Email FacebookTwitterMenu burgerClose thin

States With the Largest Increases in Million-Dollar Earners – 2021 Edition


The number of Americans pulling in seven figures a year is on the rise. IRS data shows that less than three in 1,000 taxpayers earned over $1 million in 2018, up from less than two in 1,000 back in 2013. Those who have the good fortune of clearing the $1 million mark in annual income, or those looking to be strategic about reaching this threshold, may find it useful to consult a professional financial advisor. SmartAsset wanted to find out where millionaires are growing the fastest, so we identified the states with the largest increases in million-dollar earners.

To do this, we compared the number of tax returns filed by people earning at least $1 million in 2013 with the total in 2018. For details on our data sources and how we put all the information together to create our final rankings, check out the Data and Methodology section below.

This is the second time SmartAsset has crunched data on million-dollar earners. Here’s the link to the first study.

Key Findings

  • Only one state saw a decrease in million-dollar earners. Between 2013 and 2018, the number of tax returns filed by million-dollar earners increased in every state and the District of Columbia except for one – North Dakota. The total number of North Dakotan seven-figure tax returns fell 8.49% over those five years. In fact, there is only one other state where this figure didn’t rise by more than 20% in that time – Oklahoma, which saw an increase of just 12.38%.
  • The biggest fortunes are out West. Eight of the top 10 states in our study are located in the West, per Census Bureau designations. Million-dollar earners in Washington, Utah, Oregon, Idaho, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii and Nevada nearly doubled from roughly 26,000 in 2013 to almost 51,100 in 2018. The only geographical outliers in the top 10 are North Carolina and South Carolina. Both states almost doubled their millionaires in five years from roughly 8,600 in 2013 to more than 15,900 in 2018.

1. Washington

Washington State claims first place, with a 120.76% increase of million-dollar earners in five years. In 2013, the state had 7,080 tax returns filed by people making at least $1 million. In 2018, that number more than doubled to 15,630.

2. Utah

Utah only had 2,010 million-dollar tax returns in 2013 (of a total of about 1.2 million total tax returns filed). But by 2018, that number grew to 3,960 (of a total of about 1.4 million total tax returns filed), an increase of 97.01%.

3. Oregon

The number of Oregonian millionaires grew 95.08% in just five years. In 2013, there were only 2,440 tax returns filed by million-dollar earners. But in 2018, they nearly doubled to 4,760.

4. Idaho

The number of tax returns filed by millionaires in Idaho grew 88.64% in just five years, nearly doubling from 880 in 2013 to 1,660 in 2018.

5. Arizona

The number of million-dollar earners in Arizona grew 87.38% in five years. In 2013, there were 4,280, and by 2018, the total of millionaire tax filers in the state grew to 8,020.

Our Arizona income tax calculator can provide a snapshot of your tax consequences if you’re a Grand Canyon State resident or thinking of relocating.

6. Colorado

Colorado’s million-dollar earners grew by 87.26% in five years. In 2013, the state had 5,650 Coloradan millionaire tax filers. And by 2018, that number jumped to 10,580.

7. North Carolina

North Carolina is the first of two non-Western states in the top 10 of this study, growing 85.24% in million-dollar earners from 2013 to 2018. There were only 6,030 North Carolinian million-dollar tax filers in 2013. That group grew to 11,170 in 2018.

8. South Carolina

South Carolina is the second of two non-Western states in our top 10. In 2018, there were 4,750 South Carolinian million-dollar tax returns filed. This is an 84.82% increase from 2,570 filed in 2013.

9. Hawaii

Hawaii had 690 million-dollar tax returns filed in 2013. That number nearly doubled to 1,260 in 2018. Those are the lowest totals in our top 10. Nevertheless, millionaire tax filers in the state grew 82.61% over those five years.

10. Nevada

Nevada rounds out the top 10 with 2,910 million-dollar earners in 2013 and 5,220 in 2018. This group grew 79.38% in just five years. Nevada is also one of the U.S. states with the largest tax bills, so high-earning Nevada taxpayers may wish to take a look at our lists of the top financial advisors in Las Vegas or Reno for further guidance.

Data and Methodology

To find the states with the biggest increase in million-dollar earners, we used IRS data to compare the number of tax returns filed in 2013 and 2018 (for all filing statuses) indicating earned income of at least $1 million. We then found the percentage increase over the course of those five years, and ranked the states from the largest increase to the smallest.

Tips for High-Earning Americans

  • The million-dollar question: Is it time to seek expert financial help? No matter how big your salary is, a financial advisor can help you create a plan to grow it. SmartAsset’s free tool connects you with financial advisors in your area in five minutes. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors, get started now.
  • Taxes don’t always have to be taxing. Your salary, of course, isn’t the actual amount of money you bring home. You have to consider taxes. SmartAsset’s free tax calculator will help you figure out how much of your check goes to Uncle Sam.
  • Budgeting benefits everyone. Another way to make sure your money covers all your bases is to plan ahead. A good start is to take a good look at how you’re allocating your money. Our free budget calculator can help you spend just what you need in certain parts of your life and still feel like a million bucks.

Questions about our study? Contact

Photo credit: ©