25. Austin-Round Rock, TX
> Median household income: $73,800
> Households earning $200,000 or more: 9.7%
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 44.8%
> March 2019 unemployment: 2.7%
The typical household in the Austin-Round Rock metro area earns nearly $74,000 a year, about $13,500 more than the typical American household. Some of the largest employers in the metro area include high-paying tech companies such as Dell, IBM, Amazon, and Apple. Partially as a result, employment in traditionally higher paying-industries like information, and professional, scientific, and management is more concentrated in Austin than the vast majority of U.S. metro areas.
The unemployment rate in the Austin metro area stands at just 2.7%, well below the 3.8% national March unemployment rate — which itself is near historic lows.
24. Midland, TX
> Median household income: $75,266
> Households earning $200,000 or more: 8.5%
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 27.6%
> March 2019 unemployment: 2.1%
Midland, Texas, is one of only 24 U.S. metro areas where most households earn at least $75,000 a year. Texas is by far the leading oil and natural gas producing state — and Midland is an oil city. Of the metro area’s labor force, 18.5% work in resource extraction, the largest share of any U.S. metro area and more than 10 times the industry’s 1.7% employment concentration nationwide. Energy tends to be a higher-paying field.
Midland sits on top of the Permian Basin, an expansive West Texas oil field that stretches about 300 miles long and 250 miles wide. With access to one of the largest oil fields in the United States, Midland is home to major operations of energy giants like Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and Halliurton.
23. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA
> Median household income: $75,368
> Households earning $200,000 or more: 13.2%
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 39.6%
> March 2019 unemployment: 3.9%
Home to over 20 million people, New York is by far the most populous metro area in the United States. With a median annual household income of $75,368, it is also one of the wealthiest. A significant 13.2% of households in the metro area earn at least $200,000 a year, a larger share than in all but six other metro areas nationwide. The high incomes are due in part to the city’s status as a global financial hub, home to high-paying employers in the finance industry, including firms like JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs.
Income inequality is a bigger problem in New York than most other American cities. The poverty rate in metro area of 12.8% is higher than nearly every other city on this list.
22. San Diego-Carlsbad, CA
> Median household income: $76,207
> Households earning $200,000 or more: 10.9%
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 38.8%
> March 2019 unemployment: 3.7%
California is one of the most expensive states in the country, with goods and services costing 14.4% more on average than they do nationwide. In many parts of the state, incomes are high partially to offset the higher living expenses, and San Diego is one of eight California metro areas on this list.
The typical household in San Diego earns $76,207 a year, well above the state and national median annual household incomes of $71,805 and $60,336, respectively. Some of the largest employers in the city include higher-paying health care giants Sharp Healthcare, Kaiser Permanente, and Scripps Health.
21. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
> Median household income: $76,643
> Households earning $200,000 or more: 9.5%
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 43.9%
> March 2019 unemployment: 2.9%
The typical household in the Denver metro area earns $76,643 a year, the second most of any city in the state and more than in all but 20 other cities nationwide. Incomes tend to increase with educational attainment, and in Denver, 43.9% of adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher, well above the 32.0% U.S. bachelor’s degree attainment rate.
Major employers in the area include a wide range of companies in high paying sectors like defense, finance, and technology. These companies include Charles Schwab, VMware, Oracle, Amazon, Boeing, and Lochkeed Martin.
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