Loading
Tap on the profile icon to edit
your financial details.

where rich millennials are moving
A number of factors can influence your decision to move to a new place, including where your peers are headed. While some older generations like rich retirees and rich Gen Xers are moving to Florida, wealthy millennials are still seeking out sunny locales, but in other states. Moving and taking out a mortgage in a new state are big decisions often best discussed with a trusted financial advisor, but in recent years, California, home of Silicon Valley, has been a relatively popular destination for people who are younger than 35. By contrast, data shows that this demographic is exiting New York in droves – the state had a net outflow of 4,867 wealthy people under the age of 35 from 2015 to 2016.  However, its neighbor across the Hudson River, New Jersey, made it into the top 10 cities in our study of where rich millennials are moving.

To determine where wealthy millennials are moving, we considered the inflow and outflow of this demographic to each state. We defined millennials as people under the age of 35 and looked specifically at millennials with adjusted gross incomes (AGI) of at least $100,000. For further information on how we compiled this list, read our Data and Methodology section below.

Key Findings

  • Rich millennials are moving to the coasts. Seven of the states in our top 10 are either on the East Coast or the West Coast. With Texas on the Gulf Coast, that makes Colorado and Tennessee the only landlocked states in the top 10.
  • The Northeast isn’t popular with wealthy millennials. Save for New Jersey, which made the top 10, the Northeast isn’t a popular destination for the wealthy under 35. Five of the bottom 10 states (Connecticut, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New York), plus the District of Columbia, are located in the Northeastern region of the U.S.

1. California

California is the most popular destination for wealthy millennials. According to our data, 17,245 wealthy people under the age of 35 moved into the Golden State from 2015 to 2016. About 13,648 rich millennials left the state during that same period of time, resulting in a net inflow of 3,597 rich millennials to California. This is nearly twice the net inflow of the second-ranking state on our list, Washington State.

2. Washington State

Another West Coast state snags the second spot on our list of where rich millennials are moving. Though it had a much lower net inflow than California, Washington State still had a net 1,920 wealthy people under the age of 35 move in from 2015 to 2016. That breaks down to a total inflow of 5,729 rich millennials and a total outflow of 3,809. If you’re thinking of calling the Evergreen State home, make sure you find a financial planner before you make any final decisions.

3. Texas

Texas is the third-most popular state to which rich millennials are moving. Its net inflow is just slightly (approximately 2%) lower than that of Washington State. From 2015 to 2016, Texas had a net inflow of 1,878 people under the age of 35 with adjusted gross incomes of $100,000 and above.

4. Colorado

Colorado is the third state in the American West to make it into our top 10. The Centennial State is popular among rich people under the age of 35, with 4,369 such individuals moving in from 2015 to 2016. During that same time period, 2,863 moved out of the state. This resulted in a net inflow of 1,506 millennials with incomes of at least $100,000.

5. Florida

Though it’s not as popular with rich millennials as it is with rich Gen Xers, Florida still saw an influx of wealthy people under the age of 35 from 2015 to 2016. Our data shows that 6,014 rich millennials moved into Florida in that year while 5,114 moved away. This resulted in a net inflow of 900 rich millennials to the state. Such a move might be beneficial in terms of the tax implications of your investments: Check out our capital gains tax calculator to investigate.

6. Oregon

Oregon is one of two Pacific Northwestern states in the top 10.  From 2015 to 2016, the Beaver State saw a net inflow of 886 millennials with adjusted gross incomes of at least $100,000. More specifically, 2,190 rich people under the age of 35 moved into the state and 1,304 moved out.

7. North Carolina

Our data shows that 4,572 rich millennials moved into North Carolina from 2015 to 2016. Within that same period of time, 3,786 wealthy people under the age of 35 moved out of the state. This resulted in a net inflow of 786 millennials with adjusted gross incomes of $100,000 and above to the Tar Heel State.

8. South Carolina

South Carolina takes the eighth spot on our list with a net inflow of 573 wealthy millennials from 2015 to 2016. Our data shows that during that period of time approximately 1,965 wealthy individuals under the age of 35 migrated into South Carolina. On the flipside, 1,392 rich millennials exited the state.

9. Tennessee

Tennessee is the fifth southern state on our list of the top 10 states to where rich millennials are moving. The Volunteer State welcomed 2,423 wealthy people under the age of 35 from 2015 to 2016. Meanwhile, it said goodbye to 2,033 people within that same demographic group. This resulted in a net inflow of 390 wealthy millennials to Tennessee.

10. New Jersey

New Jersey, the only Northeastern state in our top 10, rounds out the list. Though its net inflow is less than 10% of California’s, the Garden State still saw a net inflow of 346 wealthy millennials from 2015 to 2016. While 6,197 rich people under 35 moved out of the state, 6,543 made New Jersey their new home.

Data and Methodology

To determine where rich millennials are moving, we looked at data from all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia. We defined rich millennials as individuals under the age of 35 who have adjusted gross incomes of $100,000 and above. More specifically, we looked at the following two metrics:

  • Inflow of rich millennials: This is the number of millennials with adjusted gross incomes of at least $100,000 who moved into the state. For this study, we defined millennials as people age 35 and under. Data comes from the IRS and is for 2015-2016.
  • Outflow of rich millennials: This is the number of millennials with adjusted gross incomes of at least $100,000 who moved out of the state. For this study, we defined millennials as people age 35 and under. Data comes from the IRS and is for 2015-2016.

To rank the states, we determined each state’s net inflow of rich millennials. This is the inflow minus the outflow. We then ranked the states according to net inflow in descending order.

Tips for Buying Your First Home

  • Budget before all. If you’re a millennial thinking about becoming a homeowner, it’s important to make sure you stay within your budget. After all, you don’t want your mortgage payments to derail saving for retirement or totally deplete your emergency funds. SmartAsset’s home affordability calculator makes it easy to determine how much you can realistically spend on a house based on factors like your annual income, debt and location.
  • Get some wise advice. When you go through a big life event like buying a home, it’s a good idea to talk to a financial advisor. An advisor can help you figure out how a home purchase will fit in with your other financial objectives. This in turn will help you make sure you stay on track to achieve your long-term goals. SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool makes it easier to find a financial advisor in your area who meets your needs. Simply fill out a brief questionnaire and then we’ll match you with up to three financial advisors.

Questions about our study? Contact us at press@smartasset.com

Photo credit: ©iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages

Becca Stanek, CEPF® Becca Stanek is a graduate of DePauw University. Becca is an experienced writer/editor who serves as a retirement expert for SmartAsset. She's passionate about helping people understand the sometimes daunting ins and outs of personal finance. Becca is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance® (CEPF®) and a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing. Her work has also appeared at Time, The Week, Mic and The Washington Monthly. Becca grew up in the Midwest and now lives in New York City.
Was this content helpful?
Thanks for your input!

About Our Home Buying Expert

Have a question? Ask our Home Buying expert.