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30 Richest Cities in the United States

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·10 min read
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In this article we take a look at the 30 richest cities in the United States. Click to skip ahead and jump to the 10 richest cities in the United States.

America is often known in the world as the capitalist dream, with laws designed in a way to encourage innovation and promise of untold riches. There are dozens of success stories of companies starting from garages, and becoming some of the biggest companies in the world, such as Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Amazon. The success of these companies have made some of them cross the $1 trillion threshold, while the owners have made tens of billions of dollars, some even crossing a hundred billion in net worth. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) founder Jeff Bezos has a net worth of $175 billion today, having more money than several countries across the world.

While these stories are told to everyone to show how America gives everyone equal opportunity, and success only depends on hard work, this theme falls afoul of the fallacy known as the survivorship bias. What survivorship bias means is that we tend to focus on the success stories i.e. those who made it rather than those who did not because of a lack of visibility. This is despite the fact that the vast majority comprises of those who have not made it, and that there are unique conditions that have led to success in these cases, including a huge amount of luck, which has no logical explanation behind it.

Pixabay/Public Domain

The wealth distribution in America is incredible for all the wrong reasons. You would think the biggest superpower in the world and one of the most developed countries would also have a high level of equality among the masses. The truth is a complete 180 turn, with wealth inequality in the US being incredibly high. The wealthiest 1% of Americans hold an amazing 40% of all wealth. The bottom 90% hold less than 25% of the total wealth. 25% of the total families in US don't even have $10,000. And this isn't a common theme throughout history, it has actually increased significantly over time. In 1989, the bottom 90% had a third of all wealth, now down to a quarter. The wealth of the top 1% was 30% then, still a lot, but at least 10% below what it is now. 84% of the families in the US have less wealth than the mean for the country. Why that is, I will explain later on in the methodology section. In fact, this high concentration of wealth and relative inequality is why many propose a strict progressive system for taxation, to increase the tax on ultra high net worth individuals, which has of course been strongly opposed since these are the men and women who directly or indirectly, exert a huge amount of influence and control.

This situation has worsened considerably in 2020. 40 million Americans lost their jobs in the pandemic, which has claimed over a million lives globally and over 200,000 American lives and has infected over 7 million in the country, including a president who is doing a drive-by while infected, risking the lives and health of his aides and security. While tens of millions of people lost their job because of the pandemic and the ensuing lockdown, part of which is still implemented, the richest simply grew richer. And not just by a million or two. Billionaires got richer by $637 billion during the pandemic with Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk leading the way. If you want to learn more about how the billionaires got richer, you should consider taking a look at the top 20 richest people in the world. Yet, because we will follow anyone with a comparatively higher success rate than us, we still worship these people even as we don't know where our next paycheck will come from, while they worry about the size of the yacht they should be getting.

To calculate our rankings, we thought of several ways, including determining the richest cities by the number of millionaire or billionaires they had. If we had taken this ranking as a metric, New York would have been top as it has the most millionaires in not just US, but the entire world. But this would only show the affluent and well off population, those who had actually attained success and not be representative of the entire city. Another option was using the mean, or the average earnings of each city. This however led to another problem. Imagine if there are 10 people, where 9 people earn $100,000 and the tenth person earned $10 million. The mean, or the average, would be $1.09 million even though 9 out of 10 people would be earning just a tenth of that. That again would not be representative of the entire population. This is why we selected the median salary. To calculate the median, you arrange the numbers from lowest to highest and select the middlemost value. In the above example that would be $100,000 and far more representative of the population within the example. Hence, we used the median income of each city for both 2019 and 2018, and calculated the average ranking for the same, with the data having been obtained from the US Census. So let's take a look at the cities where you are more than likely to be well off, rather than not, starting with number 30:

30. Ogden-Clearfield, UT Metro Area

Median salary in the city in 2019 in USD: 79,251

Median salary in the city in 2018 in USD: 76,653

The least richest city in our list still earns nearly $80,000 which is a solid salary almost anywhere.

Pixabay/Public Domain

29. Salt Lake City, UT Metro Area

Median salary in the city in 2019 in USD: 80,196

Median salary in the city in 2018 in USD: 73,730

The capital of Utah and its most populous city is also one with a great opportunity for earning well.

photo.ua/Shutterstock.com

28. Barnstable Town, MA Metro Area

Median salary in the city in 2019 in USD: 85,042

Median salary in the city in 2018 in USD: 68,902

While it is a comparatively small town in Massachusetts, it has a high standard of living, because of the high income for its residents.

Pixabay/Public Domain

27. Torrington, CT Micro Area

Median salary in the city in 2019 in USD: 81,195

Median salary in the city in 2018 in USD: 76,043

Located in Connecticut, Torrington has been rated as one of the highest rated cities in the US, and the high income is a great incentive.

connecticut, hartford, ct, view, road, urban, scenic, downtown, tower, office buildings, america, usa, park, sunrise, landmark, night, scenery, skyline, financial district,
connecticut, hartford, ct, view, road, urban, scenic, downtown, tower, office buildings, america, usa, park, sunrise, landmark, night, scenery, skyline, financial district,

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com

26. Anchorage, AK Metro Area

Median salary in the city in 2019 in USD: 80,676

Median salary in the city in 2018 in USD: 81,037

Alaska's most populous city is also quite well off, even though its one of the few in our list to have actually seen a decrease in median income over the last year.

