Special Report

America's Richest and Poorest Cities

10. Trenton, NJ
> Median household income:
$74,961
> Median home value: $272,000
> Unemployment rate: 5.0%
> Poverty rate: 11.9%

Nationwide, 5.3% of households earn $200,000 or more each year. In Trenton, 12.3% of households earn as much, more than double the national rate. A typical household in the metro area earns $74,961 annually, more than $21,000 higher than the national median of $53,657. While regional wealth often occurs in areas with high growth, this is not always the case. For example, while the U.S. economy grew at a 2.2% pace in 2014, the Trenton economy contracted by a third of a percent.

9. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA
> Median household income:
$75,449
> Median home value: $483,100
> Unemployment rate: 5.8%
> Poverty rate: 11.3%

Unlike most of the wealthiest metro areas in the United States, a smaller than average share of Oxnard adults have a high school diploma. While 86.9% of American adults have completed high school, only 83.6% of area adults have achieved as much academically. Despite lower educational attainment, the Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura metro area’s median income is among the highest in the United States. A typical household in the metro area earns $75,449 annually, nearly $22,000 more than the national median of $53,657.

8. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH
> Median household income:
$75,667
> Median home value: $375,200
> Unemployment rate: 4.1%
> Poverty rate: 10.6%

A typical household in the Boston metro area earns $75,667 annually, significantly more than the national median 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 Boston, 45.2% of area adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, well above the comparable national rate of 30.1%. In even the poorest metropolitan areas, some small share of households have very high incomes. In many of the wealthiest metropolitan areas, the proportion of wealthy households is exceptionally high. About 11.2% of Boston area households earn $200,000 or more annually, more than double the 5.3% of American households earning as much.

7. Anchorage, AK
> Median household income:
$75,682
> Median home value: $272,700
> Unemployment rate: 5.0%
> Poverty rate: 9.9%

Most of the wealthiest metro areas in the United States have disproportionately high shares of adults with bachelor’s degrees. However, while 30.1% of American adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, only 29.7% of Anchorage adults have similar education. Still, the typical household in Anchorage earns over $22,000 more than the typical American household of $53,657. Despite high incomes among area residents, the local economy does not appear to be robust. While the U.S. economy grew at a 2.2% pace in 2014, the Anchorage economy contracted by 1.4%.


6. Midland, TX
> Median household income:
$77,574
> Median home value: $165,600
> Unemployment rate: 3.2%
> Poverty rate: 7.8%

A typical household in the Midland metro area earns $77,574 annually, nearly $24,000 more than the national median of $53,657. While very high incomes are often associated with high rates of poverty, that is not the case in Midland. Just 7.8% of the city’s population lives below the poverty line — set at $11,770 for a single individual — much lower than the national poverty rate of 15.5%. And 7.8% of Midland households earn less than $10,000 per year, in line with the 7.3% of U.S. households earning so little. This may partially be the result of low unemployment. Just 3.2% of the Midland region’s workforce is unemployed, compared to a national rate of 5.1%.