California truly is the Golden State, at least according to the latest statistics released by Wealth-X, a New York-based research and consulting firm for private wealth managers.

Meanwhile, FINRA says it launched The FINRA Investor Education Foundation (FINRA Foundation), "a dynamic interactive Web resource to display the results of America's first State-by-State Financial Capability Survey." In a release, FINRA says the new website, www.usfinancialcapability.org, "displays a clickable map of the United States and allows the public, policymakers and researchers to delve into and compare the financial capabilities of Americans in every state and across geographic regions. The State-by-State Financial Capability Survey, which surveyed more than 28,000 respondents, was developed in consultation with the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy."

FINRA says that "state-by-state survey found a significant disparity in financial capability across state lines and demographic groups." Here are some of the findings:

  • Citizens of New York, New Jersey and New Hampshire are the most financially capable. Those states ranked in the top five among all states in at least three of five measures of financial capability.
  • Kentucky and Montana stood out as having lower financial capability when compared to other states. Citizens of both states were among the least financially capable in at least three of five measures of financial capability.
  • Young Americans nationally were more likely to be less financially capable than older Americans, and they were significantly more likely to engage in non-bank borrowing."

According to Wealth-X’s state-by-state analysis of individuals with a net worth of more than $30 million, California far outpaces the rest, with over 9,800 ultra-high-net worth residents, compared with 7,327 for New York and 5, 283 for Texas.

Florida and Illinois followed with 3,526 UHNW residents and 2,446, respectively. Rounding out the top eleven states with wealthy residents were Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Connecticut and New Jersey. The top eleven states account for more than 65 percent of the U.S. ultra wealthy population, according to Wealth-X.

North Dakota had the fewest ultra-wealthy residents with 40, followed by Alaska with 44 and Delaware with 55.

Wealth-X’ research came from proprietary research, data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. census data and media reports, according to a spokesperson.

The FINRA survey "echoed several of the findings of a smaller-scale national survey released in 2009, finding:

  • Over half of all Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck. 55 percent of Americans report spending more than or about equal to their household income.
  • A significant majority of Americans (60 percent) do not have a "rainy day" fund to cover three months of unanticipated financial emergencies.
  • More than one in five Americans (24 percent) have engaged in some form of higher cost non-bank borrowing during the last five years, including taking out a payday loan or getting an advance on a tax refund.
  • Americans, on average, were able to correctly answer just three of five questions about fundamental financial concepts."