That New York City is home to the most millionaires in the U.S. probably doesn't come as a shock. More surprising is the fact that the place with the highest concentration of millionaires as a percentage of households is not the Big Apple but rather a tiny town in New Mexico.
Only about 5% of the country, or 6.1 million households, qualify as true millionaires. That is, they boast liquid, investable assets of $1 million or more, excluding real estate, employer-sponsored retirement plans and business partnerships. Research firm Phoenix Marketing International identifies where these millionaires live in an annual survey of wealthy residents in 942 urban areas. We've also researched the typical incomes and home values in the top ten cities, in case you're interested in living next door to one of these millionaires.
Check out the list of the cities with the highest concentration of millionaires.
Metro Population: 4.3 million
Concentration of Millionaires: 7.6% (U.S. total: 5.2%)
Number of Millionaire Households: 127,937
Median Income for All Households: $77,183 (U.S. median: $53,046)
Median Home Value: $595,400 (U.S. median: $181,400)
San Francisco is so notoriously expensive, you might be surprised to find any non-millionaires living there. After all, living costs 61.6% above the national average pretty much require residents of the metropolitan area -- including Fremont and Oakland across the Bay -- to hold a sizable amount of wealth. In fact, 16.1% of the local millionaire households are worth $5 million or more.
But the area isn't just for the established elite. People aspiring to affluence set up shop in San Francisco, too: It's a great city for starting a business and for new college graduates, especially those interested in technology.
Metro Population: 366,442
Concentration of Millionaires: 7.6%
Number of Millionaire Households: 10,503
Median Income for All Households: $73,759
Median Home Value: $293,100
Trenton might deserve its rough-around-the-edges reputation, but its status as the state capital as well as its proximity to the Big Apple mean the surrounding metro area has its fair share of moneyed residents. In fact, New Jersey is the state with the second-highest concentration of millionaire households, behind Maryland and just ahead of Connecticut. Wealthy pockets can be found throughout Mercer County, of which Trenton is the county seat. For example, in Princeton (population: 29,008), the median household income is $106,686, nearly triple the household income for the city of Trenton. Princeton's median home value is an eye-popping $635,300.
Metro Population: 955,215
Concentration of Millionaires: 8.0%
Number of Millionaire Households: 25,496
Median Income for All Households: $72,292
Median Home Value: $557,800
Beautiful beaches, lush interior landscapes and fine weather year-round -- it's no wonder millions of tourists visit this tropical paradise annually. And with a cost of living that's 69.1% higher than the national average, it's also no wonder more of them don't stay. The Hawaiian capital is the most expensive U.S. city to live in after New York. But that just leaves more sand and surf for the millionaires who can afford to call this haven home.
Metro Population: 822,794
Concentration of Millionaires: 8.0%
Number of Millionaire Households: 21,892
Median Income for All Households: $76,483
Median Home Value: $465,600
Better know to locals as Ventura County, this Pacific Coast metro area extends into the foothills 70 miles west of Los Angeles. Its beach houses may be famous as a celebrity refuge, having entertained the likes of Clark Gable, Carole Lombard and Sonny and Cher. But the big moneymakers tend to live further inland. Closer to the coast, Oxnard city has a median household income of just $60,736 a year, while other portions of the metro area, such as Thousand Oaks, Moorpark and Oak Park, typically sport six-figure incomes.
Metro Population: 1.8 million
Concentration of Millionaires: 8.1%
Number of Millionaire Households: 52,358
Median Income for All Households: $89,940
Median Home Value: $648,600
In Silicon Valley, there is a mountain of wealth. You can chalk up those riches to the fact that some of the world's biggest tech companies, including Apple, Intel and Google, call this metro area home. Big paychecks come along with those big industry names, explaining why the median household income is the third-highest on this list. And it's a good thing: The median home value in the San Jose area, which includes Sunnyvale and Santa Clara, is the highest of all ten millionaire cities on this list. Living costs are 49.3% above the national average, too, making it one of the country's most expensive places to live.
