The number of U.S. households with a net worth of at least $1 million jumped 16 percent last year after dipping sharply during the financial crisis, an industry consulting group said on Tuesday.

Households with a net worth of $1 million or more, excluding their primary residence, totaled 7.8 million in 2009, up from 6.7 million in 2008, according to Spectrem Group.

The number of millionaire households shrank by 27 percent in 2008, it said.

The current total is still well below the record 9.2 million millionaire households reported in 2007, Spectrem said.

Last year's spike came as U.S. stock markets rallied. The S&P 500 Index rose 28 percent, and the largest wealth management firms reported strong earnings as their clients' accounts recovered from the 2008 meltdown.

The study also found ultra high net worth families -- those with at least $5 million -- grew 17 percent last year to 980,000, Spectrem said.

Households with $500,000 or more topped 12.7 million, up 12 percent.

Spectrem said its study was based on surveys of 3,000 affluent households and online surveys of roughly 2,600 families.

(Reporting by Joe Rauch; editing by John Wallace)