To be considered a millionaire, you must possess at least $1 million in investable assets — and your primary residence doesn’t count.
America’s millionaires are not evenly distributed across the country, but the poorest states in the country don’t always have fewer of them, and the richest states don’t always have more. Here’s a look at the states with:
- The most millionaire households per capita
- How much the 1% of each state earns
- How those salaries measure up to the incomes earned by the other 99%
Last updated: March 9, 2021
- Population: 731,545
- Number of households: 272,739
- Percentage of millionaire households: 8.18%
- Average income for top 1%: $910,059
- Average income for bottom 99%: $71,876
Although Alaska has a high concentration of millionaires, the state experiences the lowest level of income inequality on this list. The wealthiest residents aren’t particularly wealthy, and the rest of the people in the state do comparatively well. The average income for the top 1 percent is just under 13 times greater than the average income earned by the rest of the population. The economy of Alaska can’t be compared to that of any other state in the U.S., however, as one-half of the economy is tied to the oil industry.
- Population: 8,535,519
- Number of households: 3,272,722
- Percentage of millionaire households: 8.31%
- Average income for top 1%: $1,109,984
- Average income for bottom 99%: $62,844
Virginia, where eight American presidents were born, has a relatively low level of income inequality, with the top 1% earning just under 18 times more than the bottom 99%. In 2019, CNBC ranked Virginia No. 1 in the nation for business, a move that was endorsed by Amazon selecting the state as the location for its second headquarters.
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- Population: 1,359,711
- Number of households: 539,929
- Percentage of millionaire households: 8.47%
- Average income for top 1%: $1,134,101
- Average income for bottom 99%: $62,796
New Hampshire boasts the sixth-best nationwide unemployment rate as of October. The average income earned by the bottom 99% is 18 times lower than that earned by the top 1%.
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- Population: 39,512,223
- Number of households: 13,477,890
- Percentage of millionaire households: 8.51%
- Average income for top 1%: $1,693,094
- Average income for bottom 99%: $55,152
Although Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the U.S., resides in Washington state, California has more than its fair share of wealthy and millionaire households. Only four countries in the entire world boast economies larger than that of California — the $3.1 trillion juggernaut represents 15% of the total U.S. economy.
In California, the most populous state in the union, the average member of the top 1% makes nearly 31 times more than the average member of the bottom 99%. With so many millionaires living in California, the chances are you probably have a millionaire next door.
District of Columbia
- Population: 705,749
- Number of households: 323,410
- Percentage of millionaire households: 9.12%
- Average income for top 1%: $1,858,878
- Average income for bottom 99%: $61,102
The District of Columbia has the second-highest median income in the country, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau for 2019. The average income for the top 1% is correspondingly high, third behind Connecticut and Massachusetts. However, those in the bottom 99% don’t fare quite as well, earning more than 30 times less than the District’s top earners.
The District of Columbia also sports the nation’s most inequitable income division by racial lines. White median household income in the state is a whopping $142,500, while black median household income in D.C. is just $45,200.
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- Population: 1,415,872
- Number of households: 482,601
- Percentage of millionaire households: 9.20%
- Average income for top 1%: $797,001
- Average income for bottom 99%: $57,987
Hawaii’s top 1 percenters make just under 14 times more than the bottom 99%. Like Alaska, Hawaii has a unique economy, dominated by tourism and the military. Hawaiians face a higher cost of living than residents of any other state, as well as the highest housing prices in the U.S. The median home cost is $636,451, which is more than $80,000 higher than the next costliest state, California.
- Population: 6,892,503
- Number of households: 2,710,577
- Percentage of millionaire households: 9.38%
- Average income for top 1%: $1,904,805
- Average income for bottom 99%: $61,694
A wide income disparity exists between the elite and everybody else in Massachusetts, where the average member of the top 1% earns nearly 31 times more than the average member of the bottom 99%. Massachusetts also has some of the priciest real estate in the nation, with a median home price of $422,856.
- Population: 3,565,287
- Number of households: 1,380,296
- Percentage of millionaire households: 9.44%
- Average income for top 1%: $2,522,806
- Average income for bottom 99%: $67,742
Although America’s biggest millionaire metropolitan area is by far New York City, the Empire State doesn’t even make this list — but its neighbor does. Connecticut is home to a higher per-capita rate of millionaire households than all but two other states.
Connecticut also suffers from dramatic income inequality — the state’s elite are by far the richest 1% in America. The average earner among the lower 99%, however, makes more than 37 times less.
Connecticut’s economy was still recovering from the 2007-09 recession when the coronavirus pandemic hit, and one University of Connecticut think tank estimates it may take more than a decade for the state to recover.
- Population: 6,045,680
- Number of households: 2,274,491
- Percentage of millionaire households: 9.72%
- Average income for top 1%: $1,135,718
- Average income for bottom 99%: $63,656
On the border of the nation’s capital, the small but influential state boasts the highest median income in America and is still among just 13 states that hold the coveted AAA bond rating.
Maryland has the most millionaires, but what is the richest state in the U.S. in terms of median household income? You guessed it. That’s also Maryland.
- Population: 8,882,190
- Number of households: 3,312,916
- Percentage of millionaire households: 9.76%
- Average income for top 1%: $1,581,829
- Average income for bottom 99%: $65,068
Leading the list of top 10 richest states according to millionaire concentration is New Jersey. In the Garden State, there is a huge gap between the wealthiest residents and everyone else. The average top 1% earns more than 24 times more than the average member of the bottom 99%. New Jersey has the third-highest median household income rate in America — but the people who live there had better do well. The cost of living in New Jersey is among the country’s most expensive, and much of the state consists of bedroom communities for people who work in New York or Philadelphia.
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John Cziszar contributed to the reporting for this article.
Methodology: To find the ten states with the most millionaires proportionately, GOBankingRates looked at data from Phoenix Marketing International’s 2019 Millionaire Rankings. From this report, GOBankingRates looked at the ten states with the highest ratio of millionaire households to total households and found (1) the number of total households in each state and (2) the amount of millionaire households as a percentage of total households. Then, GOBankingRates found (3) the total population of each state according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey, (4) the average income of the top 1% in each state according to the Economic Policy insittute’s “The Unequal States of America” report, and (5) the average income of the bottom 99% in each state from the same source. All data was collected on and up to date as of Dec. 7, 2020.