The U.S. Census Bureau recently released its latest American Community Survey, offering an updated snapshot of demographic and economic conditions in the United States. According to new ACS estimates, the typical American household earned an average of $69,021 over the five years ending in 2021.
This latest figure represents a 6% increase over the five-year period ending in 2020. But while the 2021 ACS reveals a pay raise for most American households, it also highlights the significant income inequality across the United States, as there are parts of the country where incomes are far higher than average.
Highland Park, Illinois, is one place where the median household income is more than double the national figure. The typical household in the area earns $153,226 a year, the 50th highest among all cities with sufficient data and 122.0% more than the national median.
Incomes in the United States, for individuals and across broad populations, tend to rise with higher levels of educational attainment. In Highland Park, an estimated 76.4% of adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher, well above the 33.7% share of adults nationwide with similar education levels.
All data in this story are five-year estimates from the 2021 ACS. For the purposes of this story, cities are defined as incorporated legal entities or census-designated statistical areas with populations of more than 25,000 people and can include communities that are coterminous with college or university campuses. Cities were excluded if the number of households for which income was determined was less than 1,000 in the 2021 ACS or if the sampling error associated with a place’s data was deemed too high.
|Rank||City||Median household income ($)||Adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher (%)||Median home value ($)||Population|
|1||Los Altos, California||250,000+||85.9||2,000,000+||31,562|
|2||University Park, Texas||247,045||88.5||1,380,600||25,029|
|7||San Carlos, California||204,570||67.7||1,904,400||30,754|
|12||Palo Alto, California||194,782||82.7||2,000,000+||68,624|
|13||Ridgewood, New Jersey||194,256||78.3||789,900||25,991|
|15||Westfield, New Jersey||185,319||76.4||810,400||30,950|
|19||Menlo Park, California||179,913||72.6||2,000,000+||33,677|
|24||Foster City, California||173,721||70.2||1,482,500||33,511|
|25||San Ramon, California||173,519||70.3||1,063,200||85,688|
|27||South Riding, Virginia||170,456||68.2||571,300||33,828|
|28||Mercer Island, Washington||170,000||77.5||1,504,500||25,506|
|29||Ladera Ranch, California||169,706||65.8||863,400||25,526|
|30||Manhattan Beach, California||169,586||77.9||2,000,000+||35,585|
|31||Plainview, New York||168,140||69.0||632,300||26,665|
|33||Los Gatos, California||166,642||73.4||1,893,200||33,309|
|35||Princeton, New Jersey||165,149||85.3||893,600||30,717|
|37||Mill Creek East, Washington||161,684||60.4||637,300||25,528|
|40||Hoboken, New Jersey||160,890||80.3||777,600||59,369|
|43||Rancho Palos Verdes, California||158,996||68.4||1,247,600||42,316|
|44||Mountain View, California||158,104||72.1||1,613,300||82,409|
|45||North Tustin, California||157,487||57.7||973,800||25,708|
|48||Commack, New York||153,858||56.4||560,800||36,252|
|50||Highland Park, Illinois||153,226||76.4||523,500||30,245|
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