10. California-Lexington Park, MD
> Median household income: $78,195
> Households earning $200,000 or more: 6.6%
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 26.1%
> March unemployment rate: 4.5%
California-Lexington Park is the wealthiest metro area in the wealthiest state. The typical metro area household earns $78,195 per year, in line with the $78,945 statewide median income — both of which are well above the national median household income of $57,617.
Most wealthy metro areas are home to a relatively large share of college educated residents, but not California-Lexington Park. Just 26.1% of area adults have a bachelor’s degree, below both the 31.3% college attainment rate nationwide and the 39.3% rate statewide.
9. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
> Median household income: $78,612
> Households earning $200,000 or more: 11.0%
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 42.0%
> March unemployment rate: 3.9%
A number of the wealthiest metropolitan areas in the country can be found on the West Coast, and nearly all of these in California. The exception is the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metropolitan area, which has a median household income of just under $80,000. Tech industry jobs tend to pay relatively well, and the greater Seattle area hosts the operations of some of the largest tech companies in the world. Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, and Google all are major area employers.
8. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA
> Median household income: $80,135
> Households earning $200,000 or more: 11.4%
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 33.6%
> March unemployment rate: 3.6%
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura is one of only eight U.S. metro areas where the majority of households earn over $80,000 per year. For most residents, high incomes are necessary to afford the area’s high cost of living. Goods and services in the metro area are about 16% more expensive than they are on average nationwide. Housing is a significant component of the area’s high cost of living. The typical Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura area home is worth about $561,400, more than double the median home value of $205,000 across the United States as a whole.
7. Urban Honolulu, HI
> Median household income: $80,513
> Households earning $200,000 or more: 10.1%
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 34.4%
> March unemployment rate: 1.9%
Urban Honolulu is the wealthiest of Hawaii’s two metro areas, and one of the wealthiest cities in the country. The typical area household earns $80,513 a year, more than the median income in all but six other U.S. cities. The high incomes are partially offset by a high cost of living — the highest of any U.S. metro area. Goods and services cost 25% more in Urban Honolulu than they do nationwide on average. Housing costs drive up the cost of living considerably. The typical metro area home is worth $658,900 — more than three times the value of the typical American home.
6. Anchorage, AK
> Median household income: $82,203
> Households earning $200,000 or more: 9.4%
> Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 32.2%
> March unemployment rate: 7.2%
The climate of Alaska is not for everyone, with its frigid and dark winters and lukewarm summers. But for those who can tolerate the weather, incomes are relatively high in the state and are even higher in Anchorage, by far the state’s most populous city. The typical anchorage household earns about $25,000 more a year than the typical U.S. household income. However, the cost of living is relatively high in the state thanks, in part, to the cost of transporting goods across difficult terrain. But even adjusting for the cost of living, Anchorage residents are still some of the wealthiest in the country.