When the data becomes available, it is likely that COVID-19 will be seen to have had a substantial impact on incomes across the country. Regardless, the richest places in the United States likely will remain so. In dozens of cities, most households earn well more than double the national median household income of $65,712.
Using median household income data from the Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey (ACS) for all municipalities with populations greater than 25,000, 24/7 Wall St. identified the richest city in the nation. The median annual household incomes in the cities on this list range from nearly $140,000 to more than $240,000.
While there are affluent areas all across the country, most of the very richest cities in the nation are concentrated in highly populated states with large economies, including New York, California, Virginia and Texas. Most places on the list of finalists for the richest city are within commuting distance of the country’s largest metropolitan economic engines.
Incomes tend to rise with educational attainment, and the richest cities and their surrounding areas also tend to have relatively large college-educated populations. Real estate values often reflect incomes in a given city or town, and with high incomes, homes in the places on this list are often relatively expensive. While places with high median incomes do not always have low shares of residents living below the poverty line, most of the places on the finalist list have extremely low poverty rates.
America’s richest city is Southlake, Texas, which has a median household income of $240,248. Here are some other details:
- Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 69.7% (57th highest of 1,775 cities)
- Poverty rate: 2.5% (tied for 11th lowest)
- Median home value: $676,900 (113th highest)
- Population: 31,292
To identify America’s richest city, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed five-year estimates of median household income from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 ACS.
We used Census “place” geographies, a category that includes 29,573 incorporated legal entities and Census-designated statistical entities. We only considered the 29,319 places that had boundaries that fell within one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia.
We defined cities based on a population threshold (having more than 25,000 people), and 1,775 of the places fell within this threshold.
We ranked the cities based on median household income and used mean household income from the ACS to break ties.
Additional information on poverty, educational attainment, median home value and population are also five-year estimates from the 2019 ACS.