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Record number of millionaire households in US

A racegoer holds a cigar and Mint Julep cocktail in the infield at Churchill Downs on the eve of the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky.
Luke Sharrett | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A racegoer holds a cigar and Mint Julep cocktail in the infield at Churchill Downs on the eve of the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky.

The number of millionaire households in America increased by 400,000 in 2016, reaching a new record of 10.8 million, according to a new study.

Since the 2008 financial crisis, the number of millionaire households has grown every year, adding a total of 4 million millionaire households, according to Spectrem Group, the wealth research firm. The stats mean that more than one out of every 10 households in America is worth $1 million or more.

Spectrem defines millionaire households as those households with $1 million or more in investible assets, not including a primary residence.

The number of multimillionaire households has also grown. There are now 1.4 million households worth $5 million or more and 156,000 households worth $25 million or more.

George Walper, president of Spectrem Group, said the growth in millionaires last year was due in part to the stock-market run-up after the election.

"People were hesitant before the election, but once the election was over, we've seen these markets reach record highs and that would increase the value of people's investments, " Walper said.

He said that the gains were more incremental than sudden, with large groups of affluent and wealthy Americans gradually seeing their portfolios and assets gain value.

"It's more of an escalator than an elevator," he said. "You're seeing people worth maybe $900,000 move into the million category, rather than someone going from $100,000 to $26 million."

Walper said he expects 2017 to set another record, provided that markets remain stable or rise.

"If Trump's policies get implemented and it has a positive effect on markets, I think we could have a similar growth and record next year," he said.