While talk of economic inequality is popular among politicians, including President Barack Obama, some data indicate that the U.S. has a whole new class of wealthy people.
Single people with advanced educations, people with professional careers and households in which both spouses work comprise the “new rich,” comprising up to 20% of American adults with annual household incomes of more than $250,000. These people do not maintain their highest level of incomes across their entire working lives, but they fall within the top 2% of U.S. income earners for at least some part of their lives, the Associated Press notes.
Because the new rich won’t always be rich, they tend to be more supportive of economically conservative politics, eschewing spending on welfare programs. However, they are no longer solidly Republican, putting the group in play for both major parties. Members of the new rich tend to be more left-of-center on cultural issues like gay marriage and abortion.
Not surprisingly the new rich have become a popular target of advertisers. The group — sometimes dubbed the mass affluent — is responsible for almost 40% if consumer spending in the U.S. The 25 million U.S. homes included in the group saw their income creep higher, or at least remain level, during the recession.