October 8, 2014

Maryland ranked as 3rd wealthiest, but still tops in income, millionaires

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Maryland is tied for third place with Connecticut as one of the top wealthiest states, but continues to rank as the state with the highest household incomes, according to a new rankings produced by WalletHub. Just last month, 24/7Wall St., a financial news web site, called Maryland “the wealthiest state in the nation,” based on those high incomes.

According to a different study, for a third year in the row, Maryland has the highest percentage of millionaires — people with over $1 million in investable assets, not people who make that much money each year.

WalletHub, an online resource known for its rating tools, used data from the Internal Revenue Service, the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic analysis to base it rankings on income, Gross Domestic Product per capita, and amount of federal taxes paid per capita.

WalletHub

Maryland came in first among the states based on the percentage of households with high incomes. It ranked 6th based on GDP per capita but only 14th in amount of federal taxes paid per capita. The rankings did not take into account state and local taxes, but all the “rich” states also have high state and local taxes. Tops were D.C. and New Jersey, tied for 1st place; Maryland and Connecticut tied for 3rd; and Massachusetts was 5th with Delaware and Virginia at 8th and 9th.

Maryland is often cited as the state with the highest median income ($72,483), which led 24/7 Wall Street to call Maryland “the wealthiest state in the U.S. again last year.”   Both WalletHub and 24/7Wall St. refer to Maryland’s low percentage of people in poverty –just over 10% — and high percentage of households making over $200,000 — almost 9%.

Counting liquid assets

For the past eight years, Phoenix Marketing International, a global marketing firm that studies the world’s wealthiest people, has ranked states based on a percentage of households with $1 million or more in liquid assets. The firm does not count real estate and pension benefits that can’t be touched, but it does count 401(k) and other retirement assets that can be invested at the direction of the owner.

Maryland took over top place among millionaires in 2011 from Hawaii, and the percentage of households with over $1 million in assets has each year to 7.7% of Maryland’s 2.2 million households last year.

New Jersey and Connecticut rank 2nd and 3rd, Virginia ranks 7th, and Delaware and D.C. rank 9th and 10th respectively in number of millionaires.

WalletHub also said the blue (Democratic) states are wealthier than the red (Republican) states. Maryland’s counties of the Eastern Shore and Western Maryland have lower per capita incomes than the central part of the state, and also vote Republican.

–Len Lazarick

Len@MarylandReporter.com
Richest and Poorest States Blue vs Red Image
courtesy of WalletHub.com

  • dwb1

    First, most of the wealth is concentrated in pockets of Montgomery and Howard County. Baltimore City has median income of about 40k, and they are “Democratic.” CT has had about an even split incidentally between Rep and Dem governors. So has NY. Wealthy places elect Rep too.

    Second, there is income, and then there is standard of living. While incomes may be high, so are costs. HoCo and MoCo median home prices are over 400k, while Baltimore City is about 100k. For 500k in MoCo you get a plain vanilla house. For 500k outside (say) Charlotte or Houston, you get acres. Moreover, outside of these two counties, schools are not great to really bad.

    The real question – would you take a pay cut to move where its cheaper. Many would if the job was there. In fact 47% of Marylanders say they want to leave.

    And trust me, the 67% hike in state property taxes predicted by Franchot due to all the debt the O’Malley Brown admin added will be borne by people in HoCo and MoCo.

    • Ed

      “Moreover, outside of these two counties, schools are not great to really bad.”

      Really? If you look at the rankings of passing rates on state tests, Carroll and Frederick, among others, consistent rank up there with both Howard and Montgomery. I think you may have been drinking a little too much of the Howard/Montgomery Kool-Aid.

      • dwb1

        Passing rate on state tests does not measure real preparedness.

        What I follow is the number of kids who enter college who subsequently need remedial classes to re-teach what they supposedly learned in HS. The state higher education commission tracks this.

        For the class of 2010-11 (last date we have data), Howard, Montgomery, and Frederick Cos, 37-45% of kids need remedial classes. honestly, even that I consider pretty bad, considering these are kids with the best grades and SAT scores to begin with yet 40% need to retake classes. Carroll, Prince Georges, and Baltimore City, over 60% of students need remedial classes. Baltimore city its 76%. The statewide average is 54.4%.

        Incidentally, the lowest are St Marys (36%), Calvert (34%), with Howard a close third (37%), followed by Frederick and Montgomery at 44%.

        I am not dissing Fredneck, its now the refuge of people who cannot afford real estate in MoCo and HoCo.

        The real problem with Maryland is not that you cannot find good schools. It’s that you have move to enroll in them. People will move back to Baltimore when there is school choice.

  • luthersomd

    Many of you tend to forget that Southern Maryland exists. There is more wealth here than you might expect. Also, Calvert County schools consistently are rated number one in the state. Get out of the Baltimore-Washington corridor and look around some time.

  • lenlazarick

    Just to throw some facts into this discussion. Using Comptroller’s detailed reports on incomes, there are more people making over $200,000 (adjusted gross income) in Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties than in Howard. But they are of course larger counties, so there a higher percentage of higher incomes in Howard. But Montgomery has more of these $200,000 plus tax return than all three of these counties combined. But sorry, southern Maryland (Calvert, Charles, St. Mary’s) doesn’t even come close to these figures. This is hard data — not anecdotes, impressions or judgments about quality of life.

  • THE AUTISTIC WEREWOLF

    In Maryland a low six figure income is almost nothing. Go to many if not
    most of the states in the union making a low 6 figures income let’s you
    live very well indeed. In many to most parts of Texas an income just
    north of $100,000 lets you buy a respectible house, buy a nice quality
    car and have a bit left to enjoy while putting a bit away for
    retirement. In Maryland a single person making $100,000 a year lets you
    live but not well. You must scrape corners and pinch pennies like a
    miser to live in a nice home. If you want a car better to think a KIA or
    a SCION if new or a nice used luxury car if you don’t mind scrimping on
    meals or other areas in the budget. Oh yes if you are single making
    $100,000 in Maryland you will need to budget for everything because the
    greedy money hungry state takes much of your income especially if you
    are single making $100,000 or over.

    In the State of Maryland a
    single man making over $100,000 a year is considered filthy rich which
    is a dirty lie fat cat limo liberal democrats want you to believe. If
    you are a single man making over $100,000 a year life is hard in
    Maryland. I’m one of those people who would leave Maryland in a
    heartbeat if I could take my job with its pay to another low cost state.
    Maryland has a second rate public transit system in Baltimore. Maryland
    elects tax and spend liberals who never met a spending bill they don’t
    like.

    If you notice there is a voting a pattern in Maryland. We
    elect a democrat hoping they will be a moderate but we always end up
    getting a hyper limo liberal like O Mouthy or Spendenning as gov. These
    liberals run up huge state debts then leave a mess. Then the state
    elects a republican governor to clean up the financial mess the
    deomocrats made. The the entire dirty cycle begins again. Maryland is a
    fically conservative state with a socially liberal bais.

    The
    problem is most democrats are both fiscally liberal and socially liberal
    at the same time. Maryland likes liberal freedoms but hates tax and
    spend government give away programs.