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Daily Capital

What is the Average Net Worth by State?

Tracking your net worth is a common way to gauge your financial health. You can determine your net worth by subtracting all of your liabilities (debts) from all of your assets (things you own).

By analyzing our user data, we set out to find how different states’ residents rank in their net worth. This information can help you determine if you want to take additional financial steps, like saving or investing more.

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Calculate It: Know Your Net Worth

Before we dive into the breakdowns, it’s worth noting that people who use the Personal Capital Dashboard tend to adhere to smart money practices: maintaining a comfortable emergency fund, contributing regularly to their retirement accounts, and optimizing their investments for tax efficiency. As a result, these people tend to have a higher-than-average net worth.

Following are the average and median net worths of Personal Capital Dashboard users, broken down by state.

Net Worth Breakdown by State

It turns out that residents of California have the highest average net worth of any state in the country.

The average net worth of California families is $884,003. Connecticut ($873,746), Washington ($865,309), New Jersey ($810,106), and Massachusetts ($787,154) round out the top five states in average net worth.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, residents of North Dakota have the lowest average net worth of any state in the country. The average net worth of North Dakota families is $339,955. West Virginia ($376,690), Mississippi ($407,691), Arkansas ($439,790) and Oklahoma ($448,494) round out the bottom five states in average net worth.

Here is a full list of the average net worth of residents in every state, from the highest to the lowest average net worth.

Rank State Amount
1 California $884,003
2 Connecticut $873,746
3 Washington $865,309
4 New Jersey $810,106
5 Massachusetts $787,154
6 New Hampshire $735,968
7 Vermont $730,730
8 Virginia $716,643
9 Colorado $711,968
10 Illinois $690,464
11 New York $690,037
12 Oregon $666,247
13 North Carolina $653,513
14 Alaska $652,999
15 Maryland $650,616
16 Minnesota $648,178
17 Pennsylvania $636,880
18 Nevada $636,385
19 Texas $634,048
20 Idaho $626,599
21 Florida $619,275
22 South Dakota $614,059
23 Washington, DC $611,898
24 Arizona $605,953
25 Iowa $600,063
26 South Carolina $587,075
27 Georgia $568,001
28 New Mexico $553,107
29 Wisconsin $553,086
30 Michigan $550,298
31 Ohio $545,090
32 Kentucky $544,334
33 Delaware $542,743
34 Tennessee $530,092
35 Kansas $523,916
36 Rhode Island $523,710
37 Hawaii $518,417
38 Wyoming $516,292
39 Nebraska $504,347
40 Missouri $504,319
41 Indiana $497,440
42 Maine $494,845
43 Montana $490,433
44 Alabama $481,228
45 Utah $474,093
46 Louisiana $459,770
47 Oklahoma $448,494
48 Arkansas $439,790
49 Mississippi $407,691
50 West Virginia $376,690
51 North Dakota $339,955

Get a Different Take: The Average Net Worth by Age in America

Trends and Observations

A close look at the list reveals that there are more East Coast states in the top 10 than West Coast states. Six of the top 10 states are located on the East Coast while only two — California and Washington — are located on the West Coast. Also, at number 11, New York is just outside the top 10.

Not surprisingly, many of the states where families have the highest net worth also rank highly in average 401k balances.

Read More: What is the Average Retirement Savings by State?

Half of the states that rank in the top 10 for average net worth also rank in the top 10 for average 401k balances: Connecticut (#1), New Jersey (#2) Virginia (#4), Washington (#5) and Massachusetts (#9).

Also, seven of the states with the highest average total retirement savings rank in the top 10 for average net worth: Connecticut (#1), New Hampshire (#2), New Jersey (#3), Virginia (#5), Vermont (#6), Maine (#8) and Washington (#9). These statistics indicate the important role that 401k and overall retirement savings plays in building net worth.

Why Some States Rank High or Low

Not surprisingly, some of the states with the largest numbers of millionaire households ranked high in net worth. For example, New Jersey has the highest ratios of millionaire households per capita (9.76%). Connecticut (9.44%), Massachusetts (9.38%), California (8.51%), New Hampshire (8.47%) and Virginia (8.31%) also rank in the top 10 in both average net worth and ratio of millionaire households per capita.

In addition, Alaska and New Hampshire recently made the top 10 in our list of the best states in which to retire in 2021.

Meanwhile, a high cost of living, including high taxes, could be a factor in some states not ranking highly in average net worth. For example, Delaware, Tennessee, Wyoming and Florida are among the top five states with the highest total tax burden, while Hawaii has the highest cost of living of any state in the nation.

How to Increase Your Net Worth

Regardless of whether you live in a state with a high, low or somewhere in-between average net worth, you would probably like to improve your own financial standing.

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Pay off debt.

Go back and look again at the definition of net worth at the beginning of this article: All of the assets you own minus the liabilities and debts you owe. So one of the best ways to increase your net worth is to decrease your debt.

Credit cards are a good place to start since they usually carry the highest interest rates. Paying them off not only lowers the debt side of your personal financial ledger, but it also reduces the amount of interest you must pay. Money saved in interest can go toward building net worth.

Save more for retirement.

As noted above, residents of states with high average 401k account balances and total retirement savings also tend to have high average net worths. One reason is because money saved in a tax-advantaged retirement account like a 401k is able to grow on a tax-deferred basis, which can result in more growth over the long term.

Another reason is that many employers offer to match employees’ retirement account contributions. An employer match is the closest thing there is to a “free lunch” — it represents a risk-free return on your investment that can boost your net worth over the long term.

Reduce your liabilities and expenses.

Let’s face it: Expenses are a part of life. Everybody has to pay for a place to live, food to eat, clothes to wear and a car to drive or public transportation.

The key is distinguishing between wise and foolish or excessive expenses. Take a close and critical look at where you spend your money; in fact, consider writing down everything you spend for a week or even a month. You might be surprised at what you see.

This isn’t suggesting that you live a bare-bones lifestyle with no comfort or entertainment expenses. However, you might discover that you’re spending more money than you realized on some things that just aren’t worth it. Cutting back on these expenses will free up money that could help boost your net worth.

Our Take

In short, the key to building your net worth is saving more and spending less.

That starts with knowing where you stand. You can get clarity on your financial life and goals using Personal Capital’s award-winning tools for money management. Nearly three million U.S. households rely on the tools to:

  • Keep track of their true net worth
  • Review categorized transactions from all financial accounts
  • Analyze investments and uncover hidden fees
  • Evaluate retirement readiness with the Retirement Planner

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The content contained in this blog post is intended for general informational purposes only and is not meant to constitute legal, tax, accounting or investment advice. You should consult a qualified legal or tax professional regarding your specific situation. Keep in mind that investing involves risk. The value of your investment will fluctuate over time and you may gain or lose money.

Any reference to the advisory services refers to Personal Capital Advisors Corporation, a subsidiary of Personal Capital. Personal Capital Advisors Corporation is an investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training nor does it imply endorsement by the SEC.

Todd Burnaford is a Senior Financial Advisor of the Private Client Group at Personal Capital. He has been with Personal Capital since 2017.
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