According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income for Americans is $55,322, with the poverty threshold defined as $12,228 for an individual, $15,569 for a couple, and $24,563 for a family of four. From 2012 to 2016, it was estimated that more than 12% of Americans were living below the poverty line.
With income inequality on the rise, minimum wage laws have become a hot-button issue – many claiming it should be raised to $15 per hour (roughly $30,000 annually for full-time work) in order to provide a “living wage.” At the start of this year, for example, 11 states passed legislation to raise their minimum wage.
Despite these efforts, the gap between the rich and poor has never been more apparent. To see how median wages compare across the country, researchers at ConsumersAdvocate.org analyzed the latest census data and found that the top 10 wealthiest cities have household incomes that are more than three times the national average.
Here are the top 10 wealthiest cities in America.
Data is from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey 2016 release of 5-year estimates and cities with populations under 20,000 were excluded from the list. “Median Home Value” only includes owner-occupied units.
10. Colleyville, Texas
Median Household Income: $162,183
Median Home Value: $432,600
Poverty Level: 1.9%
A wealthy suburb of the Dallas/Fort Worth area, Colleyville was originally a small farm town in the 19th century. Today, bolstered by the economic growth of its urban neighbors, Colleyville enjoys a rare combination of high salaries and low living costs. Its median home price, for example, is the lowest of any city on this list.
9. Westport, Connecticut
Median Household Income: $166,307
Median Home Value: $1,087,700
Poverty Level: 4.4%
Located less than 50 miles from New York City, Westport is part of Connecticut’s famous “Gold Coast,” a stretch of coastline along the Long Island Sound that boasts several cities with enormous wealth. Financial services play a large role in the town’s economy.
8. Saratoga, California
Median Household Income: $169,579
Median Home Value: $1,742,900
Poverty Level: 4.5%
Not to be confused with Saratoga Springs in NY, a famous horse-racing venue, this Saratoga sits at the western edge of Silicon Valley in California. The proximity to tech giants such as Apple, Google, and Facebook attracts top talent – and their families – to Saratoga, further enriching the economy and excellent school systems. Saratoga has the second-highest median home value on this list.
7. Wellesley, Massachusetts
Median Household Income: $171,719
Median Home Value: $980,400
Poverty Level: 3.3%
Part of the greater Boston area, Wellesley is home to several institutions of higher learning, including the famous all-women’s Wellesley College and the entrepreneurial Babson College. The residents are also well educated with more than 83% of the population 25 and over having earned a bachelor’s degree or higher.
6. Potomac, Maryland
Median Household Income: $181,890
Median Home Value: $889,100
Poverty Level: 3.3%
Sharing its name with the river that flows through our nation’s capital, Potomac is a suburb of Washington, D.C. Not surprisingly, many Potomac residents commute to Washington to work in sectors such as technology, healthcare, and government. Potomac is also the second most populous city on the list.
5. Los Altos, California
Median Household Income: $187,656
Median Home Value: $2,000,000+
Poverty Level: 3.3%
Situated in the northern part of Silicon Valley, Los Altos is a haven for workers in the technology sector – and the high salaries that come with it. The seven square mile city prides itself on its tree-lined streets, sustainability, and small-village atmosphere. Los Altos also has the highest median home value on this list.
4. Southlake, Texas
Median Household Income: $189,432
Median Home Value: $586,400
Poverty Level: 2.5%
Like Colleyville, Southlake is another suburb of the Dallas/Fort Worth area. This affluent town benefits from the economic prosperity of the larger cities’ major industries, which include aviation, life sciences, and natural gas, but also maintains its smaller, community feel. At $586,400, Southlake has the second-lowest median home value on this list.
3. McLean, Virginia
Median Household Income: $190,258
Median Home Value: $982,900
Poverty Level: 2.6%
Home to diplomats, politicians, and high-ranking executives, McLean is located just outside of Washington, D.C. While many McLean residents commute to the nation’s capital for work, others work for local firms such as USA Today, Capital One, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Freddie Mac, which have offices based in McLean. McLean is also the most populous city on the list.
2. University Park, Texas
Median Household Income: $198,438
Median Home Value: $1,102,500
Poverty Level: 4.2%
Named after its proximity to Southern Methodist University, University Park is located in the upper north end of Dallas. The city is well educated with more than 85% of residents over the age of 25 having a bachelor’s degree or higher.
1. Darien, Connecticut
Median Household Income: $208,125
Median Home Value: $1,248,200
Poverty Level: 4.8%
A coastal town about 50 miles away from New York City, Darien has the lowest population and the highest median household income on the list. Private beaches, yacht clubs, mansions, and more are features of this fabulously wealthy suburb.