It is much more difficult to identify the “wealthiest” city in the country than it seems at first. Sure, you can easily find data on which city has the highest salaries or the best home values. However, being wealthy is not that simple.
For example, you can struggle to make a living in San Francisco with a certain monthly salary (we still do not understand how anyone makes a living in San Fran) while in some other city, it would allow you to live the life Eddie Murphy leads before he comes over to the U.S. in Coming to America.
In order to figure out which are the wealthiest cities in the country, people from WalletHub looked at the data for 475 U.S. cities with the population of over 65,000 and they made sure that their data was as complete as possible.
For instance, they relied on the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2014 American Community Survey for the figures on the median household income andpercentage of homes without a mortgage. They went to Zillow Research to get the data on the median home value. Finally, they went to the credit bureau Experian to get average credit limits for credit card holders.
They combined the data and came back with some really interesting results. For instance, 9 out of 10 wealthiest cities in the United States are located inCalifornia. The only non-Cali city that made the nationwide Top 10 was Bethesda, Maryland at the 5th spot. Since it would be pretty boring to go through such a nationwide Top 10, we will look at the different regions and the cities that fared best in those regions.
For example, in the South, we find the aforementioned Bethesda in the first place, mostly because of the median home value which is at $808,800. That is much higher than in any other city in the South, mind you. With the Total Score of 86.62, it is way ahead of other Southern cities. For instance, #2 in the South, Ellicott City, Maryland scored only 69.24. In third place, we find Arlington, Virginia with the total score of 64.83, mostly thanks to the median home value of $606,400. Flower Mound, Texas made it to 4th place in the South with 62.20 and Centreville, Virginia made it to Top 5 with 61.81.
A number of the wealthiest cities in the South are found inside the Beltway, meaning they are close to the country’s capital Washington, D.C.
In the Northeast, it was Newton, Massachusetts that topped the list with a total score of 82.82. The city boasted a median home value of $886,400 and a very large percentage of homes with no mortgage (35 percent). Stamford, Connecticut was named the second wealthiest city in the Northeast with the total score of 64.13, once again indicating that the wealthiest city in the region stands pretty much alone. In spot #3, we find New Rochelle, New York(59.71) whereas in #4, we find Cambridge, Massachusetts (58.80), and in #5, we have Norwalk, Connecticut with the total score of 56.91.
It was Boston and its suburbs that dominated the wealthiest cities in the Northeast. It probably has something to do with the prestigious colleges in the area and the number of well-paying companies as well.
In the Midwest, the wealthiest city is Naperville, Illinois with the total score of 93.06. Carmel, Indiana came in at #2 with a score of 88.41 while Arlington Heights, Illinois earned the score of 70.89, which was enough for the 3rd place. Evanston, Illinois made it to the 4th spot with 70.60 and Fishers, Indiana made it to the 5th with 69.97.
Chicago dominated Midwest with five of its suburbs making it to the Top 10 in the region. If you wish to live in one of the wealthiest cities in the Midwest, you will find out that this is much more affordable than in other regions in the country.
In the West, like we already mentioned, it is all about California. In fact, all of the Top 20 wealthiest cities in the West are in Cali, starting with Palo Alto with a median home value of $2,503,600. Other Californian cities in the Top 5 all reported home values of around $1 million or more, with the only exception beingYorba Linda, California at the fifth spot.
It is almost impossible not to notice that the tech industry has played a very important role in making California the wealthiest state in the country.