Special Report

25 Most American Cities

25. Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL

The Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville metro area is representative of the country as a whole in many ways. Like the country, Palm Bay’s workforce is primarily employed in the education, health and social services, professional and scientific services, and retail sectors. The city is also similar to nationwide averages in other economic measures. For example, the metro area’s unemployment rate of 5.0% is just slightly higher than the national 4.7% unemployment rate.

24. Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA

The local economy of Omaha-Council Bluffs is relatively similar to the national economy. In the metro area, 23.6% of the workforce is employed in the educational, health, and social services sector, 10.5% in professional, scientific, management, and administrative positions, and 11.8% in retail trade, each within 1 percentage point the corresponding national share. Residents of Omaha-Council Bluffs are somewhat wealthier than the average American, however. The typical household in the metro area earns $57,527 annually, about $4,000 more than the national median household income.

23. Chattanooga, TN-GA

In Chattanooga, 86.1% of adults have at least a high school diploma, similar to the 86.9% of adults nationwide with a high school diploma. Chattanooga’s college attainment rate, however, is somewhat lower than the corresponding national attainment rate, and this may limit residents’ earning potential. Just 25.1% of residents have at least a bachelor’s degree, less than the 30.1% national college attainment rate. The typical Chattanooga household earns $46,600 annually, far less than the $53,657 national median household income. Despite lower incomes, the poverty in Chattanooga is roughly in line with the 15.5% national poverty rate.

22. Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN

Louisville, Kentucky’s population has about the same educational attainment level as the American population as a whole. Across the United States, 86.9% of adults have a high school diploma and 30.1% have graduated from college. In Louisville, the corresponding rates are 88.2% and 27.6%, respectively. The city’s income and poverty rates are also similar to overall national levels. The typical household in Louisville makes $50,932 a year, compared to a national median income of $53,657. While 15.5% of Americans live in poverty, Louisville’s poverty rate is 14.5%.

21. Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN

The typical household in Cincinnati earns $55,729 annually, only slightly higher than the $53,657 national median household income. The typical home is worth about $30,000 less in Cincinnati than across the country as a whole. Despite the difference in cost, 65.2% of Cincinnati homes are owned by their occupants, only slightly higher than the nationwide homeownership rate.