top of page

What It Takes to Join America's Top 1%

fingers on hundred dollar bills

In the land of opportunity, the gap between the rich and the rest is widening. Today, the wealthiest 1% of American families are sitting on more than a third of the nation's wealth. That's a big jump from the 27% they held back in 1989. Meanwhile, the bottom half of households barely scrape together 2% of the total wealth. But what does it really take to break into this exclusive 1% club? Well, it turns out, it's not the same in every state.

The Magic Number for the 1%

Nationally, if your household is pulling in $652,657 a year, congrats, you're in the top 1%! That's over eight times more than the median household income of around $75,000. But this number isn't set in stone across the country. In places like Connecticut, you need to earn $952,902 to be in the 1%, while in West Virginia, the threshold is a more modest $367,582.


Stay up to date on investment trends: Sign up for our weekly newsletter.


A Closer Look State by State

  • Connecticut: Leads with the highest floor for the top 1%, where households need to earn nearly $953,000. It also imposes the highest effective tax rate on its top earners at 28.4%.

  • Massachusetts: Here, you need at least $903,401 to join the 1%, with a high effective tax rate of 27.15%.

  • California: To be in the 1% club, you need an income of $844,266, taxed at an average of 26.95%.

  • New Jersey: You need $817,346 to be in the 1%, and the tax rate here is a high tax rate of 28.01%.

  • Washington: A threshold of $804,853 is needed for the 1%, with a notable tax rate of 25.99%.

  • New York: Sets its bar at $776,662 for the 1%, with the second-highest tax rate in the country at 28.29%.

  • Southern States: They generally have lower income thresholds, reflecting their different economic landscapes and possibly more affordable living costs.



Top 1% Threshold

1% Tax Rate














New Jersey








New York
















New Hampshire























Blue Lake Multifamily Fund advertisement

What This Means for Multifamily Investors

These income disparities across states create unique opportunities for multifamily investors. In high-threshold states like Connecticut and California, there's a market for luxury housing, which could mean higher rents but bigger investments. On the flip side, states with lower thresholds like Georgia might be more suited for affordable housing, offering stable occupancy and potentially lower costs.

But remember, state tax rates can take a big bite out of your profits. High-tax states could mean less money in your pocket. So, for investors, it's crucial to get the lay of the land financially to make smart, informed decisions that match the economic vibe and housing needs of the region.

Decoding the Regional Wealth Puzzle

The income needed to be in the 1% varies widely by state, highlighting the economic and cost of living differences across the country. Coastal states often have higher thresholds, suggesting more wealth and possibly higher living costs compared to the Southern and Midwestern states.

Final Thoughts

The income range for entering America's top 1% is a clear indicator of the nation's economic diversity. For those aiming for financial success, understanding these regional differences is key. It sheds light on the economic terrain they're navigating. As wealth continues to concentrate in certain pockets, sophisticated financial planning and a keen understanding of regional economic differences become increasingly important.

As always, Be Bold, Be great, and Keep Pushing Forward!

handwriting of a signature of the author

P.S. If one of your priorities, like mine, is building and preserving your wealth through multifamily real estate investments, click here to discuss how we can partner together.



Invest With Blue Lake Capital

If you are an accredited investor interested in learning more about passively investing in multifamily properties, click here to complete our investor form and schedule a call with our Investor Relations team.

About Ellie Perlman

photo of ellie perlman

Ellie Perlman is the founder of Blue Lake Capital, a commercial real estate investment firm specializing in multifamily investing throughout the United States. At Blue Lake Capital, Ellie partners with both institutional and individual investors to grow their wealth by achieving double-digit returns by investing alongside her in exclusive multifamily deals they usually don't have access to.

A defining factor of Blue Lake Capital’s strategy is founded in utilizing machine learning/artificial intelligence throughout the course of all acquisitions and asset management. This advanced technology enables the company to produce accurate and data-driven forecasting for all assets on a market, property, and even tenant basis. In doing so, Blue Lake is able to lead commercial investments with the full capabilities of today’s technology.

Ellie is the founding host of REady2Scale, a podcast that highlights the assets, processes, and strategies for the multiple approaches to successful real estate investing.

She started her career as a commercial real estate lawyer, leading real estate transactions for one of Israel’s leading development companies. Later, as a property manager for Israel’s largest energy company, she oversaw properties worth over $100MM. Additionally, Ellie is an experienced entrepreneur who helped build and scale companies by improving their business operations.

Ellie holds a Masters in Law from Bar-Ilan University in Israel and an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management.

You can read more about Blue Lake Capital and Ellie Perlman at

*The content provided on this website, including all downloadable resources, is for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as financial advice. Furthermore, this material does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities.


bottom of page