Pixabay/Public Domain

25. Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI Metro Area

Median salary in the city in 2019 in USD: 80,754

Median salary in the city in 2018 in USD: 82,917

Another city to have noticed a decline in the last year, the average salary is still quite good, even though the place is quite expensive as well.

Pixabay/Public Domain

24. Kapaa, HI Micro Area

Median salary in the city in 2019 in USD: 81,971

Median salary in the city in 2018 in USD: 80,921

Hawaii has a few well off cities, and Kapaa is no exception.

Pixabay/Public Domain

23. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA Metro Area

Median salary in the city in 2019 in USD: 83,160

Median salary in the city in 2018 in USD: 78,478

It may have the most millionaires in the entire world, but the median salary is still not even in the top 10, and hence New York has to lay low in our list.

Worst Neighborhoods in Manhattan and Brooklyn in 2018
Worst Neighborhoods in Manhattan and Brooklyn in 2018

Pixabay/Public Domain

22. Midland, TX Metro Area

Median salary in the city in 2019 in USD: 82,650

Median salary in the city in 2018 in USD: 80,747

The oil boom in Midland is the primary reason why Midland has such a high median income.

Pixabay/Public Domain

21. Manchester-Nashua, NH Metro Area

Median salary in the city in 2019 in USD: 83,626

Median salary in the city in 2018 in USD: 78,978

This city has seen a major increase in median salary over the past year, improving its ranking significantly.

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com

20. Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD Metro Area

Median salary in the city in 2019 in USD: 83,160

Median salary in the city in 2018 in USD: 80,469

Over 2.7 million people live in the MSA, which has seen a strong decrease in the salary over the previous year.

Pixabay / Public Domain

19. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI Metro Area

Median salary in the city in 2019 in USD: 83,698

Median salary in the city in 2018 in USD: 79,578

Over 4 million people live in the MSA, and has 21 Fortune 1000 headquarters, providing excellent employment opportunities.

Pixabay / Public Domain

18. San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, CA Metro Area

Median salary in the city in 2019 in USD: 83,985

Median salary in the city in 2018 in USD: 79,079

California has relatively high salaries and a high cost of living, and San Diego is not an exception to either.

Most Ethnically Diverse Cities in America
Most Ethnically Diverse Cities in America

Joseph Sohm/Shutterstock.com

17. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO Metro Area

Median salary in the city in 2019 in USD: 85,641

Median salary in the city in 2018 in USD: 79,478

The MSA makes our list of richest cities in the US, crossing the $85,000 threshold.

Pixabay/Public Domain

16. Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, NY Metro Area

Median salary in the city in 2019 in USD: 85,152

Median salary in the city in 2018 in USD: 85,152

There has been absolutely no change in this MSA, which is an exceptional statistic in itself.

BrooklynScribe/Shutterstock.com

15. Vallejo, CA Metro Area

Median salary in the city in 2019 in USD: 86,652

Median salary in the city in 2018 in USD: 84,395

Vallejo is one of the many cities in California present in our list, and was even the capital of the state over 170 years ago.

7 Most Ethnically Diverse Cities in America
7 Most Ethnically Diverse Cities in America

jared ropelato/Shutterstock.com

14. Santa Rosa-Petaluma, CA Metro Area

Median salary in the city in 2019 in USD: 87,828

Median salary in the city in 2018 in USD: 81,395

Nearly 500,000 people reside in this MSA, and enjoy a relatively high standard of living, afforded by a high median income.

Pixabay/Public Domain

13. Urban Honolulu, HI Metro Area

Median salary in the city in 2019 in USD: 87,470

Median salary in the city in 2018 in USD: 84,423

Another city in Hawaii where the salary has decreased is Honolulu, which still has a quite high median income.

Least Racist States in the USA in 2018
Least Racist States in the USA in 2018

Sorin Colac/Shutterstock.com

12. Boulder, CO Metro Area

Median salary in the city in 2019 in USD: 88,535

Median salary in the city in 2018 in USD: 83,755

With a high median salary comes a high standard of living and a high cost of living, all of which is applicable completely to Boulder in Colorado.

Pixabay/Public Domain

11. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA Metro Area

Median salary in the city in 2019 in USD: 89,269

Median salary in the city in 2018 in USD: 86,941

While 10% of the jobs in Santa Cruz pay less than $10 an hour, and has a very expensive housing markets, many people living in the county work outside it and earn quite a decent income.

Click to continue reading and see the 10 Richest Cities in the United States Disclosure: No positions. 30 Richest Cities in the United States is originally published on Insider Monkey.