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Household Income Distribution in the U.S. Visualized as 100 Homes

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100 homes household income

100 households income

Household Income in the U.S. Visualized as 100 Homes

View the high resolution version of today’s graphic by clicking here.

Inequality in America has become a major talking point in recent years. For many people though, the concept of inequality – the idea that wealth is spread very thinly at the lower end of the socioeconomic ladder – is still an abstract concept.

There are over 125 million households in the United States, each with their own unique structure and financial situation, so understanding such a complex issue requires reducing it to proportions we can understand.

American Households as a Neighborhood

In the visualization above, American households are distilled down into 100 homes, then color-coded into $25,000 income increments.

One house is allocated for those making $300,000 and more per year. On the other end of the scale, we can see that 24 of the households earn $25,000 per year or less, and nearly half of the households have an annual income lower than $50,000.

Here is a more granular breakdown of numbers, this time from a slightly different data source (U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 Household Income Survey):

Income BracketHouseholds (Millions)Share of Total
Less than $15,00014.111.2%
$15,000 - $24,99912.19.6%
$25,000 - $34,99911.99.4%
$35,000 - $49,99916.312.9%
$50,000 - $74,99921.517.0%
$75,000 - $99,99915.512.3%
$100,000 - $149,99917.814.1%
$150,000 - $199,9998.36.6%
$200,000 and up8.87.0%

Households between $35,000 and $100,000 are generally considered middle class. That said, the geographical location of where a household is located also makes a big difference.

The Power of Place

Not surprisingly, cost of living strongly influences your household’s place on the income spectrum.

In El Paso, Texas, a $50,000 income places a household of four people in the middle class. However, in a more expensive metro area, like San Diego, that same income lands your household in a lower income tier. Here’s a closer look at the cost of typical expenses in the two metros:

ExpenseEl Paso, TXSan Diego, CACost difference
Home price$239,285.67$755,273.67⬆︎ 216%
Apartment rent$945.92$1,961.55⬆︎ 107%
Energy cost$133.53$213.96⬆︎ 60%
Dentist visit$89.08$104.25⬆︎ 17%
Coffee$4.47$5.39⬆︎ 20%
Hamburger$3.56$4.35⬆︎ 22%
Gasoline$2.31$3.31⬆︎ 44%

Source: Bankrate.com

Mixed Messages

The median household income in the U.S. continues setting new monthly records, and we’ve just seen this decade’s largest year-over-year increase in individual wages.

One side effect of this economic growth is that households in the top wage bracket – the well-appointed yellow square in our visualization – have a tendency to reap outsized rewards. So, for now, as America’s economy trends upward, so does its Gini Coefficient.

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Map: Cities With the Most Ultra-Rich Residents

What cities are the world’s ultra-rich flocking to? This map looks at ultra high net worth individual (UHNWI) growth rates in cities around the world.

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Mapped: The Cities With the Most Ultra-Rich Residents

As of 2018, there is a grand total of 198,342 ultra high net worth individuals (UHNWIs) globally with assets over US$30 million, according to the most recent edition of Knight Frank’s Wealth Report.

Although these millionaires and billionaires can be found all over the globe, the reality is that most of the world’s ultra-rich population tends to congregate in world-class cities.

Generally speaking, UHNWIs are looking to live in places that are conducive to safeguarding and growing their wealth, but that also give them access to top-end amenities that allow them to live comfortably and luxuriously.

Top 10 Cities for the Ultra-Rich

To start, we’ll look at a list of global cities, organized by expected number of UHNWIs in 2023:

RankCityUHNWIs (2018)UHNWIs (2023e)Change (%)
#1🇬🇧 London4,9446,01521.7%
#2🇸🇬 Singapore3,5984,39322.1%
#3🇯🇵 Tokyo3,7324,12510.5%
#4🇺🇸 New York City3,3783,89115.2%
#5🇨🇳 Beijing1,6732,24734.3%
#6🇫🇷 Paris1,6672,03121.8%
#7🇰🇷 Seoul1,5942,02026.7%
#8🇹🇼 Taipei1,5191,86422.7%
#9🇨🇭 Zurich1,5071,79619.2%
#10🇨🇳 Shanghai1,2631,69033.8%

London continues to top the list, with a roster of 4,944 ultra-rich residents today and the projected growth over the coming years to eclipse the 6,000 mark by 2023.

Tokyo has the second highest amount of UHNWIs today, but the city is adding them at a slower rate than other rival cities. As a result, Singapore will move into the #2 spot overall by 2023, with an expected total of 4,393 high net worth residents.

