America’s millionaires are bouncing back.

The number of U.S. households with a net worth of $1 million or more, not including primary residence, increased 16% to 7.8 million last year, according to a report released Tuesday by Spectrem Group, a Chicago research company. The increase last year follows a 27% decline in millionaires from 2007 to 2008. 

Similarly, the number of ultra-wealthy households, which have a net worth of $5 million or more, rose 17% to 980,000 last year..

“The nation’s millionaires – together with its ultra-high-net-worth households – are bouncing back from the recession,” said George H. Walper Jr., Spectrem’s president. “While still well short of its all-time high of 9.2 million in 2007, this year’s growth in the millionaire population is nevertheless welcome news for an economy still working to recover.”

In addition affluent household with more than $500,000 in net worth increased 12% to 12.7 million last year.

Spectrem surveyed more than 3,000 affluent households throughout 2009. This included an online survey of 1,498 households with a net worth of $100,000 to $1 million in July, and 1,089 households with a net worth of $1 million to $5 million and 523 households with a net worth of $5 million to $25 million in November. 

Despite growth in the total number of affluent and and ultra-wealthy individuals, confidence among these group remains “uneasy.”

In February, Spectrem affluent investor confidence index rose three points to negative-10, returning to neutral territory for the first time since November, but Spectrem’s millionaire investor confidence index fell one point in February to negative–10 to record its seventh consecutive neutral reading.


Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Financial Planning content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access