America’s wealthy young executives shun California for other regions

In its new report, SmartAsset, which ranks US states according to net migration, finds that the most popular regions for attracting young high earners are Florida, Texas and New Jersey.


To determine which states young, high-income professionals earning over $200,000 a year are choosing to settle in, SmartAsset, a US financial technology company, has analyzed the most recent migration data from the IRS (International Revenue Services), the US federal agency that collects income tax.


According to its latest study, dated July 2023, Florida and Texas attract the largest number of high-income young people, while New York and California lose the most. After taking into account departures and arrivals, Florida saw a net increase of 2,175 high-income young people aged 26 to 35, while Texas welcomed 1,909 more. Nevertheless, New York (-5,062 high-income earners) and California (-4,495 high-income earners) remain the states with the most high-income young people of any age group, despite these significant losses.


While high-income earners have generally left New Jersey, affluent young people are flocking there. Overall, New Jersey lost 2,617 high-income filers in 2021. However, in the same year, the state recorded the arrival of 1,048 new wealthy young professionals. This represents a dramatic reversal of general trends. Connecticut also experienced a similar, albeit less radical, evolution.


Wealthy young people in Washington

High-income earners are the youngest in Washington. Compared to the affluent population of all ages and the total population, this state shows a notable imbalance in favor of the wealthy young. More than 13% of individuals earning at least $200,000 in Washington State are between the ages of 26 and 35. The second state in terms of high-income young people is California, with a percentage of 10%. Other states such as New York, California, Massachusetts and New Jersey also boast high rates of high-income young people.


Despite the departures, Washington DC remains exceptionally young and affluent. The region lost around 700 high-income tax filers between the ages of 26 and 35, but retains a proportion of this population that exceeds that of all other states. More than 16% of those earning over $200,000 belong to this age bracket.


Discover the SmartAsset ranking :



Florida recorded a net gain of 2,175 high-income filers aged 26 to 35. While 3,391 moved to the state, 1,216 moved elsewhere or left this income bracket. More recently, there were 23,537 tax returns over $200,000 for this cohort. Florida is one of nine states with no income tax.


Texas attracted a larger number of affluent young professionals than Florida, with the addition of 4,048 new filers in this age bracket. However, departures were also substantial, totaling 2,139 filers, resulting in a net migration of 1,909 to the state. Of the nearly 700,000 tax returns over $200,000 in Texas, 7% are from people aged 26 to 35. Texas has no state income tax.


New Jersey
New Jersey has seen a major reversal in migration trends across all age groups. Whereas high-income individuals had tended to leave the state, this trend reversed in favor of 26-35 year-olds. Thus, 3,311 new taxpayers passed the $200,000 income threshold in this age bracket, while 2,263 left.


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Picture of Hugues Reydellet
Hugues Reydellet
Hugues Reydellet is a young and passionate journalist whose favorite subjects are economy, culture, gastronomy, but also cars, and sports. With a sharp pen and an insatiable curiosity, Hugues is constantly on the lookout for new hot information to report.

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