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The Rise of Young, Affluent Migrants: Washington State and North Carolina Emerge as New Hubs for Wealthy Millennials

In recent times, a notable shift has emerged in the lifestyle choices of young, wealthy Americans. The allure of affordable living is prompting a mass exodus from traditional hubs like New York and California to more economically friendly states, with Florida, Texas, and now North Carolina being popular choices. However, for the highest concentration of young affluent migrants, the spotlight is now on Washington State.

A recent analysis conducted by SmartAsset delved into the migration patterns of individuals aged 26 to 35, earning a minimum of $200,000 per year in adjusted gross income. The findings, based on the most recent IRS data from 2021, revealed a fascinating trend that positions Washington and North Carolina as the new epicenters for young, affluent professionals.

What sets Washington apart is its exceptional double-digit proportion of young high earners. A staggering 13% of individuals earning above $200,000 fall within the 26 to 35 age bracket, surpassing the national average of 5.7%. This surpasses even California, where 10% of high earners are young professionals. North Carolina, now ranked at number 5, also boasts a significant rate of high-earning young individuals.

The dynamism of Washington’s and North Carolina’s demographic is most pronounced in cities like Seattle and Raleigh, where burgeoning careers in the tech, healthcare, and research sectors present lucrative opportunities for early-career professionals. Further enhancing Washington’s appeal is its status as one of the select states that don’t impose a state income tax.

Jaclyn DeJohn, SmartAsset’s Managing Editor of Economic Analysis, underscores the financial advantages of living in Seattle. Despite prices in the city being 44% higher than the national average in early 2023, the overall cost of living may seem like a welcome relief when compared to astronomical figures in Manhattan (122% higher) and San Francisco (70% higher). After factoring in living expenses and taxes, a $200,000 salary translates to approximately $102,707 in Washington, while the same income dwindles to $72,297 in Manhattan and $78,283 in San Francisco.

In this era of changing landscapes and priorities, Washington State and North Carolina emerge not just as geographical hubs but symbolic nexuses for the convergence of youthful ambition and financial success. As young affluent migrants continue to redefine their paradigms, the allure of Washington’s and North Carolina’s vibrant opportunities and financial perks is rewriting the narrative of where success finds its home.

Interested in learning more about living in North Carolina? Contact your preferred Dickens Mitchener agent. Don’t have an agent? Catharine Pappas, our relocation manager can pair you with an agent. We can’t wait to welcome you to North Carolina.