WASHINGTON — Fully 20 percent of U.S. adults become rich for parts of their lives, wielding extensive influence over America’s economy and politics, according to new survey data.
These ‘‘new rich,’’ made up largely of older professionals, working married couples and more educated singles, are becoming politically influential, and economists say their capacity to spend is key to the U.S. economic recovery. But their rise is also a sign of the nation’s continuing economic polarization.
They extend well beyond the wealthiest 1 percent, a traditional group of super-rich millionaires and billionaires with long-held family assets. The new rich have household income of $250,000 or more at some point during their working lives, putting them — if sometimes temporarily — in the top 2 percent of earners. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.