Are You Rich? U.S. Net Worth Percentiles Can Provide Answers (2024)

Are you rich? This is a question that many people ask themselves in quiet moments but would never have enough nerve to say out loud. What is the magic number to be considered rich, and what are the U.S. net worth percentiles?

U.S. net worth percentiles provide clearer picture

According to Schwab’s Modern Wealth Survey, Americans said last year that it takes an average net worth of $2.2 million to qualify a person as being wealthy. (Net worth is the sum of your assets minus your liabilities.)

To get a clearer picture of where you rank, check out the U.S. net worth percentiles according to The Kickass Entrepreneur, which also provides a net worth percentiles calculator to show you your percentile (if your percentile is, say, 40%, that means you’re richer than 40% of Americans):

Sign up for Kiplinger’s Free E-Newsletters

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice on investing, taxes, retirement, personal finance and more - straight to your e-mail.

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice - straight to your e-mail.

Sign up
  • People with the top1% of net worthin the U.S. in 2025 will have $11.6 million in net worth
  • The top 2% will have a net worth of $2.7 million
  • The top 5% will have $1.17 million
  • The top 10% will have $970,900
  • The top 50% will have $585,000

For more perspective, according to the most recentFederal Reserve Board Survey of Consumer Finances, which is released every three years and was last updated in October 2023, the median net worth of all families (meaning half made more and half made less) in 2022 was $192,900, and the mean, or average, net worth was $1,063,700.

Here’s the average family’s net worth by age in 2022, according to the same survey:

Younger than 35:$183,500





75 or older:$1,624,100

Nerd Wallet’snet worth calculatorcan help you determine your net worth.

A different measure of wealth: The American dream

However, the definition of "rich" is changing for many.

The term “the American dream” is so imbedded into the American psyche that the Merriam-Webster dictionary deems it to be a “noun phrase.” The definition is: “A happy way of living that is thought of by many Americans as something that can be achieved by anyone in the U.S. especially by working hard and becoming successful.”

Haven’t you fantasized about what it would feel like to never have to look at a price tag on that cool electronic gadget, or the prices on a menu, or never having to worry about paying the medical bills…or any bills, or to just pick out that dream car and not think twice about the cost? I have. And I bet many of you have, too. I have even dreamed of winning the $2 billion lottery and how I’d share it with my friends and family (as long as they didn’t bug me about it!).

What does that fantasy really give you? For me, it gives me freedom — financial freedom. As a financial literacy expert, my definition of rich, like many of you, is not to have to worry about paying the next surprise bill, or actually being able to reasonably spend guilt-free. I’d also love to share that freedom with others. I’m not talking Jeff Bezos wealthy — I’m talking “not-having-to-worry wealthy.”

Be careful what you wish for?

Many view wealthy people as being evil and exploitive, or Scrooge types. The site posed a question on Instagram: “Do you think you can be rich and be a good person?” The answers were split: 44% of respondents said “yes”, while 32% said “no.” We all know that you can be a jerk regardless of your net worth. It’s just strange that people are incredulous, or perhaps jealous, of something they themselves may covet.

Here’s an interesting thing about rich people: The richest 1% of people in the world create more than double the carbon emissions of the poorest. This makes sense, because they are flying around in private jets, and the poor, in many cases, don’t even have electricity. Oxfam International found that 1% of the richest people in the world accelerated climate change far more than any others, and the poor are hit the hardest by this.

The racial wealth gap

Unfortunately, the American dream is not available for everyone. Housing equity makes up about two-thirds of all wealth. The National Community Reinvestment Coalition reports that “… housing discrimination and segregation still persist, causing long-term societal effects in America. Segregation and discrimination in housing harm people’s health, their ability to accumulate wealth and the environment.”

