Connecticut is rife with billionaires, but the state's 99% also does pretty well, according to a new study of the "most successful states," from the personal finance website GOBankingRates.
The study ranked all 50 states and Washington, D.C., using data across nine financial factors, all weighted equally, a GOBankingRates spokeswoman said in an email.
States were considered more successful if they had higher average incomes — both among the top 1% and bottom 99% of earners — lower poverty rates; larger proportions of residents in the upper and middle versus lower class; a higher number of millionaire households; a higher ratio of millionaires to total households; and a high number of billionaires.
Whether these factors really show how "successful" a state is seems debatable. The formula generally favors states that are richer, giving heavy weight to those with a high proportion of wealthier residents — without addressing social mobility or how wealth was achieved.
That said, here are the top 10 states on GOBankingRates' list, with stats from the website:
• Average income of top 1%: $2.4 million
Connecticut has a lot of very rich people. More than a quarter of its population falls into the upper class, and the richest 1% earns $2.4 million a year, more than double what those one-percenters in second-place Maryland bring in.
• Average income of top 1%: $1.02 million
Maryland has the highest median income in the country according to the U.S. Census, but it also has a lot fewer billionaires, and its wealthiest earn much less than Connecticut, leading to it being edged out out of the number-one spot.
3. New Jersey
• Average income of top 1%: $1.45 million
Like Connecticut, New Jersey also enjoys a close proximity to finance-centric New York City. It has far more millionaires than Connecticut or Maryland — 242,647 to be exact.
• Average income of top 1%: $1.69 million
Massachusetts certainly calls to mind old money, and the state also has very high income inequality, ranking eighth in the country for wealth disparities according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
5. New Hampshire
• Average income of top 1%: $1.01 million
New Hampshire has done a very good job spreading the money around. Its middle class is large and it also boasts the lowest poverty rate in the nation.
On the flip side, it only has one lonely billionaire. Poor guy. Maybe someone should go check on him.
6. Washington, D.C.
• Average income of top 1%: $1.53 million
More than a third of Washington, D.C., residents are upper class and generally make more than $100,000 a year.
However, there's also a high poverty rate, and many in the state complain about taxation without representation.
• Average income of top 1%: $1.41 million
California has minted a lot of millionaires and billionaires thanks to its tech industry. In fact, California has more billionaires than almost every country.
That said, only Mississippi and New Mexico have higher percentages of people living in the lower class.
• Average income of top 1%: $833,117
At an average income of $63,226, Alaska's 99% has the highest average income in the country, which helps make up for its paucity of millionaires.
Part of that is due to the fact that Alaska is the only state which gives all of its citizens free money. Each year, every Alaska resident who has lived in the state for more than a year gets a portion of the state's oil revenue through what's called the Permanent Fund Dividend.
9. North Dakota
• Average income of top 1%: $1.28 million
• Average income of top 1%: $987,607
Virginia's one percent may be a bit shy of joining the seven-figure club; however, the state has very low poverty and more than 26% of its population counts as upper class.