Who are high income earners in the US and what do they think?
May 17th, 2024, Kineree Shah

Who are high income earners in the US and what do they think?

Recent data from YouGov Profiles sheds light on the demographics and attitudes of high income earners who get more than $100,000 a year. According to the tool, 18% of US adults fall into this high income bracket. Breaking this down by age, only 7% of those aged 18-24 are high income earners. The percentage increases with age, reaching 18% for those aged 25-34, and peaking at 25% for the 35-44 age group. This proportion slightly decreases to 20% for those aged 45-54, and 16% for those aged 55 and older. When looking at gender, there is a significant disparity: 25% of men earn over $100,000 compared to just 12% of women.

A look at the attitudes of high income earners toward their current income reveals that three in 10 are merely coping with their income, which is slightly lower than 34% of all adults. One-tenth find it difficult to manage on their current income (9%) while 3% find it very difficult . This data indicates that despite higher earnings, a notable portion of high income earners still face financial challenges.

The attitudes of high earners also differ notably from the general population. A substantial 78% of individuals earning more than $100,000 believe their education has played a crucial role in their success, compared to 61% of all US adults. Additionally, 68% of high income earners report loving their jobs, which is significantly higher than the 51% of Americans who feel the same way. This indicates a correlation between high income and job satisfaction.

Despite their higher earnings, some of these individuals still face financial concerns. One in five Americans earning $100,000 or more express a lack of confidence in their ability to afford retirement (18%). This highlights that even those with high income are not immune to financial insecurity regarding their future. Furthermore, 56% of these high income earners are not working with financial advisors. This could imply a potential gap in financial planning among individuals who might benefit from professional advice.

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Methodology: YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data for the US is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.