Special Report

25 Most American Cities

20. Charleston-North Charleston, SC

The typical Charleston resident is about as wealthy as the average American. The area’s median annual household income of $53,572 is just $85 less than the national median household income. Similarly, the metro area’s 15.1% poverty rate is close to the national poverty rate of 15.5%.

While no city can perfectly match the racial diversity of America, the Charleston metro area is somewhat comparable. About 64% of Charleston residents are white, similar to the 63% national share. The city’s demographic composition is not identical to that of the nation, however. African American Charleston residents make up 26.8% of the population, more than double the national share.

19. Providence-Warwick, RI-MA

Providence-Warwick residents earn similar incomes to the average American. The typical Providence-Warwick household earns $55,836 each year, about $2,000 more than the national median household income. Health outcomes of metro area residents are also similar to that of the nation. In both Providence-Warwick and the country as a whole, 27.0% of adults are obese.

18. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA

The economy of the Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro metro area closely resembles that of the United States as a whole. About 21% of the Portland workforce is employed in education, health, and social services, 12% in professional and scientific occupations, and 11% in retail trade, each roughly in line with the national employment distribution. The metro area is also home to some of America’s most well-known companies. Nike is headquartered in neighboring Beaverton, and Intel runs its largest U.S. operation with five campuses across Washington County.

17. Boise City, ID

By many socioeconomic measures, Boise is an accurate cross section of the country. The Idaho city closely mirrors the nation in health insurance coverage, college attainment, home values, and the composition of industries in which residents are employed. The typical household in the Idaho capital makes $51,826 a year, compared to a national median household income of $53,657. Boise differs from the nation most dramatically, however, in demographic composition. More than 80% of the area’s population is white, a much greater share than the 62.8% of Americans who are white. Less than 1% of Boise’s population is black, well below the 12.2% national share.

16. Oklahoma City, OK

The typical household in Oklahoma City earns $52,416 annually, close to the $53,657 national median household income. With a similar median income, the 15.3% share of Oklahoma City residents living in poverty is roughly in line with the national poverty rate. Also similar to the nation, about 63% of metro area residents own their homes.

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