Have you wondered where the wealthiest cities in the country are? New York City and San Francisco might come to mind, but big businesses and high rents don't necessarily translate to wealth for a city's residents. In fact, what separates some of the wealthiest cities from the poorest cities in the country might surprise you.
In this study, GOBankingRates defined the "wealthiest" cities as those with high median home values and median incomes. To find the wealthiest city in each state, we used data from Zillow to locate the cities with the highest home values. Then, we examined the household median income by city using data from Sperling's Best Places. Whichever city had the highest household income was deemed the wealthiest city in that state.
South Dakota and Maine were excluded from this list due to a lack of sufficient data. However, the other 48 states are included — click through to find out which city is the wealthiest in your state.
Wealthiest City in Alabama: Mountain Brook
- Median home value: $598,700
- Median household income: $130,259
With a total area of just 12.8 square miles, Mountain Brook manages to pack a lot of punch into such a small space. More than 60 percent of the city's residents make over $100,000 a year, and nearly 29 percent make over $200,000 a year. The Mountain Brook school system is also regularly nationally recognized for its academic achievement. Fun fact: Television star and actress Courteney Cox was born here.
Wealthiest City in Alaska: Juneau
- Median home value: $320,400
- Median household income: $84,750
Residents of Alaska's capital city boast about the local scenery, abundant wildlife and endless outdoor activities, but there's a price to pay for the breathtaking beauty — it's estimated that the cost of living in Juneau is 30 percent more expensive than the average U.S. city. High energy and housing costs are the biggest contributors, but the cost to live there is still lower than many other cities on this list.
Wealthiest City in Arizona: Paradise Valley
- Median home value: $1,594,100
- Median household income: $134,097
Paradise Valley is a small, affluent community right in the heart of the Scottsdale/Phoenix area. The city is well-known for its expensive real estate, luxury golf courses and high-end resorts and shopping centers. It's also a prime spot for celebrity homes — Paradise Valley residents include a variety of names like Alice Cooper, Dan Quayle and Vince Vaughn.
Wealthiest City in Arkansas: Elm Springs
- Median home value: $247,800
- Median household income: $80,313
This suburb of Fayetteville, Ark. has grown 140 percent since 2000 and future 10-year job growth is predicted to be almost 50 percent. If you're looking for maximum home equity, this could be a great place to live: home values are up 4 percent from last year and the 3 percent unemployment rate is lower than the national average. However, you'll have to budget for the relatively high income and sales taxes, compared to the rest of the country.
Wealthiest City in California: Atherton
- Median home value: $6,147,100
- Median household income: $250,001
This Bay Area city has the highest median home price of all the cities on our list. Located just outside Palo Alto, Atherton is a small community that doesn't allow any industrial use of its land. That may seem quaint, but this exclusive city boasts mega mansions, $10-million-plus estates and residents like Google's Eric Schmidt, Microsoft's Paul Allen and investment banking mogul Charles Schwab. Fun fact: Atherton has the second-highest home prices in the country, with New York's Sagaponack, in the Hamptons, taking the top spot.
Wealthiest City in Colorado: Cherry Hills Village
- Median home value: $2,015,600
- Median household income: $215,299
With a population of about 6,000, Cherry Hills Village is one of the Denver area's most prestigious communities. The area features luxury homes and top-rated schools. Golf is a popular activity here and the local country club has hosted three U.S. Open golf tournaments. Fun fact: It's also the place where the golfer Arnold Palmer's namesake drink was created.
Wealthiest City in Connecticut: Darien
- Median home value: $1,429,000
- Median household income: $199,444
Many of Darien's residents are wealthy business professionals that commute to Manhattan or other nearby cities for work. During their time off, they enjoy the town's small parks and public beaches on the Long Island Sound, not to mention socializing at the numerous golf and yacht clubs.
Wealthiest City in Delaware: Hockessin
- Median home value: $409,900
- Median household income: $121,432
Hockessin's low crime rates, high income per capita, stable housing market and local amenities make it an appealing destination. However, the small town vibe and peace of mind doesn't come cheap — the AreaVibes cost of living index is 26 percent higher than the rest of the state and 40 percent higher than the national average. Expensive housing, goods and services and food costs are the biggest contributors to this issue. Even so, it's a great place to retire rich.
Wealthiest City in Florida: Jupiter Island
- Median home value: $4,437,400
- Median household income: $250,001
This tiny channel island is a 17-mile-long private island with just over 800 residents. Though the location is low-key and off the radar, its properties are anything but — Celine Dion owned a $72.5 million mansion with its own water park here and Tiger Woods' estate has a 4-green golf course, 100-foot lap pool, 60-foot diving pool and a spa.
