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Over half of Americans think you must earn $1 million a year to be rich—here’s what it really takes

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Here's how much you have to earn to be in the top 1% nationwide

Americans have varying ideas of how much money you need to earn each year to be considered "rich," but most people say you need to bring in at least $1 million per year.

That comes from a new GOBankingRates survey, which asked participants, "What level of annual income do you think makes you rich?"

While answers ranged from $100,000 to more than $10 million, the most popular response, chosen by 26 percent of respondents, was at least $1 million. An additional 13 percent of respondents said $5 million or more while 12 percent said $10 million or more.

"Across both genders and all ages, the most common response to the survey question is '$1 million or more,'" reports GOBanking Rates, adding that, in actuality, "less than one-quarter of 1 percent of Americans earn at least $1 million a year." By contrast, a salary of $100,000 a year "means that you're making more annually than 87.9 percent of Americans."

GOBankingRates: what americans need to be rich

In a similar survey from Charles Schwab, respondents were asked how much money is required to be considered "financially comfortable" and "wealthy" in their cities, and the answers varied wildly. To be wealthy in San Francisco, you need a net worth of $4.2 million and in New York you need $3.2 million, the survey found. But in Charlotte, North Carolina, that drops to a net worth of $1.8 million.

How much does it actually take to be one of the wealthiest Americans? The answer is less than you might think.

To be a part of the top 1 percent of earners in the country, a household must bring in at least $389,436 annually, though the average income among 1 percenters is closer to $1.15 million, according to a 2013 Economic Policy Institute report.

The threshold varies by location and age as well. At the high end, in Connecticut, a $659,979 annual income is required to be in the top 1 percent, while in New York, you need to make $517,557. While that's significant, it's still a lot less than $1 million. And in some states, the number drops dramatically. In Arkansas, for example, all you need is a salary of $237,428.

Check out how much your household would have to pull in to join the one percent club in every U.S. state and at every age.

Don't miss: 65% of Americans save little or nothing—and half could end up struggling in retirement

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