Does being rich make you a happier person?
According to a recent study, if you earn about $95,000 a year, you’re optimally happy. Any more than that, and you’re not. Surprised by that? We were. I think just about everyone who’s reading this would think, “Give me a million bucks, I’ll be happy as hell!”
Happiness isn’t the metric we’re measuring, today, however
Where do you go if you want to see the richest people in the nation? We’re not talking about individuals. We mean, specifically, which parts of the country.
The general assumption is going to be suburbs of major cities where people live in big homes, away from the grimy, packed downtown areas. Yes, we took that into account, but you also have to assume the richest cities in America are going to be where people have amazing jobs.
To see exactly how we calculated these rankings, read on.
Or if you’re simply not interested in reading about the high and mighty, and you don’t care about this list, check out:
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How We Determined The Wealthiest Cities in The US
When HomeSnacks looks at a place to live, we study the stats you can find anywhere on the web. You can get just about any demographic on just about any city center.
For this analysis we used the — U.S. Census.
For this study, we considered the following categories:
- # of residents living in poverty
- Income rank
- % of population unemployed
The census just updated their data at the end of 2017, so we can take a fresh look at it.
And, to be clear, we measured the 300 largest cities in America. So, while your little small town might be rollin’ in the dough, we’re only looking at the most populated areas.
To score the cities, we ranked each one from 1 to 300 where 1 is the “richest” for that category. We then averaged the three rankings into a rich score with the lowest overall score being crowned richest in America.
Here’s a look at the top ten.
1. Frisco, TX
Median Income: $117,642
Unemployment Rate: 3.9%
Poverty Rate: 3.8%
Well howdy, Texas! We’re not too surprised to see you on here. After all, the Lone Star State is home to some of the nation’s wealthiest oilmen and businesses.
Frisco, the richest city in America, is a little nook just outside of Dallas. Residents here have the highest annual salaries in America. So now you know.
2. Pearland, TX
Median Income: $96,954
Unemployment Rate: 4.5%
Poverty Rate: 4.5%
Pearland, Texas is another cute, wealthy suburb in Texas. This rich little enclave is just outside of Houston.
Folks here rank 13th for income levels, and 5th-lowest for number of people living in poverty (4%).
3. Cary, NC
Median Income: $94,617
Unemployment Rate: 4.0%
Poverty Rate: 5.9%
Cary is just a perfect little slice of heaven outside of Raleigh. At least that’s what the locals would tell you.
Only 4% of residents here are without work, and if you drive around town long enough, it’ll be clear; anyone who wants a job here can get a job. If you’re out of work in Cary, it’s your own damn fault.
Median Income: $96,422
Unemployment Rate: 4.6%
Poverty Rate: 4.1%
Colorado is a mix of places; there are some really poor areas here. But Centennial isn’t one of them.
Folks here have great jobs, work hard, and hardly anyone in town struggles to make ends meet. And if they’re poor here, they choose to be poor.
5. Mckinney, TX
Median Income: $83,257
Unemployment Rate: 3.5%
Poverty Rate: 6.9%
Texas sure does have a lot of rich people, doesn’t it? McKinney is another Dallas ‘burb where you’d more likely see people thriving than struggling.
Less than 3 in 100 residents of McKinney is out of work. That’s shockingly low..
6. Fremont, CA
Median Income: $111,613
Unemployment Rate: 5.3%
Poverty Rate: 5.3%
When you think of wealthy areas in California, some people may think Beverly Hills or Sunnyvale. But in fact, it’s the jam-packed east bay city of Fremont that’s the wealthiest in all of the Golden State.
One reason people are ‘rich’ in Fremont is the fact that salaries are so inflated because the cost of living is so high. So, you’re not as ‘rich’ in Fremont as you would be in, say, Cary, NC.
Median Income: $74,789
Unemployment Rate: 4.0%
Poverty Rate: 5.9%
The middle of Kansas? Wow. Bet you didn’t see that coming. Well, the folks in Overland Park did.
Great jobs, low unemployment and a really low cost of living makes this Prairie State city one of the best places you could live if you wanted to earn a great living.
8. Bellevue, WA
Median Income: $100,703
Unemployment Rate: 5.0%
Poverty Rate: 7.5%
Just outside of Seattle is the enclave of Bellevue, where residents earn the 11th-highest incomes in the entire nation. The fact that Seattle is becoming a tech hub really helps drive up the local salary numbers.
9. Olathe, KS
Median Income: $79,691
Unemployment Rate: 4.4%
Poverty Rate: 6.8%
How does 20% of Kansas rank as the wealthiest cities in the nation? Well, maybe there’s a lot less about the midwest than you thought you knew, kiddo.
Frankly speaking, Kansas is one of the best places you can live. It’s safe, friendly, and there are great schools. It’s just plain boring is all. But hey – you could spend your days counting your money, right?
10. Naperville, IL
Median Income: $110,676
Unemployment Rate: 5.6%
Poverty Rate: 4.9%
Rounding out the top 10 wealthiest cities in the US is Naperville.
This rich suburb has appeared on a number of our lists this year thanks to being rich, safe, and a generally awesome place to live.
There You Have It — The Wealthiest Cities in America
After the analysis was over, we crowned Frisco, Texas as the richest city in America for 2018.
While it’s good news for the cities we mentioned, we have to mention the poorest cities in America. Would you have guessed Detroit, Cleveland and Hartford, Connecticut? Probably.
Here’s a look at the poorest cities in America:
- West Valley City
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