Special Report

Richest City in Every State

Source: Art Wager / Getty Images

Hawaii: Urban Honolulu
> Median household income: $72,943 (state: $83,102)
> Households earning more than $200,000: 10.1% (state: 10.9%)
> Median home value: $754,700 (state: $669,200)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 38.6% (state: 33.6%)
> 2019 unemployment rate: 3.8% (state: 3.9%)
> Population: 345,055

Honolulu is the only city in Hawaii for which the Census ACS has 2019 data, and it ranks as the richest city in the state by default only. In fact, the typical Honolulu household has an income of $72,943 a year, well below the median income across the state of $83,102. Despite lower incomes overall, Honolulu residents are not necessarily more likely than the typical Hawaiian to face serious financial hardship. The city’s poverty rate of 9.4% is inline with the 9.3% statewide rate.

Additionally, although Honolulu’s median household income is lower than the state as a whole, it is well above the $65,712 national median.

Idaho: Meridian
> Median household income: $75,515 (state: $60,999)
> Households earning more than $200,000: 5.9% (state: 5.0%)
> Median home value: $331,600 (state: $255,200)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 39.0% (state: 28.7%)
> 2019 unemployment rate: N/A (state: 3.3%)
> Population: 114,161

Meridian, Idaho, located just outside of Boise, has a median household income of $75,515 — nearly $15,000 higher than Idaho’s median household income and about $10,000 higher than the U.S. median.

Meridian does not have a much higher share of households earning more than $200,000 when compared to Idaho, at 5.9% compared to 5.0%. Yet its residents are much less likely to struggle financially as the city’s poverty rate is 8.5%, well below the 11.2% state rate and 12.3% national rate.

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Illinois: Naperville
> Median household income: $140,061 (state: $69,187)
> Households earning more than $200,000: 28.1% (state: 9.0%)
> Median home value: $423,000 (state: $209,100)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 69.1% (state: 35.8%)
> 2019 unemployment rate: 3.1% (state: 4.8%)
> Population: 149,640

The Chicago suburb of Naperville not only ranks as the richest place in Illinois, but also one of the richest in the entire country. Most area households earn over $140,000 annually — more than double the state median and well above the median household income in any of Illinois’ 18 other qualifying cities.

As is the case with the majority of wealthy cities, Naperville residents are less likely to face significant economic struggles. Just 3.7% live below the poverty line, compared to 11.5% of Illinois residents and 12.3% of Americans.

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Indiana: Carmel
> Median household income: $113,714 (state: $57,603)
> Households earning more than $200,000: 26.8% (state: 4.7%)
> Median home value: $370,400 (state: $156,000)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 75.4% (state: 26.9%)
> 2019 unemployment rate: 2.9% (state: 4.2%)
> Population: 101,918

Carmel is located just north and well within commuting distance of Indianapolis, the state’s capital and largest city. Median household income in the city is $113,714, nearly double the median of $57,603 across the state as a whole. Like most high-income American cities, Carmel has a well-educated population. More than three in every four adults in the city have a bachelor’s degree, compared to only about one in every four adults across the state as a whole.

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Iowa: Ankeny
> Median household income: $94,862 (state: $61,691)
> Households earning more than $200,000: 7.7% (state: 5.0%)
> Median home value: $237,100 (state: $158,900)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 53.5% (state: 29.3%)
> 2019 unemployment rate: N/A (state: 3.7%)
> Population: 67,347

In Ankeny, Iowa, the wealthiest city in the state, incomes climbed substantially between 2018 and 2019. Median household income in the Des Moines suburb stands at $94,862, up from $76,072 in 2018.

As is often the case in affluent cities, a relatively small share of Ankeny residents depend on government assistance to afford basic necessities. Just 4.0% of the population receives SNAP benefits, less than half the 9.5% statewide recipiency rate.

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