Where do all the successful people live?
Are some states home to more of the nation’s most successful people than others?
To answer these questions, GOBankingRates.com, a provider of personal finance and consumer banking information, surveyed all 50 states and the District of Columbia and ranked them by the following seven factors:
the average income of the top 1 percent;
the average income of the bottom 99 percent;
the states’ poverty rates;
the percentage of the population in the upper, middle and lower class;
the number of millionaire households;
the ratio of millionaires to total households;
and the number of billionaires.
Stand-out study insights
“While it would be incorrect to assume that living in a certain state could determine your success, the study did find that certain areas in the country definitely house more financially successful citizens than others,” says Kristen Bonner, lead researcher on the GOBankingRates study. “That being said, living in an area among those who are thriving financially might just offer the push you need to craft a successful financial future for yourself.”
GOBankingRates.com used the Economic Policy Institute’s data (published in June 2016) on the average income of the top 1 percent and bottom 99 percent in each state. Poverty rates are based on figures from PovertyUSA.org.
The figures for the percentage of households in each in the upper, middle and lower class are from the Pew Research Center income calculator. The number of billionaires in each state was sourced from Forbes; and the number of millionaire households and ratio of millionaires to total households was sourced from Phoenix Marketing International’s Ranking of U.S. States by Millionaires Per Capita 2006-2013.
Continue reading for seven national financial trends that surface in the GOBankingRates study.
As of 2010, the Eastern Seaboard was home to roughly 112,642,503 people, or 36 percent of the country’s total population. (Photo: iStock)
New York state-of-mind
Seven in 10 of the most successful places in the country are located along the east coast.
The famous 308 Blues Club and Cafe in Indianola, Mississippi is one of the country’s original juke joints. (Photo: iStock)
Birthplace of the blues
Despite Mississippi having more millionaire households than 16 other states, it takes last place on this list because it has the largest percentage of low-income residents in the country (36 percent).
West Virginia is located entirely within the Appalachian Mountains. (Photo: iStock)
West Virginia is the only state where the average top 1 percent income earns below $500,000.
Despite the charm of Old Santa Fe, above, New Mexico has one the lowest per capita income levels in the country. (Photo: iStock)
Enchanting, yet inequitable
New Mexico has the greatest income inequality between the top and bottom income levels.
North Dakota’s residents may be predominantly white, but the state’s culture is characterized by the prevalence of the Lakota and Dakota Native American tribes. (Photo: iStock)
North Dakota has the lowest percentage of low-income residents in the nation (19 percent).
Life is good in the “Granite State,” as New Hampshire is sometimes called. (Photo: iStock)
Small but mighty
New Hampshire has the lowest poverty rate in the U.S.
Connecticut is home to such famous wealthy residents as media maven Martha Stewart. (Photo: iStock)
The average income of the top 1 percent in Connecticut is the highest in the nation, at $2.4 million.
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