Finally, it’s worth noting that only two cities on the top 10 list are expected to see growth above a 30% clip over this five-year period. Shanghai and Beijing could be cities to watch for decades to come, as they add millionaires and billionaires at a faster rate than any of the other heavyweights.

Fastest Growing Cities

Where are the billionaire meccas of the future?

Here are the 10 cities that are expected to add UHNWIs the fastest between 2018-2023:

RankCityUHNWIs (2018)UHNWIs (2023e)Change (%)
#1🇮🇳 Mumbai7971,10138.1%
#2🇮🇳 Delhi21129137.9%
#3🇵🇭 Manila 11515736.5%
#4🇨🇳 Shenzhen52770834.3%
#5🇨🇳 Beijing1,6732,24734.3%
#6🇨🇳 Guangzhou39452934.3%
#7🇨🇳 Shanghai1,2631,69033.8%
#8🇮🇩 Jakarta40152931.9%
#9🇲🇾 Kuala Lumpur37649631.9%
#10🇰🇷 Seoul1,5942,02026.7%

Not surprisingly, all 10 of these cities are located in Asia.

Two Indian cities (Delhi and Mumbai) top the list, and are likely to add nearly 40% to their ultra-rich populations over the next five years. China also has a strong showing here.

Interestingly, just missing the above top 10 were a few non-Asian cities: Auckland (#11), Madrid (#12), Munich (#13), and Nairobi (#14) are all expected to grow their UHNWI populations by roughly 25% by 2023.

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Demographics

Unlocking the Power of Women in Investing

Women are better at saving money, but invest less of it – this infographic looks at the specific needs of women in investing and how to better serve them.

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Unlocking the Power of Women in Investing

The financial services industry is undergoing a dramatic shift.

The next generation of investors will be younger and much more diverse, with women taking an increasingly prominent role in building and growing family and personal wealth.

Today’s infographic comes to us from New York Life Investments, and it showcases how this new paradigm will shape the future of products and services on offer in the industry, as well as how wealth managers can cater to these changing needs.

Growing Economic Might

Women are underrepresented in the investing world, but this is changing fast. While various cultural and societal reasons are contributors to this, there is also a more simple driver: rising economic might.

  • Women-controlled wealth in the U.S. will increase from $14 trillion to $22 trillion between 2015-2020
  • Women control 51% of all personal wealth in the United States today
  • Women are set to inherit $28.7 trillion in intergenerational wealth over the next 40 years

Women are becoming more important drivers of income and wealth for their families, as well:

  • Women are now the primary breadwinners in 40% of U.S. households – a 4x increase from 1960.
  • Women own 30% of all private businesses in the U.S.
  • Women now hold the majority of management, professional, and related positions (52%)

Finally, women now make up the majority of recipients of Associate’s degrees (61%), Bachelor’s degrees (57%), Master’s degrees (60%), and Doctoral degrees (52%) in the United States.

The Wealth Management Gap

As women increase raise their level of economic influence to new levels, how will they manage this wealth?

Interestingly, studies show that women think about money and wealth differently than men – and differently from precedents already set in the financial services industry:

The Good NewsThe Bad News
Women are better savers, saving 9.0% of their salary in comparison to men (8.6% of salary)
Women consistently tend to score lower on financial literacy tests
Some research points to women generating better returns (+0.4%) off of investmentsSome research points to women investing up to 40% less than men

Changing Concerns

Data from a recent survey by New York Life Investments sheds light on why women may be underserved by the financial services industry.

Reasons why women switch financial advisors:

  • 33% poor performance
  • 29% lack of personal connection
  • 27% poor customer services

In other words, women don’t switch investment advisors simply because of poor performance – there are other, more complex factors involved. Part of this is likely because 62% of women say they have unique investment needs and challenges:

Perceptions of women and investing:

  • Financial professionals treat women differently – 40%
  • Women feel patronized by financial advisors – 36%
  • Financial advisors are less likely to listen to investing ideas from a woman – 30%
  • Financial advisors push women out of financial conversations – 28%
  • Women have less access to financial education – 26%
  • Financial professionals find it hard to relate to women – 26%
  • Financial advising is a man’s world – 24%

A Deeper Dive

It is crucial for advisors to understand that women are not one large, homogeneous group.

In fact, research shows that there are four unique segments of women that each approach investing differently – and they all have different sets of needs.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this infographic series, which will detail the differences between these segments.

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