October 8, 2003 — The number of U.S. households owning Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) continues to grow, according to data released by the Investment Company Institute (ICI).

Households owning Roth IRAs increased by 21% to 16 million as of June from the year-ago level. Households owning any type of IRA increased by 2 million to an estimated 45.2 million.

In addition, the number of U.S. households that owned “traditional” IRAs increased to an estimated 36.4 million from 35.7 million a year earlier.

The ICI said that more than 41% of U.S. households owned IRAs as of June 2003.

Nearly two-thirds of IRA households included mutual funds in their IRA portfolios, typically equity mutual funds. Thirty-eight percent of IRA households held individual stocks in their IRAs.

Total assets held in IRAs were $2.3 trillion at year-end 2002, representing 23% of the $10.2 trillion U.S. retirement market.

The ICI’s report also noted that for the fourth consecutive year, mutual funds held about half of the total IRA assets. Mutual fund assets held in IRAs declined 10% to $1.1 trillion at year-end 2002, while total IRA market assets declined 8% to $2.3 trillion. Net new cash flow from IRAs to mutual funds was an estimated $50 billion in 2002.