The wealthiest Americans have been in the spotlight for reasons ranging from public outrage over lavish lifestyles during the recession to executive bonuses in the midst of the financial crisis. The Occupy Wall Street movement was perhaps the most visible culmination of these concerns, broadly protesting against the divide between the majority of the U.S. population and the ultra-rich, referred to by the protesters as the “one percent.”
The question arose: Who are the one percent, and where are they from? In fact, the composition of the group variesfrom business people, doctors, lawyers and financial professionals to celebrities, farmers and even government workers. But where do these high-earners live? Even that is a tricky question since many have multiple residences. However, Wealth-X,a global wealth intelligence firm, compiles data on ultra-high net worth (UHNW) individuals, including net worth, but also characteristics such as philanthropic interests, politics and affiliations. A UHNW individual is defined by Wealth-X as anyone with at least $30 million when accounting for a range of assets, including shares in companies, real estate, cash, art collections, private planes and other investable assets.
According to Wealth-X, the United States is home to 57,860 such individuals, and when this number is compared to the over 114 million households in the country today, this group would represent approximately 0.05 percent of the nation. Although still only a fraction of the one percent, it is one of the closest estimations of this income group and is a proxy for high net worth individuals under the $30 million mark. For individuals with a net worth above $1 million, this group accounts for about 5 percent of the population.
As it turns out, some cities are magnets for UHNW individuals, and the cities with the most of this wealthy class average approximately one in 3,075 people, according to Wealth-X, while the 27,540 UHNW individuals in the top 10 cities have a combined net worth of $3.6 trillion, or 6.2 percent of the total U.S. net worth. “Certain geographic clusters generate and attract wealth,” said Wealth-X co-founder David Friedman. “A concentration of UHNW individuals is certainly indicative of an area’s overall economic health.”
So, which U.S. cities have the most ultra-high net worth individuals? Click ahead to find out!
By Paul Toscano
Posted 14 February 2012