In a 2019 survey from the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, it was clearly shown that people of color are not achieving the American Dream like their white counterparts are. White families’ median wealth was $188,200, while Black families’ was less than 15% of that of whites’ at $24,100. Hispanic families’ median wealth was $36,100. Growth rates for wealth among these underserved families is rising, but these figures remain disturbing.

Data used from the Survey of Consumer Finances and others, as stated by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, reported that racial gaps in economic security have hindered people of color from building wealth. As recently as 2016, they reported “… that nearly 20% of Black families had zero or negative net worth compared to 9% of whites’ …” Also, when Black people were pursuing the American Dream by going to college, their student loan debt was 30% higher than that of whites.

The new American dream for the next generation?

Gen Zers are leading the way when it comes to being guided by their values and having those reflect their life decisions.

The next generation is redefining the American dream, but some of the basics we still hold. According to a survey conducted by Echelon Insights in 2020, 81% of this next generation does believe that hard work will allow them to achieve success, as they define it. They want freedom to choose what to be, financial well-being, family, a good job and housing. They also really value work-life balance.

Put your money where your mouth is

Schwab's 2022 Modern Wealth Survey found that “more than eight in 10 Americans (82%) agree that their personal values play an important role in how they manage their finances.” Yes, price and products are important, but “almost eight in 10 Americans (79%) say they try to use their purchasing power to support brands that are aligned with their beliefs.” Seventy-three percent agree that their values also guide their investment choices.

I’m a little cynical when it comes to surveys. Who really wants to admit that their life goal is to be rich? It seems pretty vacuous. Of course people are going to say that they care about making the planet a healthier place for all living things. It sounds good. But will they really walk the walk when it comes to investing their money?

Do you want money to be your life’s report card?

Is more really better? I raised my kids to believe as I do, that rich means that you will never worry about being hungry or having a safe place to live, and you will also have enough to give to charity. It seems like after saying this, you should be clasping hands and singing Kumbaya. But this definition may relieve many people from looking over their shoulder to figure out what “the Joneses” are doing and always feeling like a failure. Wealth, however, is in the eye of the beholder. It is also a generational thing.

It's hard to avoid waxing philosophical when talking about being rich. My mother told me, “If you look up, you will always find people who have more, and when you look down, you will always find people with less. So, be thankful for what you have and see how you can help those who are not so lucky.”

I guess the best piece of advice came from David Rockefeller, CEO at Chase Bank when I was a budding executive there. I was fortunate to work with him on occasion. One day, we were talking about wealth. I asked him how it felt to be one of the richest men in the world. He basically told me that it’s not about the money, it’s about the legacy you leave behind. Then he quipped, “Let’s face it, you will never see a hearse with a luggage rack.”

Related Content

  • Being Rich vs. Being Wealthy: What’s the Difference?
  • Value Investing and Values-Based Investing Gain Momentum
  • Financial Abuse Is on the Rise: What It Is and What to Do About It
  • Why Are You Still Working?
  • Being Rich in Retirement vs. Being Happy: There’s a Difference


This article was written by and presents the views of our contributing adviser, not the Kiplinger editorial staff. You can check adviser records with the SEC or with FINRA.

Are You Rich? U.S. Net Worth Percentiles Can Provide Answers (2024)


Are You Rich? U.S. Net Worth Percentiles Can Provide Answers? ›

U.S. net worth percentiles provide clearer picture

At what net worth are you considered rich? ›

Someone who has $1 million in liquid assets, for instance, is usually considered to be a high net worth (HNW) individual. You might need $5 million to $10 million to qualify as having a very high net worth while it may take $30 million or more to be considered ultra-high net worth.

What percentile is considered rich? ›

As of the second quarter 2023, the average American household had wealth of $1.09 million. The average wealth of households in the top 1 percent was about $33.4 million. In the top 0.1 percent, the average household had wealth of more than $1.52 billion.

What percentile is a $3 million net worth? ›

The 95th percentile, with a net worth of $3.2 million, is considered wealthy, facilitating estate planning and possibly owning multiple homes. The top 1%, or the 99th percentile, has a net worth of $16.7 million and represents the very wealthy, who enjoy considerable financial freedom and luxury​​.

