, you need just a few million dollars. To be exact, in the U.S., you need to earn $5.8 million a year according to the 2024 Wealth Report by real estate company Douglas Elliman and real estate consultancy agency Knight Frank.

What does it take to join the 1? ›

The Magic Number for the 1%

That's over eight times more than the median household income of around $75,000. But this number isn't set in stone across the country. In places like Connecticut, you need to earn $952,902 to be in the 1%, while in West Virginia, the threshold is a more modest $367,582.


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