May 25, 2011 16:37 ET

What Do American Millionaires Have in Common? Home Ownership, Education and the Desire for Wealth, According to GfK MRI

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - May 25, 2011) - Slightly more than 16.4 million adult consumers live in households with a net worth of $1 million or greater, according to the latest data from GfK MRI. This translates to 7.2% of the total U.S. adult population.

Age clearly has an impact on the likelihood of attaining a million-dollar-plus net worth: 5.4% of GenXers, 9.9% of Boomers and 11% of Pre-Boomers live in households with a net worth of $1 million or greater.

Other than age -- which provides the time often needed to build wealth -- what are other drivers to attaining millionaire status? Millionaires in every generation group are more likely than their non-millionaire counterparts to have earned a bachelor's or post-graduate degree, to live in a household that owns its own home and to report that "Having material possessions and a lot of money" is very important to them.

Millionaires in America
All AdultsGenXers
(b. 1965-1976)
(b. 1946-1964)
(b. before 1946)
Number of Millionaires16,421,0002,701,0007,301,0004,254,000
% of Millionaires7.2%5.4%9.9%11.2%
Millionaires Vs. Non-Millionaires
by Generation

Percent Millionaires in each Generation are more likely than Non-Millionaires in same Generation to...
Have earned bachelor's or post-graduate degree+127%+102%+119%+221%
Live in a household that owns their home+41%+37%+25%+21%
Say that "Having material possessions and a lot of money" is "Very Important" to them.+29%+25%+32%+55%
Source: GfK MRI Survey of the American Consumer, Fall 2010

GenXers who live in a household with a net worth of $1 million or greater, for instance, are more than twice as likely (102%) to have earned a college or advanced degree, 37% more likely to live in a household that owns their home and 25% more likely to believe that material possessions and having a lot of money is "Very Important" than are GenXers who do not live in households with $1 million or more in net worth.

This pattern of education, home ownership and the desire for wealth separating millionaires from their non-millionaire counterparts holds true for Boomers and Pre-Boomers as well.

"It has long been recognized that education is one of the drivers to material success in the U.S.," said Anne Marie Kelly, SVP, Marketing & Strategic Planning at GfK MRI. "And, despite our current real estate depression, home ownership has also traditionally been one route to wealth. What's particularly interesting here is that the data show that wanting to be wealthy also appears to be a factor in attaining millionaire status."

About GfK MRI
GfK MRI has a singular goal: to provide the clearest and most detailed view of American consumers -- who they are, what they buy, how they think, and the best ways to reach them. Founded in 1979, GfK MRI is the country's leading provider of magazine audience ratings, multimedia research data and penetrating insights into consumers' behavior and motivations.

When conducting its national Survey of the American Consumer™, GfK MRI interviews approximately 26,000 U.S. adults in their homes each year, asking about their use of media, their consumption of more than 6,000 products in 550 categories, their lifestyles and their attitudes. Because these interviews are structured as an area probability study, the results are projectable to the entire U.S. adult population. The Survey also serves as a foundation for an array of innovative GfK MRI research products that answer the market's need for granular, cross-media and consumer-focused information.

GfK MRI is part of The GfK Group, based in Nuremberg, Germany. The Group delivers a range of information and consultancy services in three business sectors: Custom Research, Retail and Technology and Media. It is the No. 4 market research organization worldwide, operates in more than 100 countries and employs over 10,000 staff, more than 80% of whom are based outside of Germany.

For further information on GfK MRI, visit our Web site: And, follow us on Facebook ( and Twitter (

Contact Information

    Anne Marie Kelly
    SVP, Marketing and Strategic Planning
    GfK MRI
    Email Contact

    Steve Ellwanger
    Press Counsel Group
    Email Contact


Keyword Cloud

View Website