What is the top 5% of Americans' net worth? ›

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. If that number has your head spinning, there are some important details you should consider.

What net worth is upper class? ›

The upper class has an average net worth of $793,120 to $2.65 million, while the lower class has $16,900. The middle class ranges from $58,550 to $300,800. You can grow your net worth by saving and investing consistently, investing in the stock market, and being careful about taking on debt.

What percentage of retirees have $3 million dollars? ›

Specifically, those with over $1 million in retirement accounts are in the top 3% of retirees. The Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) estimates that 3.2% of retirees have over $1 million, and a mere 0.1% have $5 million or more, based on data from the Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances.

What salary is considered rich in the USA? ›

According to IRS standards, a monthly income of approximately $45,000 qualifies someone as wealthy. However, if you're aiming for the top 1% as measured by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), you'd need to earn about $68,277 monthly.

What net worth is considered wealthy in 2024? ›

Americans estimate that a net worth of $2.2 million is required to be considered wealthy, according to a 2023 survey conducted by Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

What is top 1% net worth by age? ›

Average net worth by top percentile and age
AgeTop 1% net worth
3 more rows
Mar 27, 2024

What's the net worth of the top 2%? ›

Top 2% wealth: The top 2% of Americans have a net worth of about $2.472 million, aligning closely with the surveyed perception of wealth. Top 5% wealth: The next tier, the top 5%, has a net worth of around $1.03 million. Top 10% wealth: The top 10% of the population has a net worth of approximately $854,900.

What is a respectable net worth? ›

Net worth is the difference between the values of your assets and liabilities. 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.

Is $5 million a high net worth? ›

In today's society, high-net-worth individuals are generally defined as those with a net worth of between $1 million and $5 million, and often have access to financial services beyond traditional banking and investing services at commercial banks and credit unions.

What net worth is considered affluent? ›

According to Schwab's Modern Wealth Survey, Americans said last year that it takes an average net worth of $2.2 million to qualify a person as being wealthy. (Net worth is the sum of your assets minus your liabilities.)

Does net worth include home? ›

Household wealth or net worth is the value of assets owned by every member of the household minus their debt. The terms are used interchangeably in this report. Assets include owned homes, vehicles, financial accounts, retirement accounts, stocks, bonds and mutual funds, and more.

What net worth is considered rich in Forbes? ›

Senior Contributor. I write actionable interview, career and salary advice. Americans need at least $2.2 million in assets to be considered rich, according to Charles Schwab's 2023 Modern Wealth Survey.

What net worth is considered super rich? ›

Key Takeaways

A high-net-worth individual (HNWI) is a person with typically at least $1 million in liquid financial assets. An ultra-high-net-worth individual has a net worth of more than $30 million.

What amount of money classifies as rich? ›

According to IRS standards, a monthly income of approximately $45,000 qualifies someone as wealthy. However, if you're aiming for the top 1% as measured by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), you'd need to earn about $68,277 monthly.

What is considered high-net-worth? ›

Typically, a high-net-worth individual has assets of between $1 million and $5 million. Those with multi-million dollar fortunes, generally assets of at least $30 million, are sometimes identified as ultra-HNWI (UHNWI). The term “net worth” factors in liquid or investable assets.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Tish Haag

Last Updated:

Views: 6396

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (47 voted)

Reviews: 94% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Tish Haag

Birthday: 1999-11-18

Address: 30256 Tara Expressway, Kutchburgh, VT 92892-0078

Phone: +4215847628708

Job: Internal Consulting Engineer

Hobby: Roller skating, Roller skating, Kayaking, Flying, Graffiti, Ghost hunting, scrapbook

Introduction: My name is Tish Haag, I am a excited, delightful, curious, beautiful, agreeable, enchanting, fancy person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.