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Los Angeles' millionaires recover, but not as quickly as New York's

August 4, 2010 |  2:29 pm

While New York City’s millionaires seem to have recovered from the recession that began in 2007, in Los Angeles, the ranks of millionaires are still down from pre-recession levels.

The Los Angeles metro area had 235,800 millionaires in 2009, according to a new study out on Wednesday, the second most millionaires of any city in the country after New York.

The Los Angeles numbers for 2009 were up 13.3% from 2008, but that was not enough to make up for the 17.8% drop in millionaires the previous year during the heart of the financial crisis.

In New York City, the rise in the number of millionaires in 2009 was enough to make up for the losses the year before -- bringing the total number of millionaires in the city up to 667,200.

Capgemini, a French consulting firm, calculated the number of individuals with a net worth of over $1 million, excluding real estate, in the 10 largest metropolitan areas in the United States.

The results provide further indication that the nation’s wealthy have recovered more swiftly than the nation’s less-well-off. In the 10 cities in the study, the number of millionaires grew by 17.5% in 2009, a year when the national unemployment rate increased from 5.8% to 9.3%.

Most of the gains for the rich are attributed to the climb in the stock markets.

New York had more millionaires than the next three cities combined -- Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington -- and was one of four cities to see its millionaire ranks bounce back to where they were in 2007, along with Washington, Houston and San Jose.

San Jose had the highest percentage of millionaires of any city -- 5.9% -- while Houston had the lowest, at 1.9%. A total of 2.9% of the 10.2 million people in the Los Angeles metropolitan area were counted as millionaires by Capgemini.

-- Nathaniel Popper
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