The Surprising No. 1 Hot-Spot for Millionaires

March 4, 2015

Los Alamos, N.M., boasted the highest share of millionaire households in 2014, according to a ranking of 900 U.S. metros from research firm Phoenix Marketing International. More than one in nine households in Los Alamos have more than $1 million in investable assets, according to the report.

The area beat out other well-known wealthy hotspots like Napa, Calif., or Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.

What’s behind the wealth in Los Alamos? The economy is mostly dominated by high-paid scientists and researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. But besides a few luxury amenities along its Central Avenue, most residents reside in military-style homes built in the 1950s there, The Wall Street Journal reports.

According to the report, 5.2 percent of households nationwide have more than a million in assets. To calculate their findings, Phoenix Marketing International included investable assets such as stocks, bonds, savings accounts, and cash. The report did not include real estate or assets in retirement accounts.

Maryland ranked as the state with the highest concentration of millionaires for the fourth consecutive year. Nearly 8 percent of the households in Maryland have more than $1 million in investable assets in 2014. Connecticut and New Jersey followed, coming in as No. 2 and No. 3 in the state rankings, respectively.

Those states have the "kinds of industries that are at the core of building wealth," says David Thompson, managing director of the Phoenix Marketing International. "Those are highly diversified economies based around industries such as information technology, aerospace, and medicine."

North Carolina added the most millionaire households in 2014 -- 12,054. Still, the state ranked No. 43 in millionaire concentration last year.

Meanwhile, Texas was one of the few states that fell in the rankings, falling to No. 27 in 2014 from No. 22 in 2013. The drop came despite the Lone Star State adding 11,442 millionaire households last year – the second most behind North Carolina. Researchers explained Texas’ drop in the rankings was due to the state’s rapid population growth which is diluting its pool of millionaires.

Top 10 Metros for Millionaires

The following are the top 10 metro areas with greatest share of households with more than $1 million in assets, according to Phoenix Marketing International’s study.
1.    Los Alamos, N.M.: 11.62% (the percent of millionaires)
2.    Summit Park, Utah: 9.60%
3.    Washington, D.C.: 8.81%
4.    California-Lexington Park, Md.: 8.45%
5.    Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn.: 8.35%
6.    Torrington, Conn.: 8.14%
7.    Easton, Md.: 7.89%
8.    San Jose-Sunnyvale, Calif.: 7.88%
9.    Juneau, Alaska: 7.86%
10.    Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, Calif.: 7.75%

Source: "Where Are America’s Millionaires?" The Wall Street Journal (Jan. 21, 2015)