Los Alamos ranks at top of magazine's millionaires list

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By The Staff

Los Alamos, already tagged as the sixth richest county in the U.S., now has another distinction after being ranked number one in terms of “Where Millionaires Live in America.”

The article published in the November edition of Kiplinger takes a look at a report produced by Phoenix Marketing International, a company that keeps tabs on wealthy households. The firm also ranks 942 towns and cities by the concentration of millionaires.

The article states, “This small desert town has fewer than 8,000 households, yet one in five has a net worth of more than a million bucks. This is home to the famed Los Alamos National Laboratory, which was founded to undertake the Manhattan Project and currently employs some of the government’s highest-paid nuclear researchers.”

Based on its sheer percentage of mega-bucks population coming in at 11.7 percent, Los Alamos laid claim to number one beating out well-heeled competition such as Naples, Fla., and Bridgeport, Conn. The report suggests there are 885 millionaire households in Los Alamos that boasts a population of only 17,950.

The affluence has some very deep pockets as 126 of those households   in Los Alamos   possess
$5 million plus in liquid investable assets. The median income of all households on the hill is $91,741, according to the article.

“If it weren’t for the national laboratory, Los Alamos might be just another stagecoach stop in the desert,” Caitlin Dewey, the author of the article writes. “The facility, a powerhouse for weapons engineering, bioscience and other government research, is the dusty town’s largest employer. Top chemists, engineers and physicists have pulled in hefty paychecks here since 1943, when the lab launched the Manhattan Project.”

The news did not come as a surprise to Los Alamos National Bank CEO Bill Enloe, who said Los Alamos has been on top of this list before.

“I have been asked before, what’s the deal?” Enloe said. “Millionaires, they include what’s in their retirement funds. Most of the people up here work for the lab and the lab has a good retirement system and many of the people have been in the system for more than 20 years, which means they have accumulated a lot of retirement.”

Enloe also thinks the people of Los Alamos are conservative with their money.

“They save money and they invest it well,” Enloe said. “You don’t see a lot of big millionaire houses around here. We have a small population and a large amount of good jobs so when you break it down, it’s not surprising.”

Coming in at number two on the list is Naples, Fla., with a concentration of millionaires at 9.1 percent; number three is Bridgeport, Conn., at a concentration of 8.8 percent; Washington, D.C. claims fourth at 8.5 percent; and number five is San Jose, Cal. with 8.1 percent.

To round out the top 10, Easton, Md., takes sixth at 7.9 percent; Oxnard, Cal. has 7.8 percent to claim seventh; Juneau, Alaska, takes eighth with 7.6 percent; number nine is Honolulu, Hawaii, at 7.6 percent; and San Francisco, Cal., comes in number 10 with a concentration of millionaires at 7.5 percent.  


Keven Todd and John Severance contributed to this report.  



"Desert town"? "Dusty town"? I'd guess he has never been here. We should invite him for the ski season.