The 5 Richest and Poorest U.S. Cities

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Census data show the metropolitan areas with the highest and lowest median household incomes. Is your city on the list?

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times — depending on which city you lived in, and this is a tale of (roughly) 10 of them.

Using census data, 24/7 Wall St. figured out the 10 wealthiest and poorest metropolitan areas in the U.S., based on median household income. Here are the five richest:

  1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. — $90,737.
  2. Washington, D.C.-Arlington-Alexandria, Va.  —  $88,233.
  3. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn. — $79,841.
  4. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, Calif. — $74,922.
  5. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass. —  $71,738. 

And here are the five poorest, again based on median household income:

  1. Brownsville-Harlingen, Texas — $30,953. 
  2. Dalton, Ga.  — $32,858.
  3. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas — $33,761.
  4. Gadsden, Ala. — $34,264.
  5. Lake Havasu City-Kingman, Ariz. — $34,445.

Compared with last year and after accounting for inflation, San Jose moved up in the world and Brownsville moved down, 24/7 Wall St. says. The site also compiled poverty rates, unemployment rates and populations for each metro area.

“All 10 of the poorest metropolitan areas have higher percentages of residents living below the poverty rate, compared to the national figure of 15.9 percent,” it says. Meanwhile, the wealthiest areas have the highest concentration of jobs in technology, finance and high-skill manufacturing.

The numbers also run parallel to education levels. While fewer than 30 percent of U.S. adults have a bachelor’s degree, fewer than 10 percent do in Dalton or Lake Havasu, 24/7 Wall St. says. More than 40 percent do in the wealthiest metros.

Do you live in one of the best- or worst-off metropolitan areas? Do the numbers sound about right? Comment below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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