California Has Trillions More Wealth than Any Other State
Monday, September 16, 2019
A study released by California’s Legislative Analyst’s Office this month looks at geographical distribution of wealth across the state.
Californians’ net worth totals over $6 trillion or about $160,000 per resident. The state holds 17% of national net worth, while making up only 12% of the U.S. population.
The net worth of about $160,000 would put California at No. 23 on the list of the countries according to worldsrichestcountries.com. California would be just behind Hong Kong ($173,685) and ahead of the following nations:
- Qatar: $156,986
- Israel: $155,982
- Finland: $149,917
- UAE: $144,377
- Kuwait: $113,419
The Legislative Analyst’s Office study is based on 2014-2016 data and states that income and wealth are similar but distinct concepts.
Income is money an individual earns or receives over a set period of time. Wealth is all of the valuable assets — such as stocks, bonds and real estate — an individual owns. Net worth, relatedly, is an individual’s wealth minus debts.
Median Household Income
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s analysis of median household income, California is ranked 10th in the U.S in 2019. The LAO’s study expands beyond household income and looks at investments.
Rank/Median Household Income (U.S. overall is $60,336)
- Maryland / $78,916
- D.C. / $77,649
- New Jersey / $76,475
- Alaska / $76,114
- Hawaii / $74,923
- Massachusetts / $74,167
- Connecticut / $73,781
- New Hampshire / $71,305
- Virginia / $68,766
- California / $67,169
Share by Population
California has about 1,650 ZIP codes. A minority of these 1,650 ZIP codes (300 wealthy ZIP codes) make up more than two-thirds of the state’s net worth.
Wealth Across Regions
Each dot represents one of the 1,650 ZIP code. The placement of the dot shows the net worth per person in that ZIP code. Counties with more wealth have more dots to the right.
All of the state’s wealthiest communities are found in coastal areas. The San Francisco Bay Area, where the average ZIP code has a net worth over $450,000 per resident, is the state’s wealthiest region.
Maps not to scale.
The net worth of the San Joaquin Valley’s wealthiest ZIP code ($320,000 per resident) falls well below the average Bay Area ZIP code. While the high value of homes in coastal areas is a key driver of high wealth in these areas, home wealth is only part of the story.
In most high-wealth coastal communities, the majority of wealth is held as income-producing assets, such as stocks, bonds and rental real estate.
Category: Economic News