The Secret List of the 10 Wealthiest States in America

We’ve come across many studies looking at the distribution of income or changes in income over time. Researchers rarely investigate distribution of wealth or changes in wealth over time at the state level. There aren’t any official tables that we could find ranking states by wealth, wealth per household, or changes in wealth. So we at Insider Monkey, your source for free insider trading data, wondered if there’s a reason behind the secrecy. We went ahead and complied distribution of wealth by income quintiles from the Federal Reserve’s 2007 Survey of Consumer Finances. This is at the national level. We calculated income distribution by state using Census Bureau data. Officially, this is only done to calculate poverty rates. We combined these two databases and calculated distribution of wealth for each state across time.

 Total wealth at the state level is a function of the total population of each state. California’s wealth (the most populous state in America) is several dozen times Wyoming’s wealth (the least populous state).  The ranking of states by aggregate wealth can be found here.

What’s really interesting is the average wealth per capita at the state level. The states with the highest wealth per capita will have the biggest cushion against financial shocks. In times of high unemployment or financial distress, wealthier people can liquidate some of their assets to ride out the tough times. Here’s (the secret) list of the 10 wealthiest states in America:

10. Hawaii:                                         Average wealth of $236 thousand per resident
9. New York:                                       Average wealth of $238 thousand per resident
8. California:                                      Average wealth of $242 thousand per resident
7. New Hampshire:                         Average wealth of $251 thousand per resident
6. Virginia:                                          Average wealth of $265 thousand per resident
5. Massachusetts:                            Average wealth of $277 thousand per resident
4. Maryland:                                       Average wealth of $298 thousand per resident
3. New Jersey:                                   Average wealth of $299 thousand per resident
2. Connecticut:                                  Average wealth of $300 thousand per resident
1. District of Columbia:                  Average wealth of $336 thousand per resident

On the other end of the spectrum we have poor states – those with a lower percentage of wealthy residents. Here are the least wealthy states:

1. Mississippi:                                                    Average wealth of $137 thousand per resident
2. West Virginia:                                               Average wealth of $138 thousand per resident
3. Arkansas:                                                        Average wealth of $143 thousand per resident
4. South Dakota:                                               Average wealth of $150 thousand per resident
5. Kentucky:                                                       Average wealth of $152 thousand per resident
6. Montana:                                                        Average wealth of $155 thousand per resident
7. Oklahoma:                                                     Average wealth of $156.6 thousand per resident
8. Louisiana:                                                      Average wealth of $157 thousand per resident
9. New Mexico:                                                  Average wealth of $158 thousand per resident
10. Alabama:                                                      Average wealth of $160 thousand per resident

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