Bernanke may be printing the wealth effect to the benefit of the richest 1%, but that only serves to make the already wealthiest even wealthier. When it comes to the creation of new millionaire households, the epicenter of new wealth creation is about as far from Wall Street, West Putnam Avenue or Rodeo Drive as can be. In fact, the state that saw the fastest climb up in millionaire rankings in 2013 doesn’t have a single Tiffany or Saks Fifth Avenue, and the closest BMW dealership is a six-hour drive from the capital (stats which are guaranteed to change by the end of the year). Presenting North Dakota: the state which jumped 14 spots in the latest ranking of millionaire households.
Per the WSJ, which crunched the the numbers released by Phoenix Marketing International, there were 53,000 more millionaire households in 2013 compared to the year before. “About 6.15 million millionaire households are spread across the U.S., according to the report. That means 1 in every 20 households in the U.S. has more than $1 million in investable assets. Those figures don’t include the value of real estate.”
As expected, the top of the overall millionaire households per capita rankings didn’t change much. Maryland was No. 1 for the third consecutive year, with 7.7% of households holding more than $1 million in assets. New Jersey, Connecticut and Hawaii followed. Those four states, in various orders, have led the rankings every year since 2006. The complete breakdown is shown on the map below.
It was the middle and bottom of the ranking that saw most changes, at times quite violent. Judging by the collapse in household wealth, it seems the second Nevada housing bubble has indeed popped.
Maine climbed 11 spots over a single year to No. 25 in 2013. Louisiana jumped 10 to No. 32. Meanwhile, Nevada fell 20 spots to No. 39. Arizona, Florida, Idaho and Michigan all fell by more than 10 positions. From 2011 to 2012, no state changed its rank by more than two positions.
The big swings may suggest economic recovery may have become more uneven last year, said David Thompson, a managing director at Phoenix. “Maine and Louisiana are two states that have seen big turnarounds in their economies,” he said. “In Nevada, the data suggests the state is still feeling the effects of the downturn.”
Nobody was a bigger winner in 2013 than the center of the shale boom: North Dakota.
In 2012, North Dakota ranked 43rd, one spot behind Alabama. Last year, it moved up to 29th, one ahead of Florida. North Dakota’s energy boom, especially in the Bakken shale region, is driving the state’s wealth gains.
Mr. Hullet said the energy, health care and technology sectors are all growing in the state — pushing up paychecks of both the working class and affluent. The state’s unemployment rate was 2.6% in November, according to the Labor Department. That was the lowest in the nation by a percentage point.
The result has been a rapid expansion of retailers, restaurants and housing, Mr. Hullet said. But Bismarck hasn’t turned into West Egg. “I’ve seen the occasional Bentley,” he said. “But mostly, North Dakota is the type of place where someone can be very wealthy and you’d never know it.”
The main difference, however, between North Dakota and other states: ‘its people in the oil patch aren’t about to flaunt it. “The only way you know a Bakken millionaire is he’ll be driving a
new truck and might have taken his wife on vacation,” said Kelvin
Hullet, president of the chamber of commerce in Bismarck, the state
The results sorted: by highest number of millionaires per capita:
And the states where the creation of new millionaire households was fastest in 2013: