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The Upper Class Has Taken Over These 50 Cities

Alexandria Bova
·11 mins read

The gap between the middle and upper class appears to be shrinking. This might seem surprising as nearly 70% of Americans identified as middle class in a Northwestern Mutual 2018 Planning & Progress study. Perhaps it’s because there is considerable income disparity across the country’s most popular cities.

A recent Bloomberg analysis looked at income distribution across U.S. cities, and it painted an interesting picture regarding strong, albeit uneven, economic growth. With the middle class shrinking, this might mean a shift for the lower- and upper-income tiers. This could be the case for certain cities’ growth, especially ones fueled by industries on the rise, based on current economic trends. And it seems as if the upper class might be congregating in certain areas of the country.

To determine which cities the upper class has targeted across the nation, GOBankingRates looked at all U.S. cities with more than 40,000 households. This study then analyzed the 50 cities with the most upper-class residents, with “upper class” defined as those earning above $100,000. GOBankingRates looked at factors such as total households per city, the 2013 and 2018 percentage of households considered upper class and the five-year change in upper-class households. These cities were ranked based on the five-year change, with the highest percentage being No. 1.

Some of America’s richest cities are in California, so it probably isn’t a surprise that nearly half of the locales on this study’s list come from the Golden State. Well-known cities in Texas and Massachusetts also get a nod, with a few Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountain locales scattered throughout this list. Check out which cities across America have the most upper-class residents.

Last updated: Sept. 23, 2020

Chandler, Arizona

  • Total households in 2018: 88,987

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 32.1%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 39.2%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 22.12%

Scottsdale, Arizona

  • Total households in 2018: 111,221

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 35.6%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 43.5%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 22.19%

Vallejo, California

  • Total households in 2018: 41,991

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 24.3%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 29.7%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 22.22%

Oxnard, California

  • Total households in 2018: 51,460

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 24.9%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 30.5%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 22.49%

Santa Clarita, California

  • Total households in 2018: 67,583

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 38.5%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 47.2%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 22.60%

San Diego

  • Total households in 2018: 503,463

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 30.5%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 37.5%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 22.95%

Richardson, Texas

  • Total households in 2018: 42,723

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 32.6%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 40.1%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 23.01%

Santa Monica, California

  • Total households in 2018: 45,487

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 38.1%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 46.9%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 23.10%

See: This Income Calculator Shows If You’re Actually in the Middle Class

Fremont, California

  • Total households in 2018: 74,445

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 50.9%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 62.7%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 23.18%

Washington, D.C.

  • Total households in 2018: 281,322

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 34.5%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 42.6%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 23.48%

Overland Park, Kansas

  • Total households in 2018: 76,988

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 33.1%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 40.9%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 23.56%

Sunnyvale, California

  • Total households in 2018: 55,938

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 50.0%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 61.8%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 23.60%

Elk Grove, California

  • Total households in 2018: 52,025

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 36.2%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 44.8%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 23.76%

Torrance, California

  • Total households in 2018: 54,360

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 36.2%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 44.8%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 23.76%

New York

  • Total households in 2018: 3,154,103

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 25.2%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 31.2%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 23.81%

Santa Clara, California

  • Total households in 2018: 44,079

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 46.0%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 57.0%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 23.91%

Ann Arbor, Michigan

  • Total households in 2018: 47,791

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 26.7%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 33.1%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 23.97%

Fontana, California

  • Total households in 2018: 53,510

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 25.1%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 31.2%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 24.30%

Glendale, California

  • Total households in 2018: 73,871

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 25.5%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 31.7%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 24.31%

Peoria, Arizona

  • Total households in 2018: 58,201

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 26.2%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 32.6%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 24.43%

Learn: How Much Money Is Considered Middle Class in Your State?

