When a state loses more high-earning taxpayers than it gains, the state’s financial situation may decline, which is why tracking the inflow and outflow of high-earning households is important. Online consumer-focused financial advisor SmartAsset set out to find which states had the most movement of high-earning households, between states in 2019 and 2020. Data shows Sun Belt states saw the most migration, starting with Florida, and that states that do not have income tax also saw a large inflow of high-income households. Of the 50 states, Washington, D.C. had the largest percentage of high-earning households, while West Virginia had the smallest.
To determine where high-earning households are moving, we considered data from all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia. We defined high-earning households as those with adjusted gross incomes of $200,000 or more. More specifically, we closely examined the following two metrics:
- Inflow of tax filers making $200,000 and above. This is the number of filers with adjusted gross incomes of at least $200,000 who moved into a state. Data comes from the IRS and is for 2019-2020.
- Outflow of tax filers making $200,000 and above. This is the number of filers with adjusted gross incomes of at least $200,000 who moved out of a state. Data comes from the IRS and is for 2019-2020.