In One Chart: Two Decades Of Stock Ownership In America

How Many Americans Own Stocks?

The Briefing

  • In 2020, approximately 55% of Americans owned some form of stock
  • That’s 5 percentage points lower than U.S. stock ownership in 2000
  • Stock ownership is strongly linked to household income. Last year, 84% of U.S. households earning $100,000+ owned stock, compared to just 22% of those making less than $40,000

How Many Americans Own Stocks?

2020 was an exceptionally volatile year for the stock market. But how many Americans were directly impacted by last year’s market highs and lows?

In other words, how many Americans own stocks as a part of their investment portfolios?

Two Decades of Stock Ownership in America

Stock ownership in the U.S. has dipped over the last two decades.

In a survey by Gallup, about 55% of Americans claimed to own some form of stock in 2020—either an individual stock, a stock mutual fund, or in a self-directed 401(k) or IRA. This is a significant decrease from 2000 when 60% of Americans owned stock:

Year Yes, Owns Stock No, Does Not Own Stock
2000 60% 39%
2001 62% 36%
2002 63% 36%
2003 61% 38%
2004 63% 36%
2005 61% 39%
2006 62% 37%
2007 62% 37%
2008 61% 38%
2009 59% 40%
2010 56% 43%
Year Yes, Owns Stock No, Does Not Own Stock
2011 57% 43%
2012 53% 46%
2013 52% 47%
2014 54% 45%
2015 55% 44%
2016 52% 46%
2017 54% 45%
2018 55% 43%
2019 55% 44%
2020 55% 45%

*Note: Numbers may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

Stock ownership was relatively high in the early 2000s, but it dipped slightly after the 2007-2008 financial crisis. Since then, it’s hovered around 50-55%.

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