The Top 10 US Cities With the Highest Real Incomes

Beverly Hills, Manhattan, Silicon Valley …Des Moines?

Other places may be famous for their wealthy celebrities, business tycoons, and tech entrepreneurs, but Des Moines, Iowa, is–at least by one measure–the richest metropolitan area in America. According to a U.S. News analysis of data for large U.S. metropolitan areas (for populations that are 500,000 or larger), the Hawkeye State capital has the highest median income in the nation relative to the cost of living. It is followed closely by the metro areas of:

        1. Washington, D.C.
        2. Worcester, Mass.
        3. Houston, Texas
        4. Ogden, Utah

On the other end of the spectrum are the metro areas surrounding:

        1. McAllen, Texas
        2. New York City, NY
        3. Fresno, Calif.

The adjusted incomes were computed using median household incomes and the cost of living index, or COLI, as measured by the Council for Community Economic Research, an organization that works to improve data availability and quality in community and economic research. The index takes into account prices on a variety of basic goods and services, including:

        1. a family’s average grocery bill
        2. local housing costs
        3. utility rates
        4. typical healthcare costs
        5. local transportation expenses
        6. as well as common expenses like movie tickets and newspapers

A city with a COLI of 100.0 has spending levels on those items roughly equivalent to the national average, as calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A city with a high COLI, then, has high prices for things like housing and food, and a low COLI likewise denotes a relatively inexpensive city. These disparate costs of living can mean that a salary in one city has a far different value than the same amount of money in another city. In other words, a worker making roughly $63,000 in expensive New York City has an adjusted income of around $35,000, whereas a worker earning $63,000 in the more affordable Worcester, Mass., has an adjusted income of nearly twice that–just over $61,000.

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About GREGinSD

A Generation X|Y'er that resides in beautiful San Diego, Ca.
This entry was posted in Economics, Geography, Life, News and politics, Social, Trends and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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