Business, Economics and Jobs

Which cities are minting millionaires the fastest?


You want this cash money? You know you do.


Paul J. Richards

Where should you live if you want to be a millionaire?

Try Houston or San Jose.

According to the new Metro Wealth Index from Capgemini, San Jose, Calif. and Houston recorded the fastest percentage growth in the number of millionaires among the top 10 Metro areas. (It defines “millionaire” as those with $1 million or more in investible assets, excluding primary residence, collectibles, consumables, and consumer durables).

San Jose’s millionaire population grew 2.1 percent, to 90,700 millionaires in 2011. Houston’s millionaire population grew by 1.9 percent, to 98,500 millionaires. (Click here to see larger map.)

Growth is not to be confused with total population of millionaires. New York still towers over the rest of the country when it comes to sheer numbers of super-wealthy residents with 727,100, up 1 percent from 2010.

In second place came Los Angeles, with 255,600 millionaires, followed by Chicago with 212,100 and then Washington, DC with 166,200 millionaires. Some cities lost millionaires.

Detroit led the pack of losers, seeing its millionaire population drop by 2.2 percent to 90,100. Philadelphia lost .9 percent of its millionaires, whose population dropped to 109,400.

“San Jose and Houston’s growth in HNWI population was driven by good performance of major local industries,” said Jean Lassignardie, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Capgemini Global Financial Services.

“On the other hand," said Lassignardie, "Philadelphia and Detroit moved one place down on the list to seventh and 10th positions respectively, generally due to poor equity markets and worsening global economic conditions. In addition, Philadelphia faced house price pressure, while Detroit continued to battle high unemployment levels as did Los Angeles, San Jose, Chicago and San Francisco.”

Despite all the talk about global wealth, US cities have more millionaires than most countries. Each of the top five millionaire cities in the country is large enough to rank among the top 15 wealth markets in the world, Capgemini said.

-By CNBC's Robert Frank

Follow Robert Frank on Twitter: @robtfrank

© 2012

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