NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Millionaires Next Door

April 15, 1997

Some recent studies reveal that your average millionaire -- who, of course, isn't as rich or rare as he used to be -- doesn't fit the stereotype of an aloof plutocrat, with wads of $100 bills bulging out of his pockets. A new book, "The Millionaire Next Door," by consultant Thomas J. Stanley and State University of New York business professor William Danko, reports on a survey of 1,115 millionaires around the country.

  • The average millionaire is a 57-year-old married male with three children.
  • More than 70 percent of them toil to earn at least 80 percent of their household income.
  • In 1992, there were 3 million households with a net worth of $1 million or more -- up from 2 million in 1983.
  • Fewer than 20 percent of millionaires in the survey inherited more than 10 percent of their wealth.

Only 19 percent get any income from an estate or trust fund -- and more than half never received any inheritance.

Source: Perspective, "Down-Home Millionaires," Investor's Business Daily, April 15, 1997.


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