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Robert Trigaux

Is Florida losing its share of millionaires?



BilzerianmansionTampa Wake up and good morning. Florida's enjoyed a long history of millionaires within its borders, so some recent trends may be troubling. While the number of millionaires in the United States has declined by 14 percent over the past two years, courtesy of the stock market declines, the number of millionaires in Florida is down relative to other states.

In 2009, Florida was home to 344,842 millionaires comprising 4.62 percent of the state population and ranking Florida 19th among U.S. states. Let's compare:

* In 2008, Florida had 386,077 millionaires or 5.22 percentof the population. Florida rank: 13th.

* In 2007, Florida had 387,886 millionaires or 5.31 percentof the population. Florida rank: 18th.

* In 2006, Florida had 369,912 millionaires or 5.19 percentof the population. Florida rank: 10th.

“While the top states in millionaire percentages were little changed from the previous year, overall, the market downturn has taken its toll on the ranks of millionaires in most states,” says David Thompson, managing Director of the Phoenix Affluent Market, whose Phoenix Marketing International tracks millionaire data.

I asked Thompson why Florida seems to have slipped so much. He was not sure but speculated the state's higher proportion of retirees may have been hit harder by the market decline. In other words, they may lack the opportunities of time and employment to rebuild their wealth as easily as others. Phoenix defines a millionaire household as one with $1 million or more in investable or liquid assets (excluding sponsored retirement plans and real estate). 

The study says Hawaii again leads the nation in the percent of millionaires per overall population (at 6.4 percent). Rounding out the top five states in millionaires per population are Maryland (6.3 percent), New Jersey (6.2 percent), and Connecticut (6.2 percent).  These states maintained their order of ranking from 2008. Virginia (5.5 percent)cracked the top five in 2009, up from 6th in 2008, while Massachusetts (5.4 percent) came in 6th in 2009, down from 5th in the previous year. (Mississippi has the least number of millionaires as a percentage of its population.) Says Thompson:

"Phoenix estimates that there are now about 5.1 million households in the U.S. that qualify as millionaires, down from nearly six million two years ago."

-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 11:25am]


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