As a year filled once again with financial chaos nears its end, it may be a little surprising to see what average Americans feel about their relationship with investable assets.
According to a recent Gallup poll, the benchmark of $150,000 in annual income is what most folks now consider “rich.”
In a nation where the U.S. Census Bureau says that the average household brings in about $50,000 per year, that $150,000 Gallup finding is telling. And after three months of nationwide (and global) protests by the various Occupy Wall Street activists, who’ve complained about the financial control exercised by that elusive (but probably not inaccurate) 1 percent, it seems that your average American indeed sets the “rich” bar considerably lower than that stratospheric percentile.
The mental benchmark is indeed up from Gallup’s 2003 poll, at which time respondents said that a $120,000 annual income was a hallmark of being “rich.”
This year’s results aren’t quite as cut and dried, as 30 percent of the 500 people polled said that less than $100,000 a year would be enough income to be called “rich,” and another 18 percent who, a bit depressingly, said that even $60,000 a year or less would qualify as “rich.” Only 15 percent agreed with the predominant Occupy Movement mindset and said that a million dollars a year or more constituted “rich” in America.
The poll found that estimates were higher among men than women, among older Americans and also among college graduates; respondents with children had higher expectations of wealth, as did people living in urban centers, versus rural respondents.