America’s Richest Cities

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The U.S. Census Bureau released its annual report on income and poverty in the United States earlier this week. The report revealed that median household income climbed 4.7% nationwide, from $57,617 in 2016 to $60,336 in 2017. For many, the progress did not come as a surprise given the country’s near record-low unemployment rate and a booming stock market.

The latest Census release also reinforces another, less encouraging trend: the increasing concentration of wealth at the top of the income distribution. According to research conducted by the Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit nonpartisan think tank, incomes for the top 5% of earners climbed six times faster than incomes for the bottom 20%.

American cities are economically diverse, home to both extreme wealth and abject poverty. Some cities, however, are far more likely to be home to a greater share of high-income residents. These cities tend to have healthy job markets, well-educated populations, and expensive real estate.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed 2017 data from the U.S. Census Bureau to identify the 42 metro areas where the typical household earns at least $70,000 annually. While these cities span the country from coast to coast, over half of them are in western states, including 11 in California.

Source: Thinkstock

42. Provo-Orem, UT
> Median household income: $70,196
> Median income change 2016-2017: +$908 (+1.3%)
> Median home value: $296,600 (top 10%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 41.3% (top 10%)
> July unemployment: 2.9% (bottom 20%)

Source: Thinkstock

41. Ann Arbor, MI
> Median household income: $70,286
> Median income change 2016-2017: +$4,685 (+7.1%)
> Median home value: $258,700 (top 20%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 54.5% (top 10%)
> July unemployment: 2.8% (bottom 20%)

Source: a_little_brighter / Flickr

40. Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA
> Median household income: $71,106
> Median income change 2016-2017: +$3,670 (+5.4%)
> Median home value: $567,600 (top 10%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 35.2%
> July unemployment: 3.9%

Source: Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com

39. Barnstable Town, MA
> Median household income: $71,235
> Median income change 2016-2017: +$3,337 (+4.9%)
> Median home value: $401,100 (top 10%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 44.6% (top 10%)
> July unemployment: 4.4%

Source: Thinkstock

38. Salinas, CA
> Median household income: $71,274
> Median income change 2016-2017: +$7,398 (+11.6%)
> Median home value: $517,200 (top 10%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 24.8%
> July unemployment: 6.2% (top 10%)