An ideal scenario for many Americans would be to work in a city that pays a high salary but doesn’t require much time, both in terms of commuting and actual work hours. To determine if such a city exists, GOBankingRates culled data from the U.S. Census Bureau, starting with cities that had at least 1,000 households and a population of at least 5,000.
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This list was then further refined by eliminating cities with incomes that were less than 120% of the national median. After factoring in the “total work time,” which included commuting, a final list of 10 cities with high salaries and the best work-life balance were assembled. They are presented here in reverse order.
10. McLean, Virginia
Household median income: $242,610
Amount above the national average income ($): $173,589
Total work time (usual hours worked + travel time to work): 42.89
McLean is the largest town in the top 10, with a population of 28,932 residents aged 16 to 64. But when that many people are earning over $240,000 per year, it means there’s plenty of wealth to go around.
The only reason that McLean doesn’t rank higher in this study is the fact that the total work time required to earn that money is the highest of any city in the top 10.
9. Tamalpais-Homestead Valley, California
Household median income: $220,875
Amount above the national average income ($): $151,854
Total work time (usual hours worked + travel time to work): 40.99
The Tamalpais-Homestead Valley, located just north of the San Francisco Peninsula across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, is home to some of the most coveted real estate in the world, including communities ranging from Mill Valley and Tiburon to Sausalito. But it’s also blessed with incomparable scenic views of the San Francisco Bay, redwood forests in places like Muir Woods, and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
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8. Dunn Loring, Virginia
Household median income: $222,292
Amount above the national average income ($): $153,271
Total work time (usual hours worked + travel time to work): 41
Tiny Dunn Loring, with a population of just 5,610 residents aged 16 to 64, boasts one of the highest median incomes in the country. The suburb of Washington D.C. lies west of Arlington, across the Potomac River from where many of its residents work.
7. Town and Country, Missouri
Household median income: $211,429
Amount above the national average income ($): $142,408
Total work time (usual hours worked + travel time to work): 40
Workers in Town and Country put in what was long considered to be the “average” workweek of 40 hours, but that includes commuting time as well. For those hours, residents are paid exceptionally well, with incomes 206.33% above the national average.
The St. Louis suburb offers a rural feel and has been called one of the very best places to live in Missouri.
6. Wolf Trap, Virginia
Household median income: $225,962
Amount above the national average income ($): $156,941
Total work time (usual hours worked + travel time to work): 40.78
Like its sister city Dunn Loring, which lies just 10 minutes away, the evocatively named Wolf Trap is a Washington D.C. suburb located in wealthy Fairfax County. It’s famous for being the host city of the Filene Center, which is the country’s only national park for the performing arts.
Incomes are just slightly above those of Dunn Loring, while total work time is just a hair below.
5. George Mason, Virginia
Household median income: $129,167
Amount above the national average income ($): $60,146
Total work time (usual hours worked + travel time to work): 31.63
Incomes in George Mason are well below some of the biggest-earning cities on this list, but they’re still 87.14% above the national average. Considering the total work time in George Mason is just a touch above 31 hours, that household median income is actually exceptionally high.
Employment in the small city is dominated by its namesake university.
4 Orinda, California
Household median income: $248,984
Amount above the national average income ($): $179,963
Total work time (usual hours worked + travel time to work): 41.74
Orinda tops the list when it comes to income, with households earning more than 260% above the national average. The semi-rural city lies across the Bay Bridge, just 20 minutes from downtown San Francisco, although many residents use the Caldecott Tunnel on Highway 24 to keep their commutes short.
3. South Hill, New York
Household median income: $88,669
Amount above the national average income ($): $19,648
Total work time (usual hours worked + travel time to work): 27.42
South Hill is something of an outlier in this list. Household median incomes in the city are barely 28% above the national average, but its average total work time is exceedingly low. So if you’re looking for a city where you only need to put in less than 30 hours per week and you can still earn nearly $90,000 per year, this could be the place for you.
2. University Park, Texas
Household median income: $247,045
Amount above the national average income ($): $178,024
Total work time (usual hours worked + travel time to work): 39.55
According to GOBankingRates data, University Park is the richest small town in Texas, and the fourth-richest in the U.S. With a household median income approaching a quarter of a million dollars and work time coming in below 40 hours per week, you can get a lot of bang for your buck in this enclave surrounded on three sides by Dallas.
1. Wellesley, Massachusetts
Household median income: $226,250
Amount above the national average income ($): $157,229
Total work time (usual hours worked + travel time to work): 37.77
Topping the list is beautiful Wellesley, where residents put in fewer than 38 hours per week to earn their massive salaries. The town itself is a major tourist draw due to its scenic beauty and architecture. It’s also the host to its world-famous namesake college, among other institutions of higher learning.
Methodology: To find the Cities with High Salaries and the Best Work-Life Balance, GOBankingRates gathered a list of US cities along with;  Median Household income,  Usual hours worked, and the  mean Commuting times, all sourced form the US Census American Consumer Survey. The national median household income was sourced from the US Census National Quickfacts, and was used to determine how much over or under a cities median household income is from the national income, showing cities with high salaries. Using the mean usual hours worked as well as the mean commuting time per week, a weekly time cost can be calculated showing how much time commitment the average person in a city is commuting to/from or at work. To filter the results down, only the cities with more than 1000 households and 5000 population, as well as higher than 20% above the national median household income. These results and the results of only the top 50 US cities in terms of population were both shown to give supplemental information. The median household income above the national median household income as well as the total work time including commute time and usual hours worked) were both scored. The total work time was weighted at 1.5 times and the two scores were combined to sort to show Cities with High Salaries and Best Work-Life Balance. All data was collected and is up-to-date as-of July 13th, 2023.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 10 Cities With High Salaries and the Best Work-Life Balance