Rich people with super-rich wives are spending more time together than ever before
By MATT TAIBBIAN and ALEXANDER DUNCANSTEIN | 11/14/17 12:01:58 A new report from the Pew Research Center shows that wealthy people who live in large metropolitan areas spend a lot more time with their wealthy spouses than people who don’t.
The study found that those who have a higher wealth than average spend an average of three hours a day with their spouse, while those with less wealth spend less than three hours.
For the top five percent of earners in the United States, those with a wealth greater than $1.9 million spend an hour and a half with their spouses a month on average, while for the bottom fifth of earners, those in the $600,000-$2.5 million range, those spend an estimated two hours and three minutes.
And those who live with their own spouse spend an approximate $40,000 a year on their own time, according to the report.
The report, titled “How Rich People Spend Their Time with Their Rich Friends,” finds that in 2015, the average time spent with one’s spouse was 11.5 minutes, compared to 7.4 minutes in 2016.
“Rich people spend more time talking to one another and sharing intimate moments than they do with each other, and this may contribute to a disconnect between wealthy people and their families,” said Robert D. Putnam, the study’s co-author and a professor of sociology at Harvard University.
“In a lot of cases, these conversations are less about money and more about shared values.
The richer the people are, the more they see themselves as having shared values and the more likely they are to think about how their wealth affects others.”
The study also found that wealthy Americans spend a larger share of their time with the people they marry than the rest of the population.
“The average annual time spent by wealthy couples in the U.S. is nearly twice as long as the average annual spending by the population as a whole,” said co-director and senior economist for the Pew Center on the States, Kristinne Craig.
“It’s striking that even as they’re spending more than the average Americans, they are also spending more.”
A recent Pew study also showed that wealthier people are spending a larger percentage of their waking hours with their friends than the general population.
That study found affluent people spend about 11 hours a week with their married friends, while the general U.K. population spends about 6 hours a year with their families.
In contrast, the general American population spends 7 hours a month with friends.
“Wealthy people tend to be more connected than the people who aren’t wealthy,” Putnam said.
“For them, socializing with people they know well is a source of joy and happiness.
But for the average American, it’s a much harder sell.”