BBJ: Southborough rankings in millionaire earners

by Beth Melo on January 14, 2014

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The Boston Business Journal broke down by town the number of Massachusetts residents reporting income of a million or more for 2011.

Where we ranked depends on how you crunch the numbers. Out of the 223 towns listed:

  • By % of residents, we came in at 16. (Residents per millionaire filer = 102.65)
  • By # of filers per town, we ranked 25

Yet, our millionaires aren’t as rich as those in other top ranking towns. Ranked by their average income, we came in 73.

Earning trends for town millionaires didn’t reflect statewide trends.

From 2010-11, Southborough millionaires increased by 20% but their average earnings decreased by more than 55%, and total earnings by 47%.

In contrast, the BBJ reports that averaged across the state, filers increased by 8%, average earnings were only down 5%, and total earnings increased by 7%.

Here’s some more numbers from BBJ*.

20140114_millionaires in Sboro_smlr
(*Figures above are rounded to millions)

For the full article, click here.

(Image of fake million dollar bill posted to Flickr by Simon Davison)

1 Carl Guyer January 14, 2014 at 8:05 PM

If the tax data in this article and the referenced article is correct, it makes for some interesting math.

As reported for Southborough.
Number of Residents : 9854
Per Capita Income (2010) : $107,414
Multiply the above to calculate total income for the town : $1,058,457,556

As reported : Income of towns 80 millionaires (2010) : $501,436,000
Divide income of millionaires by total town income to determine what part of the town’s income was earned by the 80 millionaires. Result : 47%

If what has been reported is accurate, it is a very interesting result.

2 beth October 16, 2014 at 1:08 PM

I was just going to reference this article and your math in an inequality post. But first, I double checked the math. It seems you calculated the total income wrong.

The two figures actually equal $10,575,337,956.

Therefore, the 80 millionaires only earned 4.7% of town’s reported income that year.

3 carl Guyer October 16, 2014 at 3:12 PM

Hi Beth

I was surprised to get an email message about this old article.

I have to stand by my math.

Think of it this way

If there were only 10 residents with a per capita income of $100,000 that would be a total of $1,000,000. Since there are 10,000 residents or 1,000 times as many as 10, then 1,000 time $1,000,000 (a million) is $1,000,000,000 (a billion).

I know it is hard to believe that so few make so much, but that is what the data says.

Also, if the annual income were $10,000,000,000 with a population of 2700 households that would put the annual income per household at $3.7 million per year. A nice thought but probably not real. (or as I would ask, what happened to mine ? :-) )

Anyways, what are you up to, I would be interested in knowing.

And thanks for the plug about the Green Technology Meeting.


4 beth October 17, 2014 at 9:40 AM

Sorry, you are correct! I used excel and had the residents number plugged in wrong as 98454.(With no comma, I didn’t notice that it was off. I kept doing the math over and over, and thought mine was right. Couldn’t figure out how you got your figure. (And assumed you plugged something in wrong.)

I was looking at this as I wrote a piece on income inequality yesterday.

I agree that it’s interesting to see that in 2010 47% of the town’s income was made by 0.8% of our population.

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