Joliet, Illinois

  • Total households in 2018: 47,360

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 23.9%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 29.9%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 25.10%

Chula Vista, California

  • Total households in 2018: 78,940

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 28.9%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 36.2%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 25.26%

Rochester, Minnesota

  • Total households in 2018: 45,945

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 26.4%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 33.1%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 25.38%

Costa Mesa, California

  • Total households in 2018: 41,019

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 31.1%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 39.1%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 25.72%

Carlsbad, California

  • Total households in 2018: 43,293

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 43.0%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 54.2%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 26.05%

Honolulu

  • Total households in 2018: 128,814

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 26.0%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 32.8%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 26.15%

Concord, California

  • Total households in 2018: 46,475

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 31.4%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 39.7%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 26.43%

Bellevue, Washington

  • Total households in 2018: 57,054

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 44.9%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 56.8%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 26.50%

San Jose, California

  • Total households in 2018: 321,835

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 40.8%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 51.9%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 27.21%

Anaheim, California

  • Total households in 2018: 100,615

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 25.7%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 32.8%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 27.63%

Santa Rosa, California

  • Total households in 2018: 66,629

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 25.5%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 32.8%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 28.63%

Raleigh, North Carolina

  • Total households in 2018: 180,046

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 23.0%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 29.6%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 28.70%

Berkeley, California

  • Total households in 2018: 44,978

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 33.6%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 43.9%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 30.65%

Discover: Best and Worst States for America’s Middle Class

San Francisco

  • Total households in 2018: 359,673

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 39.4%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 51.7%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 31.22%

Westminster, Colorado

  • Total households in 2018: 43,828

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 26.3%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 34.6%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 31.56%

Oceanside, California

  • Total households in 2018: 61,656

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 24.1%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 31.8%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 31.95%

Quincy, Massachusetts

  • Total households in 2018: 40,583

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 26.3%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 34.9%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 32.70%

Boston

  • Total households in 2018: 266,724

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 26.5%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 35.4%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 33.58%

Thornton, Colorado

  • Total households in 2018: 44,745

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 25.9%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 34.6%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 33.59%

Cambridge, Massachusetts

  • Total households in 2018: 46,184

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 36.0%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 48.1%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 33.61%

Kent, Washington

  • Total households in 2018: 42,815

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 23.1%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 31.6%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 36.80%

Charleston, South Carolina

  • Total households in 2018: 55,013

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 22.8%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 31.3%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 37.28%

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Seattle

  • Total households in 2018: 323,446

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 31.9%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 43.8%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 37.30%

Austin, Texas

  • Total households in 2018: 370,043

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 23.9%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 33.0%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 38.08%

Midland, Texas

  • Total households in 2018: 46,552

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 28.0%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 38.7%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 38.21%

Arvada, Colorado

  • Total households in 2018: 47,032

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 28.4%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 39.4%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 38.73%

Denver

  • Total households in 2018: 294,358

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 22.3%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 31.0%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 39.01%

Check Out: How Much You Need To Live Comfortably in 50 Major US Cities

Portland, Oregon

  • Total households in 2018: 264,428

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 22.6%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 31.5%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 39.38%

Oakland, California

  • Total households in 2018: 161,483

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 25.2%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 35.2%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 39.68%

Hayward, California

  • Total households in 2018: 47,768

  • Upper-class households in 2013: 26.8%

  • Upper-class households in 2018: 38.2%

  • 5-year change in upper-class households: 42.54%

More from GOBankingRates

Methodology: GOBankingRates looked at all 285 United States cities with more than 40,000 households, as sourced from the 2018 American Community Survey, in order to find the 50 cities where the upper class has taken over. GOBankingRates then found what percentage of each city’s households in 2018 would be considered upper class (earning above $100,000). The 89 cities that came in above the national average were moved on to the next round of analysis. Those 89 cities were ranked on the five-year change in upper-class households (2013 to 2018). The 50 cities with the greatest change were included in the final rankings. This was the only ranking factor, and all data was collected from the 2013 and 2018 American Community Surveys as conducted by the United States Census Bureau. Supplemental data was found on the five-year change in households making $100,000-$149,999, $150,000-$199,999 and $200,000-plus. All data was compiled on and is up to date as of Feb. 10, 2020.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: The Upper Class Has Taken Over These 50 Cities