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Turns Out Getting Hitched Is Still The Main Way For Women To Get Rich

Marrying a wealthy spouse is still the main way for women to get rich, a new study has revealed.

Researchers out of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte took a look at the US's 1995 to 2017 Survey of Consumer Finances reports revealing gender income patterns.

They found that just 15 percent of American households who were part of the wealthy 'One Percent' -- meaning they earned more than $845,000 a year (that's AUD$1,190,000) -- needed the female partner's income to cross that elite threshold.

Simply put, it's typically the husbands -- and not wives -- who contribute the big bucks in moneyed-up households.

In fact, the study found that only five percent of women in those crazy rich families actually earned enough cash themselves to qualify for the One Percent.

While the findings did show that obtaining higher education and self-employment can increase a woman's chances of smashing that glass ceiling all on her own, there was a far easier, simpler and faster way.

Gettin' hitched.

"Women mostly enter One Percent households through marriage by gaining access to their spouse's income," the study stated.

So, ladies, if you want those dollar bills you better find yourself a wealthy man, it seems -- which is basically the plot to the 1953 film, How To Marry A Millionaire.

READ MORE: Listen Up: Here's How To Break Into Tough Male-Dominated Industries

The huge gap in earning potential between husbands and wives of the One Percent hasn't changed since the '90s, and the study outlined a few reasons for this.

Women are, for example, less likely to be in really high-paying male-dominated fields -- such as elite finance and real estate positions -- and they are less likely to make it to the top ranks of the corporate world where the big money is being made.

"We know that women face a lot of barriers reaching top executive and CEO positions," Jill Yavorsky, a sociology professor at the University of North Carolina and co-author of the study, wrote in a press release.

"This study shows that the glass ceiling is more extensive than we previously thought. It extends to nearly all elite positions, even self-employment."

She also noted that women have a harder time than men when it comes to securing bank loans and venture capital funding for their businesses.

READ MORE: Zero Percent Of Girls Want To Enter Politics. Here's Why.

It's not all bad news, though. In 2018 more and more Aussie women aspired to own their own small business compared with the same time last year, according to a study by American Express.

The stats showed almost half of female consumers were interested in owning a small business versus 30 percent 12 months ago -- despite the fact that female consumers currently make up just 12 percent of small business owners.

Males, on the other hand, factor in at 20 percent. These figures are likely to flip -- or at the very least become more balanced -- as women take the plunge in the small business scene.

Feature image: Getty.