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U.S. Stock Ownership Highest Since 2008

U.S. Stock Ownership Highest Since 2008

Story Highlights

  • 61% of U.S. adults own stock; first time at that level since 2008
  • Stock ownership among subgroups largely similar to 2008 levels
  • More than eight in 10 households making $75,000 or more own stock

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Sixty-one percent of U.S. adults say they have money invested in the stock market, the highest percentage Gallup has measured since 2008. Stock ownership fell during the Great Recession and stayed depressed for more than a decade, including lows of 52% in 2013 and 2016.

Most Gallup surveys prior to 2008 found 60% or more of U.S. adults owning stock.


Gallup has asked Americans whether they own stock since 1998, typically as part of its annual Economy and Personal Finance survey conducted each April. The latest result is based on an April 3-25 poll.

Stock ownership rates among most key demographic groups are essentially back to where they were in 2008. One notable exception is among older Americans. U.S. adults aged 65 and older today (63%) are more likely than senior citizens prior to the Great Recession (2001 through 2007) to own stock (53%). This is due to higher stock ownership rates among the baby boomer generation than older generations, and baby boomers have continued to hold stock as they aged into the 65-and-older group. Since 2001, more than six in 10 baby boomers have held stock, while ownership among the older Silent Generation has been in the mid-to-low 50% range.

Older Americans are now similar to most other age groups in stock ownership, with young adults (41%) being the exception. Sixty-seven percent of those aged 30 to 49 own stock, as do 66% of those aged 50 to 64.

Stock ownership correlates most strongly with household income. More than eight in 10 Americans with an annual household income of $75,000 or more own stock, including 80% of those with an income between $75,000 and $99,999 and 84% of those with an income of $100,000 or more. About half of Americans in households earning between $30,000 and $74,999 own stock (51%), as do roughly one in four of those earning less than $30,000 (24%).

Married and employed Americans are more likely to own stock than their unmarried and non-working counterparts, likely because of income differences between those groups.


Bottom Line

The steep drop in stock values that occurred during the Great Recession and financial crisis may have deterred new investors from entering the stock market and caused others to take their money out of stocks and put it elsewhere. The resulting decline in stock ownership persisted for over a decade, and many potential investors missed out on the recovery in stock values that peaked when the Dow Jones Industrial Average set a record daily closing price in January 2022.

Stock ownership rates are now back to where they were in 2008, likely because stocks have again proven to be a solid long-term investment and income gains among Americans have given them greater means to invest in stocks.

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