Oct. 15, 2002 — The Investment Company Institute reported that 54.2 million, or 49.6%, of U.S. households owned mutual funds as of May 2002, down from a revised figure of 56.3 million, or 52.0%, in May of 2001.

Also, individual mutual fund ownership totaled 94.9 million in May 2002, down from a revised figure of 95.8 million for the year-ago period.

The ICI survey also found that, as of May 2002, the majority of households owning mutual funds had moderate incomes — 57% had incomes between $25,000 and $74,999, while 36% of fund-owning households had incomes of $75,000 or more.

Also, the vast majority (81%) of mutual fund households are headed by individuals age 25 to 64 years. People aged 65 or older represented 16% of households owning mutual funds. Only 3% are headed by individuals younger than age 25.

About 32.8% of held mutual funds in employer-sponsored retirement plans as of May 2002, down from 33.4% from the previous year.

A somewhat larger share of U.S. households, 36.4%, owned mutual funds outside employer retirement plans, down from 38.3% for the year-ago period.

The entire report can be accessed at: http://www.ici.org/pdf/fm-v11n5.pdf