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Cities of the rich

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Posted: 3 pm ET

If you had to guess which U.S. city has the highest number of wealthy individuals (investable assets of $1 million or more) would you automatically think New York, or maybe Los Angeles? Although both make the top 10, San Jose, Calif. (home of ebay and Cisco Systems, as well as other tech companies) comes in at No. 1, with 6.1 percent of its 1.5 million residents defined as high net worth.

Houston's population of wealthy individuals increased nearly 10 percent.

But the results from Capgemini's wealth survey show that the real story of riches comes from No. 10-ranked Houston. Houston's wealthy population makes up a little more than 2 percent of the total, but the percentage of high-net-worth individuals increased the fastest -- nearly 10 percent last year. That's more than New York or Los Angeles. The reason? Oil. Rising oil and commodity prices have helped the city recover from a big loss in wealth just a few years ago.

As expected, the other wealthy cities are concentrated in the Northeast and California, due largely to Wall Street and Silicon Valley. New York City ranks second on the list, followed by Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Boston, Detroit, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and finally, Houston.

The majority of the wealthy are still gaining ground faster than the rest of the population due to stock market gains since the recession.

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