A list you want to be on

Fascinating article on Yahoo Finance on the states with the highest proportion of households with incomes of $200,000 or more. There are now 4.5 million households in the country who earn more than $200,000, 3.8% of the population. The top 15 states with the highest percent of households with income above $200,000 in order: DC, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, California, Virginia, New York, Hawaii, Illinois, New Hampshire, Colorado, Washington, Texas and Minnesota.

Not surprising it is a list that aligns with the best educated states in the country. All but Texas are also top tier states in the proportion of adults with a four year degree. Maybe most interesting is that the list sure doesn’t align with the low tax, small government, weak union states, that we are constantly being told are the model for Michigan. Nor does it fit with the South is winning mantra. Turns out upper income Americans don’t think so.

So much for the argument that upper income Americans are fleeing high tax states – many with graduated income taxes. If anything it is the opposite. They are over concentrating in higher tax state. Assuming that Virginia, New Hampshire, Colorado and Texas are the low tax states on this list, in the other 11 reside 2.45 million of the nation’s 4.5 million highest earners, 55% of the total nationally.

And I am sure if the data were available by metropolitan area the proportions would be even higher in the big metros in those states: DC, New York, LA, San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago, Seattle, Denver, Minneapolis, Boston, Dallas, Houston and Austin. These big metros with vibrant central cities are both the places where the high wage knowledge-based economy is concentrated and where talent wants to live and work.

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