Special Report

America's Richest and Poorest Cities

5. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
> Median household income:
$83,222
> Median home value: $657,300
> Unemployment rate: 4.2%
> Poverty rate: 10.9%

The San Francisco metro area’s median income is the fifth highest in the United States. A typical household in the metro area earns $83,222 annually, nearly $30,000 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. The San Francisco metro area is home to one of the better educated populations in the country, as 45.9% of area adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, well above the comparable national rate of 30.1%. In many of the wealthiest metropolitan areas, the proportion of very wealthy households is high. In the Bay Area, 14.5% of households earn $200,000 or more each year, a higher share than in all but two other U.S. metro areas.

4. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT
> Median household income:
$85,925
> Median home value: $408,900
> Unemployment rate: 5.3%
> Poverty rate: 8.9%

Nearly 20% of Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk area households earn at least $200,000 a year, the largest share of any U.S. metro area and nearly four times the 5.3% of households earning as much nationally. A typical household in the metro area earns $85,925 annually, over $32,000 more than the national median of $53,657. Higher incomes tend to accompany higher educational attainment. In the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk area, 46.7% of adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, well above the comparable national rate of 30.1%.

3. California-Lexington Park, MD
> Median household income:
$86,417
> Median home value: $291,300
> Unemployment rate: 5.2%
> Poverty rate: 7.5%

Certain industries tend to have higher-paid employees. Those working in professional, scientific, and management positions, for example, typically earn substantially more than workers in many other industries. In California-Lexington Park, one of the wealthiest U.S. metro areas, 15.1% of workers are employed in these types of occupations versus 11.1% of workers nationwide. The California-Lexington Park metro area’s median income of $86,417 is the third highest in the United States. As is often the case in extremely high-income metro areas, poverty is relatively low in California-Lexington Park. Just 7.5% of the city’s population lives below the poverty line, less than half the national poverty rate of 15.5%.

2. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
> Median household income:
$91,193
> Median home value: $386,900
> Unemployment rate: 4.3%
> Poverty rate: 8.7%

Spanning three states, the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria metro area’s median income is the second highest in the United States. A typical household in the metro area earns $91,193 annually, nearly $38,000 more than the $53,657 national median income. Certain industries tend to have higher-paid employees. Those working in professional, scientific, and management positions, for example, typically earn substantially more than workers in many other industries. In the Washington area, 20.5% of workers are employed in these types of occupations versus the 11.1% share of workers nationwide. Higher incomes tend to accompany higher educational attainment. Nearly half of Washington area adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, well above the comparable national rate of 30.1%.


1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
> Median household income:
$96,481
> Median home value: $735,400
> Unemployment rate: 4.1%
> Poverty rate: 8.7%

The San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metro area’s median household income of $96,481 is the highest in the United States. The typical area household earns over $42,000 more than the typical American household. As in many of the nation’s wealthiest areas, the poverty rate in San Jose is well below average. Just 8.7% of the city’s population lives below the poverty line, much lower than the national poverty rate of 15.5%. In San Jose, 47.5% of adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, well above the comparable national rate of 30.1%. Nationwide, 5.3% of households earn $200,000 or more each year. In San Jose, 18.2% of households earn as much, the second highest share of any metro area in the country.