TRENTON, N.J. - New Jersey has the most millionaire households in the country, according to a marketing company's fifth annual ranking.
The Garden State moved up from No. 2 in 2005 and 2006 to No. 1 last year on the index, compiled by Phoenix Affluent Marketing Service, which does research for companies that sell luxury products, investments and the like to the wealthy.
According to the service, in 2007, 7.12 percent of New Jersey's 3.2 million households had a total of $1 million or more liquid or investable assets. That includes items such as savings, stocks and bonds, precious metals, the cash value of certain life insurance policies and retirement accounts not controlled by employers, but not equity in homes.
In 2006, 6.46 percent of New Jersey households met the $1 million standard. The figure was 5.89 percent in 2005. Hawaii ranked first in both those years, but fell to fourth in 2007. Maryland was second last year and Connecticut was third.
"It's obviously hard to pinpoint what the major driver is," said David Thompson, managing director at Phoenix Affluent.
But he said many New Jersey residents work for the financial services industry in the New York metropolitan area and received large bonuses last year.
"I think that would have the most to do with it," Thompson said, adding that New Jersey has always been in the top 10 in the survey.
The survey rankings are based on Census data and online surveys of thousands of affluent households.