New Mexico, where the ultra-wealthy made a whopping $231,276 in 2013, is the state where the "top 1 percent" label is most affordable. According to statistics from the Economic Policy Institute, that figure represents less than half of the threshold of states boasting the highest 1-percent benchmarks.
The States Where The Richest Are Half-Millionaires
To be among the top 1 percent in four states, all based in New England, you’d have needed to make more than half a million annually. Connecticut hosted the wealthiest of wealthy with a minimum income of $659,979, followed distantly by New Jersey ($547,737), Massachusetts ($529,055) and New York ($517,557).
The richest of residents in the District of Columbia also reported salaries of at least $554,719.
The Richest 1-Percenters Outside New England
Rounding out the top five of highest-earners is North Dakota ($481,492). The midwest state, which ranks No. 47 in population density and 25 in cost of living, proved that neither factors necessarily correlate with income distribution.
For perspective, North Dakota’s top 1 percent beat out next-best California’s ($453,772), who contributed to the nation’s highest state population and suffered the fourth highest cost of living.
The States Outpacing The National Threshold
Apart from the top six states listed, Texas, Maryland, Illinois, Minnesota, Colorado and Virginia posted thresholds above that of the United States, whose top 1 percent earned $389,436 annually. Additionally, 109 metro areas and 339 counties boasted higher leading incomes.
The Sectors Contributing To Heightened Income Disparity
In 24 states, the top 1 percent took in nearly half of all income growth between the start of the nation’s economic recovery in 2009 and the end of the EPI study in 2013. In 15 of those states, primarily located in the southeast, the wealthiest seized nearly all of the growth.
States that saw the largest boosts in income share for the top 1 percent boasted sizable financial services sectors and information technology sectors, with three states supported by large retirement populations and energy and gaming industries.
Metropoles Where The Rich And Poor Mingle
The top 1 percent earned more than $1 million in four metropolitan areas — one in each Wyoming-Idaho, Connecticut, Utah and North Dakota.
The Jackson metropolitan area between Wyoming and Idaho posted the widest income gap of all national peers with the average top salaries 213 times the average of the bottom 99 percent. Of the other 10 most economically unequal metropolitan areas, four were in Florida, two in Texas and one in Connecticut, Nevada and Colorado.
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