Aug 9, 2023 - Business

Tech growth could change what counts as super rich in Utah

Data: SmartAsset; Map: Tory Lysik/Axios Visuals

Your family needs to make more than $630,000 to be among the top 1% of earners in Utah, according to a recent analysis of IRS data.

Driving the news: The research, by SmartAsset, shows Utah has the nation's 15th highest income threshold to be part of the top 1% of households.

Yes, but: Utah's cutoff is lower than the national figure of $652,657, Axios' Alex Fitzpatrick reports.

  • That speaks to the extraordinarily high incomes in the states where the richest Americans tend to cluster.

The intrigue: The states with the highest-earning top percentile tend to be either home to or in the commuter range of major tech and finance hubs, and thus the high-paying jobs those industries offer.

  • Utah's tech sector is growing so quickly that today's top earners could be tomorrow's garden-variety yuppies.

Details: With the tech workforce expected to increase 32% in the next decade, Utah is projected to have the nation's fastest-growing tech sector, according to a March report by CompTIA, an IT training and certification group.

  • Tech is making bigger gains than other fields — a pattern expected to continue at least until 2028, the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute reported last year.

Zoom out: Nationally, joining the 1% club is most expensive in Connecticut, where residents need to make at least $952,902 to be a member.

  • The cutoff is higher than $700,000 in only seven states, including California, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Washington.
  • If your household income is over $560,000, you're in the top 1% in most states.

The big picture: The top 1% of U.S. families by wealth held more than one-third of the country's total wealth in 2019, the Congressional Budget Office reported last year.

  • Meanwhile, "families in the bottom half ... held only 2% of total wealth" in 2019, per the CBO report.
  • In Utah, the bottom half includes anyone making less than about $79,000, according to Census data.

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