How Much a Family Has To Earn To Be in the Top 1 Percent – By State

As we approach the midterm elections the debate goes on regarding what benefits and entitlements are appropriate and who should pay for them.  In 2015 (the latest data available) the top 1 percent of earners paid 39.04 percent of all federal income taxes but had just 20.7 percent of total income according to the Tax Foundation.  The top 1 percent paid more total income taxes than the bottom 90 percent combined.

What does it take to be in the top 1 percent of all earners in the U.S.?  To be in the top 1 percent nationwide requires $421,926 income per family according to the Economic Policy Institute.

How much income is the entry ticket to be in the top 1 percent of income for each of the states?   To answer this, CNBC used a study from the Economic Policy Institute to report both the top 1 percent income hurdle for each state and also the average income of the top 1 percent.

The following table shows the income hurdle for the top 1 percent of earners in each state, both alphabetically and ranked from the most to the least.  To me there are really no surprises in the top-10.  Had not expected, however, North Dakota to rank 11th.

The next table shows the average annual household income of the top 1 percent by state.  A surprise to me was Wyoming ranking 2nd highest.   Likely Wyoming’s lack of a state income tax has resulted in higher income individuals using the state as their domicile to mitigate their tax burdens.  Given the Tax Cut and Job Creation Act of 2017, anticipate this trend to accelerate from higher tax states. The top 1 percent in Teton County, Wyoming, the home to Jackson Hole, earned $28 million on average annually.

To read the entire CNBC article click

The economic Policy Institute Study also includes these data for 916 cities and 3,061 counties.   The entire study from the Economic Policy Institute can found at

Once Again I invoke the TINSTAANREM axiom — There Is No Such Thing As A National Real Estate Market or a National Economy.  The same is true regarding income.


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