Skip to content

Arizona ranks No. 3 in U.S. for attracting wealth and high-income earners

Photo by Shane on Unsplash.

AZ Business Magazine of AZ Big Media

Arizona ranks No. 3 in U.S. for attracting wealth and high-income earners

As the economic landscape shifts, Arizona has secured its position as the third most attractive state for attracting wealth and high-income earners in the United States, according to research from MyEListing.com. Arizona boasts an impressive net income migration of $9.4 billion, illustrating its success in attracting significant wealth.


LEARN MORE: 7 Metro Phoenix cities among Top 100 places where retirees are moving in 2023


Arizona’s allure lies in its beneficial tax structures, thriving business environment, and irresistible lifestyle. These fiscal advantages, with the beauty of our sun-drenched landscapes and abundant opportunities, have made Arizona a magnet for wealth and prosperity.

High-income earners are moving, and the data on where exactly they’re going provides eye-opening insights into the current lifestyle trends of the wealthy. In this analysis, MyEListing dives into the intriguing dynamics of wealth migration within the United States, shedding light on the states attracting high-income earners and witnessing an outflow of such wealth.

MyEListing ranked U.S. states attracting wealth based on their net income migration, a critical economic indicator reflecting the movement of high-income earners. This measure culminates several factors, including tax laws, economic prospects, and lifestyle offerings, that collectively sway where high-income earners reside.

Let’s look at states with the largest net negative tax migration next.

State-by-State Migration: The Top Three Net Earners

Many high-income earners have recently relocated to these three states.

#1 – Florida: A Surge in Net Income Migration

Over the past year, the economic spotlight has focused on Florida as it leads the nation in net income migration. High-income earners are increasingly choosing the Sunshine State, reflecting an age-old economic axiom: Money goes where it is treated best.

Florida’s appeal to high-income earners is increasingly palpable. It stands out even among low-tax states like Texas, underlining its compelling attributes. The state’s financial landscape, myriad growth prospects, and debtor protections present a lucrative proposition for individuals and families with substantial income and assets.

#2 – Texas: Not Far Behind

Texas emerges as a star player in tax income migration, securing the second position among states with the highest positive net income migration. With a whopping $10.7 billion net gain, Texas is a favored destination for high-income earners seeking financial prosperity and tax advantages.

Various unique benefits draw these high net-worth individuals to the Lone Star State. Texas, like Florida, also boasts the absence of personal income tax, a significant lure for those with hefty incomes.

#3 – Arizona: Almost Hits 10 Billion Net Positive Tax Migration

Occupying the third position in the list of states with the highest positive net income migration, Arizona boasts an impressive $9.4 billion net gain. The state’s unique combination of beneficial tax structures, thriving business environment, and appealing lifestyle make it an attractive destination for high-income earners.

These fiscal advantages, the state’s sun-bathed landscape, and burgeoning opportunities propel the real estate market and stimulate business expansion. As wealth continues to flow into Arizona, the state enjoys a complete cycle of growth and prosperity.

This trend showcases Arizona as a beacon for those seeking financial and lifestyle enhancements in a state offering a compelling blend of the two.

State-by-State Migration: The Top 3 Net Losers

Conversely, these three states are currently seeing the worst net negative tax income migration.

#1 – California

California ranks first among states experiencing the worst net negative tax income migration. With a staggering net loss of $343.2 million, the Golden State is witnessing an outflow of high-income earners.

Despite its numerous attractions, from the booming tech industry and world-class universities to beautiful landscapes and cultural richness, California’s high personal income tax rates seem discouraging for many high-wealth individuals. This, coupled with the state’s high cost of living, will likely fuel a wealth migration out of California.

These trends affect the state’s economy, especially the real estate and job markets. The departure of high-income earners can decrease demand for luxury real estate and potentially affect the commercial real estate sector. It also impacts job creation, as these high-income individuals often play a significant role in business expansion and entrepreneurial activities.

#2 – New York

In the landscape of tax income migration, New York finds itself challenging, ranking second among states with the highest net negative income migration. With a net loss of $299.6 million, New York is experiencing a significant outflow of high-income earners.

Despite being an economic powerhouse and cultural hub, New York’s high personal income tax rates and substantial cost of living are significant deterrents for wealthier residents. These factors push high-wealth individuals to seek more financially favorable environments.

#3 – Illinois

As the third state witnessing the worst net negative tax income migration, Illinois is undergoing a significant financial outflow. The state has experienced a net loss of $141.7 million, indicating a trend of high-income earners seeking more tax-favorable environments.

While Illinois is home to a rich cultural scene and a diversified economy, its high tax rates and substantial cost of living present challenges for wealth retention. This financial pressure prompts an exodus of high-wealth individuals seeking better economic landscapes.

This departure of wealth can impact various sectors of Illinois’s economy, notably the real estate and job markets. With high-income earners leaving the state, there could be decreased demand for luxury housing and commercial real estate. Furthermore, this outflow could hinder job creation since high-wealth individuals often drive business expansion and innovation.

Job Market Migration and Commercial Real Estate

In relation to job market migration, relocating high-income individuals often leads to expanding existing businesses or establishing new ones. As a result, the demand for office spaces, co-working spaces, and flex space could see significant growth, further bolstering the commercial real estate sector.

Retirement Migration and Economic Migration: Looking to the Future

Furthermore, this trend could prompt other states to reevaluate their tax policies to retain and attract high-wealth individuals, creating a dynamic interplay between jurisdictions.

Our research unearths the magnetism of certain states, such as Florida, Texas, and Arizona, which have experienced substantial net positive tax income migration. On the flip side, we also highlight states like California, New York, and Illinois, which have seen a concerning outflow of high-income earners due to various factors, including high personal income tax rates and cost of living.

The findings illuminate how economic and fiscal policies at the state level can significantly influence wealth distribution across the U.S. The implications of these migration patterns are profound and far-reaching, affecting various sectors, including commercial real estate and job markets.