The US States in Order of the Annual Income from the top % of Earners

Jason C.
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Data Visualization


Annual Income of Top 1% of Earners, by State [OC] from dataisbeautiful

How much yearly income makes you a rich person? What is a rich person? In each state, there is a different threshold which will put you in the top 1% of earners. There’s quite a difference between Connecticut, the state with the highest 1% threshold, and New Mexico, the state with the lowest 1% threshold. In Connecticut, you need to make at least $659,979 in order to be in the top 1%. In New Mexico, you need to earn $231,273 a year.

This data comes from the Economic Policy Institute. A Reddit user, u/mynameiselderprice, recently visualized this data in the diagram shown above. U/mynameiselderprice shared the diagram picture on Reddit. Money is a touchy subject for many people. Let’s read what some people have to say about the diagram.

Interpreting the Numbers

Like all data, some information is open to interpretation. Reddit user u/orictomptive explains “the big difference for CT is mostly due to a single county, Fairfield. Fairfield is about an hour from New York City where the new-rich build mansions on the water.” U/orictomptive further write about how helicopter taxis are available in Fairfield County. Another Reddit user, u/TheManMulcayhee, confirmed a first-hand account of the wealth there. They wrote “I do field work in Fairfield County. Yesterday, a Rolls Royce and a McLaren drove by [me].”

annual income of rich people graph

State Number Six

North Dakota came in at number six on the list. Some Reddit users were confused as to why the state beat other states such as California and Texas. U/DonViaje summed it up nicely: “There’s been a huge oil boom in the past few years in North Dakota”. The oil industry is a powerful one and it would be no surprise to find out oil magnates live in the same state where drilling operations take place.

The rich aren’t the only ones taking advantage of oil in North Dakota. Reddit user u/Ralsten explains “I’ve been working in the ND oil field for the past 4 years now. Somebody with no college and the willingness to work hard and long hours can easily pull in $60-$80k a year so I can’t even imagine what the execs and CEOs are making.” It’s also important that a salary between $60-$80k goes further in North Dakota than in New York City or Los Angeles.

Industries at the Top

Connecticut, New Jersey, and California are all states at or near the top. What are some high-paying industries in each state? U/BenTheHokie says “Connecticut is where all the hedge funds are located.” U/ducati1011 confirms that some New Jersey residents work finance in New York City. They drive or take public transportation during the day. Then, they return to New Jersey to enjoy their higher quality of life in the form of lower housing costs. U/rabuy2000 mentions that California has a high number of “tech jobs”. All in all, the diagram is a great way to visualize what it means to be in the top 1% in each state.

Featured Photo by Vladimir Solomyani on Unsplash

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