More join millionaire status in 2010

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For those looking for another way to determine the health of the national economy, consider the number of U.S. millionaires per capita in 2010.

Overall, after two years of declines, the number of millionaires in the U.S. grew by 8 percent in 2010, to about 5.6 million households or about 4.78 percent of total households.

This week the Phoenix Affluent Marketing Service released its annual ranking of millionaires per capita by state. The company defines a millionaire household as one with $1 million or more in invested or liquid assets (excluding sponsored retirement plans and real estate).

Hawaii came out on top for the third year in a row, showing that 6.79 percent of total households were home to millionaires.

But Hawaii wasn’t the only state to top the rankings for the past three years: New Jersey, Maryland and Connecticut joined Hawaii in the top four spots.

Company Managing Director David Thompson attributed that consistency to the several shared distinctions shared by the four.

“They are small states with large concentrations of highly educated professionals and business owners which are key ingredients to growing wealth,” he said.

Colorado didn’t fare too badly, ranked at No. 15. The Centennial state is home to 1.8 million households, 90,000 of which are classified as millionaires.

Mississippi, Arkansas and West Virginia were the lowest-ranked states, reporting less than 3.5 percent of each state’s population were millionaires.