By some estimates, nearly a quarter of U.S. millionaires are millennials. But a recent study suggests that many of them had a head start, as nearly half grew up wealthy.
The "Insights on Wealth and Worth Survey," published last month by the U.S. Trust, found that 45 percent of millennial respondents (defined as ages 18 to 35), grew up wealthy. That compares with only 28 percent of Gen-X millionaires and just 18 percent of baby boomer millionaires.
Millennial millionaires aren't all living off their trust funds, of course. And for many, their age hasn't allowed them as much time as older generations to build their own wealth.
When asked how their wealth was accumulated, the millennials surveyed said about half came from "earned income." That was roughly in line with Gen X and boomers.
Yet 20 percent of millennials' wealth came from inheritance, compared with only 10 percent for Gen Xers and 8 percent for baby boomers. Those generations were more likely to supplement their income through investments.
Those millennials who did inherit money inherited a lot. Thirteen percent said that at least half of their wealth was inherited, versus 5 percent for the other generations.