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Millionaire States in the United States

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Did you know that in 2009 there were over five million millionaire households (5,129,385) in the United States? That’s 4.46% of all households and a number that is probably a lot higher than you expected, and a drop from the previous two years. In 2009 there were 5.6 million and nearly 6 million in 2007. Who knows what 2009 will bring but it’s still fun to look at statistics, even if you’re not a millionaire. Fortunately for us, our friends at Mainstreet had a fun little slideshow last week showing the states with the most and the fewest millionaires.

So, where are all the millionaires?

States with Most Millionaires

Rank State # of Households % of Population Median Income
1 Hawaii 28,363 6.41% $66,701
2 Maryland 133,299 6.26% $70,482
3 New Jersey 197,694 6.22% $70,347
4 Connecticut 82,837 6.15% $68,294
5 Virginia 166,596 5.51% $61,210
6 Massachusetts 137,792 5.50% $65,304
7 Alaska 13,348 5.39% $67,332
8 New Hampshire 27,562 5.34% $63,235
9 California 662,735 5.28% $61,017
10 D.C. 13,028 5.0% $58,553

You should check out the slideshow if you like some added commentary. For example, I learned that California, despite it’s recent fiscal woes, had the most millionaires out of any state. It’s 9th only because it’s such a populous state. As for my home state of Maryland, it might be high according to previous years but a Maryland millionaire tax have sent many packing. If you introduce a millionaire tax, expect millionaires to leave… turning a “projected” $106 million increase in tax revenues into a $100 million shortfall.

States with Fewest Millionaires

Rank State # of Households % of Population Median Income
1 Mississippi 33,792 3.06% $37,818
2 Arkansas 35,286 3.12% $38,820
3 West Virginia 24,941 3.28% $37,528
4 Kentucky 57,059 3.3% $41,489
5 South Dakota 10,646 3.39% $46,244
6 North Dakota 9,051 3.42% $46,574
7 Oklahoma 50,304 3.51% $42,836
8 Tennesse 88,284 3.53% $43,610
9 Louisiana 59,747 3.54% $43,635
10 Alabama 66,314 3.55% $42,586

This isn’t like your typical “worst” or “fewest” list, where it’s actually all that bad to be on this list. In fact, when you consider the worst state has 3% of its households seeing more than seven digits in their net worth, you’re not doing that bad.

How’d your state do?

{ 29 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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29 Responses to “Millionaire States in the United States”

  1. echidnina says:

    You’re right, those figures are really surprising. Even in the ‘poorest’ states, millionaires make up more than 3% of the population!

    The fact that Hawaii has the largest proportion of millionaires isn’t surprising though. I know if I ever struck it rich that’s where I’d move.

  2. nickel says:

    I wonder how many of the Hawaiian millionaires made their millions while living there vs. the number that “struck it rich” and then moved to Hawaii.

    • Ryan says:

      I would bet more moved there after the fact. Hawaii is an expensive state to live in.

      • Martha says:

        I heard of a study once that said if you lived in Hawaii for more than two years you’d be very unlikely to enjoy living somewhere else! The wonderful weather spoils them :)

      • cdiver says:

        What about Alaska? How are most millionaires made there…oil?

  3. stuarsj says:

    I’m glad to see Alabama isn’t last.

  4. Anthony says:

    The slideshow defines a “millionaire household” as a $1m in liquid assets. I know bonds, cash, and CD’s are liquid. Real estate is not. But what are retirement savings considered?

    Being born in Alabama and now living in Louisiana, it is surprising that, percentage-wise, we are not that far off from the “richer” states. Also, I’m curious how that list looks when you adjust for cost of living. $1m here goes a longer way than in Hawaii or California.

    • $1M in liquid assets seems a weird way to skin this cat.

      I would have suggested $1M in total networth. Or maybe $1M excluding primary housing.

      But using liquid assets – assuming it excludes all real estate – would exclude anyone who has their money tied up in a rental properties. Heck, you could own millions of dollars worth of rentals but not make the list.

      So maybe this list just tells us the millionaires in Hawaii don’t overdo it on real estate. :)

    • billsnider says:

      You make a good point.

      Things like 401(k)’s and 403(b)’s figure into the wealth creation. At one time when we had pensions and not these plans, they were not figured into the equation. This has been a factor in the rise in the number of millionaires.

      also lets face it, a million is not what it use to be.

      Bill Snider

    • Shirley says:

      Anthony said, “$1m here goes a longer way than in Hawaii or California.”

      I’m beginning to think that $1.00 goes a longer way anywhere than it does in California! ;-)

  5. I’m really not that surprised at the numbers, especially if they include retirements accounts. I certainly hope to have 1M+ in retirement savings.

  6. ziglet19 says:

    Wow – I had no idea there were so many millionaries out there…

  7. zapeta says:

    New plan…become a millionaire and move to Hawaii.

    • echidnina says:

      That’s always been my plan ;)

      • Dave says:

        Too bad the cheapest dump you could find on the beach in Hawaii would take you off the list. :) When I was last in Hawaii, I thought it would be fun to pick up one of those free real estate at the grocery store – I was AMAZED at home prices there. I thought they would be high, but never expected how high…

      • cdiver says:

        You could move there now and be homeless.

  8. daenyll says:

    I’d be more likely to move to a low cost of living area, that way my millions would go even further, and the space between me and my neighbours could be larger. I like the idea of having nice stuff to do around, but fewer people poking into my business. Plus that’s more land for me to play with for random projects for fun.

  9. Maryland is my state as well. I heard about the tax as well as the high business taxes. I never understood the fact that they project such taxes never taking into account the fact that people are probably going to leave or find a way to get around it.

  10. Dave says:

    NJ Representin!! Too bad I’m not on the list… yet….

  11. eric says:

    Alright be a millionaire and move to Hawaii. It’s now on my to-do list. :P

  12. Tak D Nomura says:

    The biggest issues I have with this kind of wealth chart are a) how is “millionaire” defined, b) how much “cash/liquid” investments do they have, and c) what’s the ratio between cash and home equity?

  13. Tak D Nomura says:

    Anthony also brings up a good point about “cost of living.” A million in Silicon Valley is worth less than a million in North Dakota or Montana.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Where could it be found out how Hawaiian these
    millionaires are? Meaning, were they born there
    or came to Hawaii to make millions or came to
    Hawaii after making millions? There should be
    statistics with this information. My sister who
    lives in Hawaii (on the Big Island) does not
    believe there are many home grown millionaires.

  15. Tak D Nomura says:

    There are many home-grown millionaires in Hawaii. You can begin with Dole Foods, macadamia candy company, Kona Coffee, and several construction companies.

    However, I believe that the majority of millionaires who call Hawaii home were transplants from the mainland and other countries.

  16. R.C. Van Zandt says:

    can someone tell me what are the current stat’s on millionaire’s that did not graduate High school and those that did but did not finish college.


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