I read a news article recently that stated that 1 in every 5 residents of Boston has a net worth of over $1 million. I shared the news with a friend of mine who had visited the city recently. She was incredulous.
She noted the lack of expensive sports cars on the street, the conservative and understated dress of the general populace, and sad state of affairs regarding what she termed “the club scene.”
All of this, in her mind, added up to a metropolis that could not possibly be affluent. I shrugged off the assessment, and then decided to add up the reasons why Boston just may be The Wealthiest City in America.
- It’s the money. Actually, 1 in 5 people in Boston do have a net worth of over $1 million dollars. It’s not a preposterous as it sounds, as government estimates now show that 1 in 20 to 1 in 25 American households now have assets of over $1 million.
- One and done. The divorce rate in Boston hovers around 10 percent, well below the national average. This means that family wealth has a better chance of being preserved and passed on to future generations.
- Book ’em. In 2012, it was estimated that 39.2 percent of 18 to 34 year-old residents held at least a bachelors degree from college. This probably contributes to higher earning potential, and the ability to hold on to wealth once it is acquired. With over 100 institutions of higher learning in the greater Boston area, the culture of higher education is strong and large.
- Bling is not our thing. Conspicuous consumption is still regarded as distasteful in most of the city. Bostonians are busy getting things done. High fashion is a concept that the locals do not understand and one the climate does not encourage. When you don’t spend money on that foolishness, you save it, invest it, and grow richer.
- History and culture count. Boston’s important contributions to America and the world in the areas of political thought, the arts, and literature are self-evident. The city’s 40 museums, numerous libraries, and countless historical monuments testify to its vital role in our country’s progress.
In short, a preponderance of Old Money Values still permeate the city. The results speak for themselves.