Millionaire Status is Fleeting

January 10, 2014

Numerous studies have shown that millionaire status appears to be fleeting or episodic, because many people become millionaires as the result of a one-time event such as the sale of a business or stock. A recent Tax Foundation study found that between 1999 and 2007, about 675,000 taxpayers earned over $1 million for at least one year. Of these taxpayers, 50 percent (about 338,000 taxpayers) were a millionaire in only one year, while another 15 percent were millionaires for two years. By contrast, just 6 percent (38,000 taxpayers) remained millionaires in all nine years.

For more charts like the one below, see the second edition of our chart book, Putting a Face on America's Tax Returns.

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