June 20, 2024

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Rich Americans Are Flocking to These States

2 min read

Households that make over $200,000 annually comprise just a sliver of all tax returns that are filed in a given year, but their movement between states can have a significant financial impact. When a state loses more high-earning tax filers than it gains in a given year, tax revenues may decline and the state’s fiscal situation may worsen. That’s why despite making up less than 7% of total tax returns filed across the 50 states and the District of Columbia in 2020, the migration patterns of high-earning households continue to make headlines.

With this in mind, SmartAsset set out to identify the states with the most movement of high-earning households. To do this, we examined the inflow and outflow of tax filers making at least $200,000 in each state between 2019 and 2020. For details on our data sources and how we put all the information together to create our final rankings, read the Data and Methodology section below.

Key Findings

  • Sun Belt states see the most migration. Of the 10 states that have the largest influx of high-earning households, eight are at least partially located in the Sun Belt. That includes the top six states, starting with Florida.

  • State income tax plays a role. There are nine states in the country that do not tax income at the state level. Four of those states – Florida, Texas, Tennessee and Nevada – are among the 10 places with the largest net inflow of high-income households.

  • D.C. has the largest proportion of high-earners, while West Virginia has the smallest. Households earning at least $200,000 per year make up 12.19% of all tax filers in the District of Columbia. The nation’s capital is one of only four places – along with Connecticut, New Jersey and Massachusetts – where high-income filers comprise more than 10% of all tax returns. Meanwhile, West Virginia has the lowest percentage of filers making $200,000 and more (2.96%).

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2023-10-21 11:03:00

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