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How rare is it to be a millionaire?

Becoming a millionaire is a dream for many, but just how rare is it? In this article, we’ll look at the numbers and statistics around millionaires – from population percentages to the odds of becoming one yourself.

What percentage of the population are millionaires?

According to the latest data, around 1-2% of the global adult population are millionaires. That equates to somewhere between 50 and 60 million millionaires in the world.

In the US, around 8-9% of the adult population are millionaires. This equates to over 22 million adults with a net worth of $1 million or more.

Here is a table summarizing the percentage of millionaires globally and in the US:

Location Percentage of Millionaires
Global 1-2%
United States 8-9%

So while being a millionaire is certainly rare compared to the general population, in certain countries like the US it is more common to have a net worth crossing that threshold.

How rare is it to become a millionaire based on age?

The likelihood of becoming a millionaire also varies significantly based on age and life stage:

  • By age 30 – less than 0.1% of the population
  • By age 45 – around 1% of the population
  • By age 55 – around 4-5% of the population
  • By age 65 – around 8-9% of the population

As you get older, the odds of hitting a net worth of $1 million or more increases quite a bit. However, doing so at a young age under 30 is incredibly rare.

Here is a table showing the rarity of being a millionaire by age brackets:

Age Percentage Millionaires
Under 30 Less than 0.1%
45 Around 1%
55 Around 4-5%
65 Around 8-9%

As you can see, the older you get, the higher your chances of achieving millionaire status. But doing so at a young age is extremely uncommon.

How does education impact the odds?

Your education level can have a significant impact on your chances of becoming a millionaire as well. Here is how education changes the odds:

  • No high school diploma – Less than 1% chance
  • High school diploma – Around 2% chance
  • Some college – Around 5% chance
  • College degree – Around 10% chance
  • Advanced degree – Around 15-20% chance

And in table form:

Education Level Millionaire Percentage
No high school diploma Less than 1%
High school diploma Around 2%
Some college Around 5%
College degree Around 10%
Advanced degree Around 15-20%

Those with college and post-graduate degrees have significantly higher odds of becoming millionaires compared to those with just a high school education or less.

How does income potential factor in?

Your income earning potential also plays a major role in your chances of hitting millionaire status. Here’s how income levels correlate:

  • Minimum wage – Virtually 0% chance
  • Median wage (~$50k) – Around 5% chance
  • Top 10% ($100k+) – 15-20% chance
  • Top 1% ($500k+) – Nearly 50% chance

And in a table:

Income Level Millionaire Odds
Minimum wage Virtually 0%
Median (~$50k) Around 5%
Top 10% ($100k+) 15-20%
Top 1% ($500k+) Nearly 50%

As you can see, those earning median or minimum wages have very slim chances of becoming millionaires. Your income potential has a massive impact on your odds.

How do occupation and industry affect the chances?

Your career field is another factor determining your millionaire odds. Here are how some common occupations correlate with millionaire status:

  • Teacher – Around 2-3% chance
  • Government worker – 3-4% chance
  • Engineer – Around 8% chance
  • Physician – Around 30% chance
  • Lawyer – Around 40% chance
  • Corporate executive – Around 50% chance

And in a table:

Occupation Millionaire Odds
Teacher 2-3%
Government worker 3-4%
Engineer Around 8%
Physician Around 30%
Lawyer Around 40%
Corporate executive Around 50%

High paying and high status careers like law, medicine and c-suite positions have the highest correlation with becoming a millionaire.

Industries with the most millionaires

Looking at industries, these tend to produce the most millionaires:

  • Finance and investments – Around 15% millionaire rate
  • Technology and software – Around 12% millionaire rate
  • Health care, especially specialties – Around 10% millionaire rate
  • Law and legal services – Around 8% millionaire rate

And in table form:

Industry Millionaire Rate
Finance and investments Around 15%
Technology and software Around 12%
Health care, specialties Around 10%
Law and legal services Around 8%

Fields like finance, tech, medicine and law tend to have much higher concentrations of millionaires compared to other industries.

What are the odds of becoming a millionaire overall?

Based on the analysis so far, here are the overall odds for an average person currently:

  • Odds by 30 – 1 in 50,000
  • Odds by 45 – 1 in 1,000
  • Odds by 55 – 1 in 200
  • Odds by 65 – 1 in 50

And in table form:

Age Millionaire Odds
By 30 1 in 50,000
By 45 1 in 1,000
By 55 1 in 200
By 65 1 in 50

As shown above, the odds are very low until you reach retirement age. For most people, becoming a millionaire by 30 or even 45 is extremely unlikely.

Can you improve your odds of becoming a millionaire?

While the baseline odds are long, there are ways to dramatically improve your chances of hitting millionaire status compared to the average person:

  • Get a college degree or higher
  • Enter a high-paying field like technology, finance, medicine or law
  • Start a successful business or become an entrepreneur
  • Invest heavily in stocks and real estate to build wealth
  • Keep costs low and save money aggressively
  • Have a clear plan and focus for building wealth long-term

Implementing even a few of these strategies above can give you much better than average odds of becoming a millionaire – even at a relatively young age.

Odds can shorten dramatically with the right career and investments

For example, compare the odds for these two profiles:

Profile 1:

  • No college degree
  • Median income around $50k
  • Limited investing and just retirement accounts

Their millionaire odds by 65 – Around 1 in 200

Profile 2:

  • College degree in technology/engineering
  • Income around $150k
  • Aggressive stock investing since age 30

Their millionaire odds by 45 – Better than 1 in 5

With the right education, career and investing moves, you can dramatically shorten the odds of hitting millionaire status.


While becoming a millionaire is rare overall based on percentages, your odds increase significantly as you get older and have more time to build wealth through your career and investing.

Odds are less than 0.1% by 30, but rise to 1% by 45 and up to 8-9% by 65 for the average person. Education, occupation, and income potential all have a major impact as well, with higher earning careers providing the best odds.

Implementing smart financial strategies can shorten your odds considerably compared to the average person over time. While becoming a millionaire is uncommon, it’s very possible to achieve with focus, discipline and time.