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If you want to get a glimpse of the rich life (without having to resort to reality television), you may not have to look as far as you think. Millionaires are everywhere, and their ranks are growing. According to research firm Phoenix Marketing International, 6.1 million households in the U.S. can boast liquid, investable assets of $1 million or more, excluding real estate, retirement plans and business partnerships. That's up about 3% from a year earlier. The number of penta-millionaire households (with investable assets of $5 million or more) has grown by about 7%.
Because you might not be able to spot these millionaires next door (see The Invisible Rich), PMI homed in on their stomping grounds in its 2012 report, which examines wealthy residents of 942 urban areas. You'll find millionaires living in all corners of the nation, though not always concentrated in the big cities you might expect. And in case you're interested in what it would take to call these folks your neighbors, we researched the median incomes and home values of these millionaire-laden locations.
Yahoo! Homes is publishing the top five cities with the highest concentration of millionaires living in America. To see the rest of the top 10, go to Kiplinger's website.
Metro Population: 1.8 million
Concentration of Millionaire Households: 8.3%
Number of Millionaire Households: 52,043
Median Income for All Households: $88,339
Median Home Value: $674,800
The original California capital has come a long way from its farm town origins. Today, San Jose is the center of Silicon Valley. And the area, including Sunnyvale and Santa Clara, is home to some of the world's biggest tech companies, including Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Intel and Google. Such employers tend to reward their geeks handsomely. Google even keeps its interns well-heeled, paying those specializing in software engineering an average $6,432 a month, according to employment research firm Glassdoor. The hefty paychecks can help cover housing costs — the San Jose area's median home value is the highest on this list, and a whopping 20.8% of houses are worth $1 million or more, compared with just 2.3% of all U.S. homes.
Metro Population: 5.5 million
Concentration of Millionaire Households: 8.6%
Number of Millionaire Households: 182,993
Median Income for All Households: $88,486
Median Home Value: $399,400
The nation's seat of power is topped with a plump cash cushion. The D.C. area is home to the greatest number of millionaire households on this list and ranks fourth overall behind New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. In D.C. proper, you can find many moneyed residents, including high-profile politicians, lobbyists and contractors, living in the townhouses of Georgetown and Capitol Hill. Outside the District, millionaires can enjoy the suburban life in Arlington, Va.; Bethesda, Md.; and other well-off neighborhoods.
3. Naples, Fla.
Metro Population: 320,087
Concentration of Millionaire Households: 8.9%
Number of Millionaire Households: 12,078
Median Income for All Households: $56,876
Median Home Value: $317,200
Beautiful beaches and top-drawer retailers lay out the welcome mat for thousands of millionaires, as well as leisure travelers, who flock south for the warmth of the Gulf Coast. Shoppers seeking upscale styles have many options, including Cartier, Gucci and Louis Vuitton, at the open-air Waterside Shops. And golfers have just as many choices when it comes to links – there are more than 90 golf courses nearby. Another kind of green that may interest people in the area: eco-tourism. You can get a glimpse of the local wildlife a short drive away at Everglades National Park and Ten Thousand Islands. While real estate in the area tends to become more affordable as you move inland, the median value of homes in prime coastal locales such as Pelican Bay and the City of Naples is about $800,000.
Metro Population: 911,196
Concentration of Millionaire Households: 8.9%
Number of Millionaire Households: 30,048
Median Income for All Households: $82,558
Median Home Value: $466,700
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 34,000 residents, or 8.1% of the local labor force, are employed in management positions, earning about $68 per hour on average. And 16.7% of households report an annual income of $200,000 or more; only 4.5% of the country's households pull in that much each year. Those high paychecks can help cover the area's high costs. Stamford proper is one of America's most expensive big cities, and typical homes in small affluent towns such as Greenwich and Darien go for $1 million.
Total Metro Population: 18,040
Concentration of Millionaire Households: 11.7%
Number of Millionaire Households: 906
Median Income for All Households: $104,914
Median Home Value: $300,700
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 county'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 relatively low living costs — just 2.9% above the U.S. average — will help wealthy residents hold on to their fortunes.
To see all 10 of the where millionaires live in America, go to Kiplinger's website.
*Population, household incomes and home values courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau. The 942 urban areas ranked by PMI are known as "core based statistical areas," federally defined geographic delineations that include both metropolitan areas (50,000-plus population) and micropolitan areas (population between 10,000 and 50,000).