Study Finds New Jersey Ranks High in Drawing Wealthy Young Professionals

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New Jersey Wealthy Young Professionals
A large chunk of younger workers with high incomes are moving to the Garden State. Image via Deposit Photos.

While certain studies have insisted that folks are fleeing New Jersey in droves, a new analysis has determined that a large chunk of younger workers with high incomes are moving to the Garden State.


SmartAsset, a financial advisory company, released a new survey that attempts to investigate the movement of rich young professionals. The study’s methodology considered individuals younger than 35 with adjusted gross incomes of at least $100,000/year.

Data for both metrics was pulled from the IRS by comparing 2019 and 2020 tax returns. SmartAsset then examined the inflow and outflow of these wealthy young professionals in terms of each state between the same time frame to determine the states that lost and gained the greatest share of the demographic.

Wealthy Young Professionals By State
Image courtesy of SmartAsset.

The top destination for wealthy young professionals was Texas, as more than 15,000 millennials making at least $100,000 moved to the state against 11,200 departures. That left the Lone Star State with a net inflow of roughly 3,800 wealthy young professionals.

Florida and Washington took second and third place, with Colorado nabbing the number four slot. New Jersey came in fifth best with 11,105 wealthy young professionals moving in against 8,556 hitting the exits, giving the state a net migration of 2,459 wealthy millennial workers.

North Carolina (+2,048), Arizona (+1,437), Connecticut (+1,425), Tennessee (+1,147) and Oregon (+897) rounded out the top 10 in terms of top inward migration of wealthy millennials.

On the flipside, New Jersey’s largest neighbor ranked dead last on the list. New York saw a net outflow of nearly 15,800 high-earning young professionals in 2020, which is significantly more than any state in our study. About 28,700 rich young professionals left the state over the span while fewer than 13,000 moved there.

California was the second worst with a net outflow of 7,960 rich young professionals. Illinois, the District of Columbia and Massachusetts had the third, fourth, and fifth-largest net outflows of high-earning young workers in 2020, with the remainder of the top ten consisting of Louisiana, North Dakota, Virginia, Oklahoma and Nebraska.

Despite some millennials choosing to make moves, the generation has generally stayed close to home. Data from the Census Bureau and Harvard University recently found that 80% of young adults live less than 100 miles from where they grew up, while just 10% had moved more than 500 miles away.

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