Metro Population: 37,746
Concentration of Millionaires: 8.3%
Number of Millionaire Households: 1,353
Median Income for All Households: $62,942
Median Home Value: $343,800
Maryland regularly ranks among the top states rich in millionaires due to its proximity to power. Less than two hours' drive from the nation's capital, Easton provides an escape from the bustle inside the beltway. But the seat of Talbot County is more than just a quaint coastal retreat for vacationing D.C. lobbyists. The largest employer is the University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Easton and, in addition to health care, other major industries in the area, such as business and financial services, keep the town buzzing as a regional hub. For those who can afford the luxury, there's even an airport that provides quicker commutes (as well as nice aerial views of the Chesapeake Bay).
Metro Population: 918,892
Concentration of Millionaires: 8.5%
Number of Millionaire Households: 29,065
Median Income for All Households: $82,614
Median Home Value: $447,500
The southwest coast of Connecticut, stretching from Bridgeport to the border with New York, provides a perfect (and preppy) suburban base for high-powered commuters, many of whom work and play in nearby Manhattan. Nearly 35,000 residents, or 8.2% of the local labor force, are employed in management positions, earning a median wage of about $62 per hour. And 16.8% of households report an annual income of $200,000 or more; only 4.6% of the nation's households pull in that much each year. Those high paychecks can help cover the costs of living in one of the most expensive places in the U.S. Typical homes in affluent small towns such as Old Greenwich and Darien go for $1 million.
Metro Population: 105,528
Concentration of Millionaires: 8.8%
Number of Millionaire Households: 3,458
Median Income for All Households: $85,032
Median Home Value: $312,100
D.C.'s influence flows to another Maryland Chesapeake town 100 miles south of Washington in picturesque St. Mary's County. This is home to the Naval Air Station Patuxent River and a center for defense and aerospace research. Think all manner of advanced military aircraft, from presidential helicopters to unmanned fighters. Among the high-tech defense contractors providing lucrative jobs to 10,000 area workers are DynCorp, BAE Systems, Wyle, Lockheed Martin and Boeing. Many of those positions are in the lucrative science, technology, engineering and math fields, helping to push up average annual incomes into the six figures.
Metro Population: 5.6 million
Concentration of Millionaires: 8.8%
Number of Millionaire Households: 191,603
Median Income for All Households: $89,826
Median Home Value: $384,000
D.C.'s wealth may spill onto the shores of Maryland, but plenty of millionaires opt to sit directly atop the nation's seat of power. The Washington metro area is home to the greatest number of millionaire households on this list and ranks among the top five areas in the nation for the most millionaires. In D.C. proper, you can find many moneyed residents, including high-profile politicians, lobbyists and government contractors, living in the townhouses of Georgetown and Capitol Hill. In the surrounding suburbs of Arlington, Va., and Bethesda, Md., residents enjoy median household incomes of $102,459 and $141,817, respectively. They also endure high living costs, with median home values of $577,300 and $805,900.
Total Metro Population: 18,008
Concentration of Millionaires: 12.4%
Number of Millionaire Households: 987
Median Income for All Households: $106,426
Median Home Value: $285,800
This tiny New Mexico town has the smallest population, as well as the highest concentration of millionaires, on this list. Chalk up the density of affluence to the National Laboratory, a research facility focused on national security and the area's largest employer. Since the lab was established in 1943 as site Y of the Manhattan Project, it has drawn some of the world's top scientific minds with state-of-the-art facilities, currently including more than 1,200 buildings on a 36-square-mile campus, and generous paychecks. In fact, the area's six-figure median household income is the highest on this list. And with the lowest median home value of all these millionaire-laden cities, wealthy residents can put more money toward savings than toward mortgages.
1. Los Alamos, N.M.
2. Stamford, Conn.
3. Naples, Fla.
4. Washington, D.C.
5. San Jose, Calif.
6. Easton, Md.
7. Oxnard, Calif.
9. San Francisco
10. Juneau, Alaska
Kiplinger updates many of its best cities rankings annually. Above is last year's list of cities with the highest concentration of millionaires. Keep in mind that ranking methodologies can change from year to year based on the data available at the time, differences in how the data was gathered, changes in data providers and tweaks to the formulas used to narrow the pool of candidates.
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