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5 Things You Didn't Know About America's Millionaires

Aug 15, 2017

As the ranks of America’s millionaires continue to grow, the question for many becomes: “How can I join the club?” For a billionaire entrepreneur like Mark Cuban, joining the 3-comma club was about discipline and investing in himself.

“You’ve got to have discipline in how you spend your money,” Cuban told MONEY in an interview. “You also have to be a little bit of a risk taker. Or invest in your education—whatever it may be to help you get to the point where you can truly save money.”

A look at the data may provide some other helpful clues for anyone focused on building wealth. The majority of millionaires have their money in a very ordinary set of investments—not hedge funds and small businesses, but stocks, bonds, and cash.

Keep reading for a snapshot of who America’s millionaires are, where they live, what they do, and where their money goes.

Maryland is the state with the highest percentage of millionaires.

After a dip in 2008, the number of America's millionaires has increased steadily every two years, reaching over 10 million in 2016. Western and northeastern states tend to have the greatest concentrations of millionaires.

(Map) source: Phoenix Marketing International; (bar graph) source: Spectrem Group; Graphic by Nicolas Rapp 

There are fewer than 2,000 people in the U.S. with more than $500 million.

And even fewer—less than 600—are in the billionaires club.

Source: Credit Suisse; Graphic by Nicolas Rapp 

The greatest chunk of millionaires’ wealth is in stocks.

The rest of their wealth is spread out broadly among bonds, cash, their primary residences, and other assets.

Source: Spectrem Group; Graphic by Nicolas Rapp 

The majority of millionaires spend big money on charity and travel. (We approve.)

Source: Spectrem Group; Graphic by Nicolas Rapp 

America's millionaires are mostly white, largely male—and tend to be married.

They also tend to be well-educated, with 83% holding at least a bachelor's degree. Statistically, the top earning professions for millionaires are professional services, education, and medical or health fields.

Sources: Fidelity; Spectrem Group, *Remainder (57%) includes retired (52%), unemployed (2%) **Remainder (57%) includes retired (52%), unemployed (2%). Graphic by Nicolas Rapp 
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