Special Report

America's Richest and Poorest Cities

20. Vallejo-Fairfield, CA
> Median household income:
$67,999
> Median home value: $304,100
> Unemployment rate: 5.9%
> Poverty rate: 12.3%

Unlike most of the wealthiest metro areas in the United States, a smaller than average share of Vallejo adults have at least a bachelor’s degree. While the college attainment rate among Americans is 30.1%, less than 25% of Vallejo adults have similar education. Still, the Vallejo-Fairfield metro area’s median income is among the highest in the United States. A typical household in the area earns $67,999 annually compared to a national median of $53,657.

19. Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT
> Median household income:
$68,532
> Median home value: $243,100
> Unemployment rate: 5.6%
> Poverty rate: 11.1%

Two of the wealthiest metro areas in the United States are in Connecticut, and Hartford is one of them. A typical household in the Hartford metro area earns $68,532 annually, nearly $15,000 more than the national median of $53,657. The Hartford area also has a relatively large share of extremely wealthy households. More than 8% of area households earn at least $200,000 annually, a larger share than the 5.3% of American households who earn as much.

Despite higher than average incomes, Hartford is one of only a handful of the wealthiest metro areas where the unemployment rate exceeds the national rate. About 5.6% of Hartford’s workforce is unemployed, slightly higher than the national unemployment rate of 5.1%.


18. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
> Median household income:

$69,111
> Median home value: $216,400
> Unemployment rate: 3.3%
> Poverty rate: 10.3%

The median household income in the Twin Cities’ metro area is among the highest in the United States. A typical household around Minneapolis-St. Paul earns $69,111 annually, significantly more than the national median income of $53,657. Areas with higher educational attainment tend to have higher incomes as better-paying jobs often require at least a college degree. In the Minneapolis metro area, 40.0% of adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, well above the comparable national rate of 30.1%.

17. Fairbanks, AK
> Median household income:
$69,820
> Median home value: $237,400
> Unemployment rate: 4.5%
> Poverty rate: 9.9%

Two of the wealthiest metro areas in the United States are in Alaska, and Fairbanks is one of them. A typical household in the metro area earns $69,820 annually, significantly more than the national median income of $53,657. Very high wealth can sometimes coincide with high rates of extreme poverty, yet this is not the case in Fairbanks. While 7.3% of U.S. households earn less than $10,000 per year, just 2.9% earn so little in Fairbanks.

16. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
> Median household income:
$71,273
> Median home value: $334,700
> Unemployment rate: 4.1%
> Poverty rate: 11.3%

Certain industries tend to generally have higher-paid employees. The relatively high concentration of workers in traditionally high-paying professional, scientific, and management positions, for example, likely drove up incomes in the Seattle-Tacoma Bellevue metro area. In the Seattle metro area, more than 15% are employed in these types of occupations, versus 11.1% of workers nationwide. A portion of these workers are likely employed by online retail behemoth Amazon.com, which is headquartered in Seattle. The area’s median income of $71,273 is one of the highest in the nation.