Last year, almost 5.2% of the US’ 119.2 million households had more than $1 million in investable assets, according to [pdf] a study from Phoenix Marketing International (PMI). But those per capita figures varied widely from one state to the next, with the top state by this measure having more than twice as many millionaires per capita as the bottom state. From 2006 through 2013, three different states have held the top rank, while one has lagged at the bottom each of those years save for 2012.
Last year, the top spot belonged to Maryland, with 7.7% of its households boasting at least $1 million in investable assets. Maryland retained the top spot from 2012 and 2011; previously, the position had been held by Hawaii (2006; 2008-2010) and New Jersey (2007). In fact, Maryland’s 7.7% ratio of millionaire households to total households is the highest figure recorded by PMI over the last 8 years of data.
In 2013, New Jersey and Connecticut each moved up a spot, taking the second and third positions respectively. Each of their millionaire household ratios (7.49% and 7.32%) would have taken the top spot in any of the prior 7 years, a function not only of rising millionaire ratios across the country, but also of above-average growth in those states.
Rounding out the top 5 in 2013 were Hawaii (7.18%) and Alaska (6.75%), with Massachusetts narrowly missing out (6.73%) after taking the 5th spot in 2012.
How about the other end of the equation? With a comparatively small 3.63% of its households having $1 million or more in investable assets, Mississippi took the bottom ranking yet again, the 7th time in the past 8 years. Arkansas had the next-smallest ratio (3.73%); it has been in that position each year save for 2012, when it replaced Mississippi at the bottom.
Rounding out the bottom 5 last year were Idaho (3.76%), West Virginia (3.82%), and Kentucky (3.84%).
Some states saw wide swings in their rankings from 2012: Maine improved 10 positions to #25; North Dakota ticked up 14 spots to #29; and Louisiana also moved up 10 spots, to #32. By contrast, Florida, Michigan and Idaho each fell 10 spots (to #30, #37, and #49), while Nevada had the biggest free fall, down 20 spots to #39.
Of the top 5 states by population size, California (6.04%) and New York (5.79%) had the most millionaires per capita, taking the 11th and 12th rankings, respectively.
Overall, the 5.16% ratio of millionaire households to total households in the US last year represented the highest point since at least 2006, up only slightly from 2012 (5.14%), but a significant hike from the recession-time low of 4.46% in 2009.
About the Data: Phoenix Marketing International describes its methodology as follows:
“The GWM [Global Wealth Monitor] sizing estimates are developed using a combination of sources including the Survey of Consumer Finance (SCF), as well as Nielsen-Claritas. The SCF provides the framework and allows us to determine the general distribution of households by their level of investable assets. Estimates are further refined using the age and income distributions provided by Claritas. Together, these inputs enable us to estimate the number of households by investable assets at a national level. Formulas are then created by applying national estimates to closely linked variables developed by the Census This allows us to obtain estimates at smaller units of geography. Please not that the numbers provided in this report are approximations, not actual number of households. They can best be used for comparative purposes.”