Study shows North Carolina one of most popular states with millennials making over $100K

Study shows North Carolina one of most popular states with millennials making over $100K

September 14th, 2022

As the growth of North Carolina’s population continues, a new report shows The Old North State is among the most popular with a key demographic.

According to the fourth annual report from Smart Asset, North Carolina ranked sixth with 2,048 millennials earning $100,000 or more that have moved to the state.

That growth is similar to data in a report released in August that North Carolina had gained 4,713 residents that make $200,000 or more, fourth-most in the United States.

The latest study looked at the movement of rich young professionals, considering individuals younger than age 35 with adjusted gross incomes of at least $100,000, and also examined the inflow and outflow of these wealthy young professionals from each state between 2019 and 2020 to determine the states losing and gaining the most.

Relatively-low personal income tax rates were cited by Smart Asset as one of the main factors in the popularity of many of the states at the top of their list. The top two states, Florida and Texas, do not collect personal income taxes.

“Based on these findings, millennials appear to be moving towards more affordable states,” said Ray Marek with Smart Asset, who also noted that their researchers did not look specifically at data regarding affordability.

The increased popularity and ability to work remotely spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic has also been cited in other studies.

The study found the trend of rich, young professionals leaving New York continued as nearly 15,800 high-earning young professionals in 2020, significantly more than any state in the study.

Specifically, about 28,700 rich young professionals left the state between 2019 and 2020 while fewer than 13,000 moved there.

California follows behind with a net outflow of 7,960 rich young professionals. 20,568 people under the age of 35 making at least $100,000 moved into the state, while 28,528 moved out.

Virginia ranked 8th in losing rich, young professionals (281). The District of Columbia lost 2,074, the fourth-highest, and the largest proportion of any jurisdiction.

Texas and Florida rank as the No. 1. And No. 2 states where rich young professionals are moving. In 2020, both states had net inflow of upwards of 3,400 young professionals earning $100,000 or more.

To find where rich young professionals are moving and leaving, Smart Asset considered data from all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia. We defined rich young professionals as individuals under the age of 35 who have adjusted gross incomes of $100,000 and above. More specifically, researchers closely examined the following two metrics:

  • Inflow of rich young professionals. This is the number of young professionals with adjusted gross incomes of at least $100,000 who moved into the state.
  • Outflow of rich young professionals. This is the number of young taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes of at least $100,000 who moved out of the state.

Data for both metrics came from the IRS, and compares 2019 and 2020 tax returns.

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