NJ Has Nation’s Second Highest Millionaire Rate [AUDIO]
If it feels like you have to be a millionaire to live in New Jersey, you're not too far off. The state has the second highest rate of millionaire households in the country, according to a study from Phoenix Marketing International, a wealth research firm.
The Garden State is only second to Maryland, where 7.7 percent of its households are millionaires; in New Jersey, that figure is 7.49 percent.
Those figures aren't shocking, according to James Hughes, dean of the Rutgers University Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, since Maryland has the highest median income in the country, followed by New Jersey. He attributes the high income to the preponderance of jobs in the tri-state area, noting there are roughly 4 million jobs in New Jersey and another 4 million in New York City.
"If you live in north/central New Jersey you have access to the best of those jobs, so you have many married couples or two-person households who have two breadwinners," Hughes said.
Hughes added that one thing the study doesn't take into account is the cost of living in each state, which alters the meaning of "millionaire" in those states.
"Three hundred and fifty thousand dollars will buy you a mansion in Louisiana, the same amount will buy you a shoe box in Bergen County," he said.
Hughes said while the additional tax revenue from the higher incomes is nice, having more millionaires won't necessarily have a huge benefit for the middle class.
"The only thing would be is if that millionaire is adding a new deck in the rear of their house, they're spending that money and creating job opportunities," he said.
While Hughes doesn't expect New Jersey to fall out of the top ten rate of millionaires and high incomes, he said you can expect states with burgeoning energy economies (like North Dakota) and states with low taxes (Wyoming) to climb higher.
Nationwide, Phoenix Marketing International estimates there are 6.1 million $1 million-plus households. California, Texas and New York have a quarter of the nation's millionaires, but because of their populations, they have lower rates.