The biggest states may be in the west, but the Northeast remains the biggest draw for RIAs.

According to securities industry group SIFMA, the Northeastern states hold the greatest number of RIAs, with over 7,900 situated there -- including New York, with 3,442.

California alone has more than 5,000 RIAs within its borders, but neighboring Western states have only a handful apiece. Southern states, a group that includes Texas, have over 4,000 resident RIAs.

And in the Midwest, only Illinois stands out, with almost 1,350 advisors.

"It is a highly concentrated profession that clearly follows wealth distribution," says Alois Pirker, research director at Boston-based consulting firm Aite Group.

RIA firms now number nearly 16,000 nationally, managing $2.4 trillion in assets -- and industry growth shows no sign of stopping, according to Cerulli Associates.

"As of year-end 2013, the RIA and dually-registered segment accounted for 20% of total intermediated retail investor assets, and we expect that number to reach 28% by 2018," states Kenton Shirk, associate director at Cerulli.

Jumbo custodians Schwab and Fidelity account for more than $809 billion in RIA mutual fund assets, Cerulli reports.

The firm notes that RIA growth is being driven by "the combination of projected advisor migration patterns and investor preferences, especially among high-net-worth investors."

See the top 10 states for RIAs below or view as a slideshow here.

10. Georgia - 715 RIAs

9. Connecticut - 936 RIAs

8. New Jersey - 977 RIAs

7. Pennsylvania - 1,129 RIAs

6. Illinois - 1,348 RIAs

5. Florida - 1,410 RIAs

4. Massachusetts - 1,424 RIAs

3. Texas - 1,923 RIAs

2. New York - 3,442 RIAs

1. California - 5,021 RIAs

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