Source: The Wall Street Journal
A new study shows that the ranks of people earning $1 million or more are highly variable from year to year -- showing that millionaires in the US are not quite the monolithic class that some political rhetoric might suggest.
From 1999 to 2007, about 50 percent of people who earned $1 million or more in any given year only managed to achieve the feat once, according to the research by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation. Another 15 percent did it twice.
Just six percent filed in all nine years with incomes more than $1 million. Millionaires often generate their income through one-time sales of small businesses or other appreciated assets.
The Tax Foundation, which receives funding from foundations as well as businesses and individuals, says its job is to "educate taxpayers about sound tax policy and the size of the tax burden borne by Americans at all levels of government."
Overall, about 675,000 households earned more than $1 million in any year during the period of the study.
The data broadly mirror previous findings concerning the top 400 earners in the US.