Palm Beach Boasts Trump's Mar-a-Lago, Most U.S. Passive Income

  • Twenty-nine towns exceeded national average of all income
  • Florida leads with 10 cities, followed by California

Palm Beach, Florida -- home of President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago country club and its $200,000 initiation fee -- tops the list of 29 places across the U.S. where income from investments exceeds the nation’s average household earnings.

Florida’s easternmost town, established with the help of railroad baron Henry Flagler, had an annual average of $176,173 in passive income in 2015. The Bloomberg ranking of earnings from interest, dividends, rents, and royalties, as well as distributions from estates and trusts, is based on Census Bureau data and includes places with at least 2,000 households.

The national average for all types household income, including wages, Social Security payments and pensions, was $75,558, based on the same five-year American Community Survey data set used by Bloomberg for the analysis.

Ten of the 29 cities and towns on the list were located in Florida, the most of any state. Indian River Shores, just north of Palm Beach, ranked third with passive income of more than $155,000 in 2015. Both are popular destinations for affluent retirees.

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a ranking of the world’s 500 wealthiest individuals, 10 billionaires, with a combined estimated net worth of $118 billion, have residences in Palm Beach.

Top Five in Palm BeachNet Worth
David Koch$47.8 bln
Thomas Peterffy$14.0 bln
Leonard Lauder$10.8 bln
Stephen Schwarzman$10.8 bln
Stephen Ross $8.9 bln

It’s no surprise that the East and West Coasts have the highest concentrations of wealth. California, with eight cities listed, is led by Atherton with an average of $174,000 in passive income and No. 2 in the rankings. Montecito, California, was fourth overall at $150,000, followed by Cherry Hills Village in Colorado, a suburb of Denver, at $140,000.

— With assistance by Mark Glassman, Brandon Kochkodin, Pat Regnier, and Anders Melin

(Note: the IRS classifies passive income differently than the Census department.)
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