click for bigger graphic

Source: Census


This map is rather intriguing, showing the concentration of high wealth households in the US. It comes from the recent Census report of the same name.

Maybe its a bit misleading on a map, but that sure looks like a lot of  high net worth households . . .


Category: Wages & Income, Wealth Management

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

17 Responses to “High Net Worth Households in USA”

  1. Bob is still unemployed   says:

    The graph is about high income households, not high net worth households, the post’s title is misleading.

    “high income” is defined as households that are among the top 5 percent in income, i.e., households that received at least $191,469 per year during the period January 2006 through November 2011.

  2. idaman says:

    I’m eyeballing an 85% correlation between high income (thanks Bob!) counties and counties that voted democratic. I’m willing to venture if u superimposed a map of avg IQ by county, it would also correlate nicely with high IQ counties.

  3. Frilton Miedman says:

    ” Maybe its a bit misleading on a map, but that sure looks like a lot of high net worth households . . . ”


    “A lot of” Nasa scientists state global warming isn’t real. (recalling a TBP blog last year)

    The catch – the number of Nasa scientists who acknowledge global warming is a lot more. (Astronomically more)

    The above chart only displays concentration above/below mean, the darkness of the purple doesn’t tell us there are more high income homes, it only tells us there are greater concentration per capita for the given area.

  4. ES says:

    It looks like it coincides with population density. Every major metro area is purple

  5. b_thunder says:

    If you trust innumerable army of the “shale revolution” promoters and their shills in the media, very soon the wealthiest areas will be rural areas where “shale gas” and “shale oil” have been discovered.
    Some of the poorest counties in PA and OH should soon flip to darkest shade of purple used on this map.

  6. jaymaster says:

    I’d say that looks like around 5,738,068 high income households.

  7. Incredulous says:

    Another pointless bit of graphical info-garbage, based on unvalidated data, poorly compiled, badly presented, and surely to be misused. Who published this worse-than-useless, but surely costly, exercise in junk media? Oh, wait. Census. Of course.

    Could we go back to having them count the number of people, please, according to their constitutional mandate?

  8. james duke says:

    Rather than simply high income/county, the map would be more revealing, I think, if it were by population. A large number of very low population-density counties are shown as high income/high wealth. Normalized to population would eliminate many of the high plains/rocky mountain counties from the dark colors.

  9. lalaland says:

    I’m guessing things really start to get interesting once you pass that whopping 3.248% saturation rate -

  10. CitizenWhy says:

    Of course there are a lot of high net income (not net worth) people in the USA. That’s what keeps the place stable and running and is in no way a contradiction to a shrinking middle class and a growing poverty. The country is split. The presence of so many net income households provides a good consumer market and enables corporations to destroy environment and lower wages and break unions without any effective opposition. The right wing understands this.

  11. victor says:


    You are correct on your assertion that you see an ” 85% correlation between high income counties and counties that voted democratic”. But everybody knows that IQ has a highly irregular relationship to income just look at professors with high IQ and professors’ income vs. entrepreneurs or athletes with average IQ but millionaires’ income, see:

  12. [...] High Net Worth Households in USA (The Big Picture) [...]

  13. orvil tootenbacher says:

    county area means the huge counties are way over represented.

    e.g. you could fit several dozen counties from any east coast state in thinly populated by huge riverside count, ca.

    the way counties are cut-up has little to do with how modern municipalities should be governed. but yet it is the basis of the census data – goofy.

  14. rjgirving says:

    Mr Ritholtz, apologies in advance, but I can’t help it. Apropos the map from last week concerning who voted for Hurricane Sandy Relief and the related drama. I can’t help but notice on the High Net Worth (or Income) Map above the heavy concentration of wealth in the coastal counties of NJ, NY and CT. One might even surmise that highest concentration of the highest concentration of High Net Worth counties were the very same who moaned so loud for a hurricane relief bill loaded with pork and slush. Govt estimates an uninsured loss of about $16 billion and the high net worth crowd demaded a $50 billion bailout. The irony is staggering. And for my democrat = high iq = high income friend above, suggest you read the famous article “Why Smart People Do Dumb Things”. Slush and Pork to some of the weathliest counties in the nation may be a poster for that topic. Sincere apologies and best regards – RJG

  15. HoldYourHorses says:

    Another population density map.

  16. mappo says:

    The map is showing the areas that have higher proportions of wealthy people, not higher *numbers* of wealthy people. In other words, a rural county with 100 households, 4 of which are high income, is colored the same as a county with 1 million households, 40 thousand of which are high income. It’s showing proportion, not scale.