Florida isn’t just a retirement haven; it’s also drawing in a substantial number of young and affluent newcomers.
Florida tops the list as the leading state in attracting and retaining young, affluent individuals, according to a recent SmartAsset analysis. The rankings were based on net migration and focused on states that gained the most residents aged 26 to 35, with an annual adjusted gross income of at least $200,000, using IRS data from 2021.
In that year, Florida welcomed 3,391 affluent young individuals while bidding farewell to 1,216, ultimately recording a net influx of 2,175 prosperous young residents, according to SmartAsset’s findings.
Taking the second spot, Texas experienced the second-highest surge of affluent youth, with 4,048 newcomers arriving within a year. (It’s worth noting that California led the nation in attracting nearly 5,000 individuals from this demographic.) However, Texas also saw a substantial number of affluent young people departing—over 2,000 taxpayers, to be precise—resulting in a net migration gain of 1,909 in the Lone Star State.
In third place, New Jersey witnessed a noteworthy trend. Despite a significant outmigration of affluent individuals of all age groups, the state also saw a net gain of 1,048 wealthy young professionals in the same year. SmartAsset’s managing editor of economic analysis, Jaclyn DeJohn, described this as the most striking departure from the overall patterns in the report.
Florida and Texas have emerged as new tech hubs, with cities like Austin and Miami offering enticing opportunities for individuals with niche or exceptional skills. The warm climate and zero income tax in both states are additional selling points.
On the other hand, New Jersey provides proximity to the career, social, and entertainment opportunities of New York City, making it an attractive option for those who want to save money while enjoying a suburban lifestyle. This appeals to young professionals seeking a best-of-both-worlds scenario, while older residents may find it less advantageous due to retirement or fewer career prospects.
Furthermore, New Jersey’s high real estate taxes contribute to a competitive public school system, which is particularly beneficial for young families compared to retirees.
New York and California have the highest concentration of young high earners in the United States. They also see a significant influx of young wealthy individuals. However, both states experienced a net loss of over 9,000 people in this demographic group in 2021, which places them at the lower end of the list for young, affluent residents.