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Wealthiest City in Georgia: Milton
- Median home value: $514,500
- Median household income: $110,891
This affluent Fulton County suburb was established just 11 years ago, in 2006. Milton has its own model of governance, where public-private partnerships provide the municipal services to keep operating costs low.
Wealthiest City in Hawaii: Kailua
- Median home value: $982,500
- Median household income: $104,911
Kailua is located on the island of Oahu. The name means "two seas" or "two currents" because of the two lagoons that run through Kailua Bay. Steady winds make this city a top destination for windsurfing and kitesurfing. Its world-famous white powder beaches, hiking trails and wetland preserves ensure property values stay sky-high. Fun fact: President Barack Obama has vacationed with his family in Kailua Bay Beach, where he also visited as a child.
Wealthiest City in Idaho: Eagle
- Median home value: $345,300
- Median household income: $82,264
Eagle, Idaho has become increasingly suburban and wealthy due to growth in the Boise metropolitan area, as West Coasters are flocking to the area in search of good jobs and a low cost of living. Sperling's listed Eagle as one of the best places to live in Idaho because of its mild climate, outdoor recreation and attractive scenery. Fun fact: The 2008 reality TV show "The Baby Borrowers" was filmed in Eagle.
Wealthiest City in Illinois: Winnetka
- Median home value: $1,161,700
- Median household income: $207,540
Winnetka is located just 14 miles north of downtown Chicago. This is one of the wealthiest and most exclusive areas in the country and it's known for its large, historical homes, rich architectural history and top-notch school system. Fun fact: The picture-perfect house from the "Home Alone" movies is in Winnetka and sold for $1.585 million in 2012.
Wealthiest City in Indiana: Meridian Hills
- Median home value: $479,000
- Median household income: $113,523
Meridian Hills is a relaxed community just outside of Indianapolis. The city takes great pride in its landscape of mature trees, hilly terrain and winding streams, as well as the variety of places of worship, excellent schools and other community amenities. Sperling's has also listed this city as a best place to live because of its revived downtown, low cost of living and strong buying power, however growth and sprawl and nearby high-crime areas are some possible downsides.
Wealthiest City in Iowa: Robins
- Median home value: $246,100
- Median household income: $107,639
This Cedar Rapids suburb has a population of just over 3,100 and a total area of only 5.84 square miles. Property values are relatively low compared to the median household income, which means Robins residents get a big bang for their buck. Residents enjoy the family-friendly small-town vibe, and the low tax rates.
Wealthiest City in Kansas: Mission Hills
- Median home value: $781,700
- Median household income: $227,098
Mission Hills touches the Missouri state line and was originally developed as an upscale community built around the Mission Hills Country Club in the Kansas City suburbs. The city finally incorporated in 1949 to protect its wealthy tax base. The area gets high marks for its low crime rate, great school system and low unemployment, but the cost of living is 148 percent higher than the rest of the state, according to AreaVibes. Fun fact: Because of its proximity to the state line, the Mission Hills Country Club clubhouse was built in Missouri and could serve alcohol, which was prohibited in Kansas at the time.
Wealthiest City in Kentucky: Glenview
- Median home value: $825,100
- Median household income: $211,250
Glenview, a suburb of Louisville, has fewer than 1,000 residents. The city is known for its historic estates built on the high bluffs that overlook the Ohio River, which were originally summer homes for wealthy Louisville families. Eventually, Glenview became a town of full-time residents.
Wealthiest City in Louisiana: Eden Isle
- Median home value: $274,700
- Median household income: $90,110
Eden Isle is located on the northeast shore of Lake Pontchartrain, which was devastated after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The city's proximity to New Orleans means residents have easy access to local arts, culture and entertainment, but the neighborhood still maintains its low crime rates and high property values.
Wealthiest City in Maryland: Chevy Chase Village
- Median home value: $1,823,800
- Median household income: $250,001
Chevy Chase Village was a streetcar suburb to Washington, D.C. when it was founded in 1890. While the area is flooded with wealth, residents say they are more low key than people you might find in other neighborhoods favored by D.C. influentials, like Potomac. The city also has the best schools in the state, low crime rates and a very tight-knit community.
Wealthiest City in Massachusetts: Weston
- Median home value: $1,480,100
- Median household income: $201,200
This exclusive community features private roads, 26 full-time police officers, and one of the lowest crime rates in the Boston area. Weston attracts many famous sports figures, like Steve Belkin, owner of the Atlanta Hawks and David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox.
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Wealthiest City in Michigan: Orchard Lake Village
- Median home value: $459,800
- Median household income: $152,625
About 25 miles northwest of Detroit is the small, exclusive suburb of Orchard Lake Village. About 43 percent of the city consists of lakes and ponds, including a 50-acre wooded tract of land that serves as a plant and wildlife sanctuary. Like many of the affluent cities on our list, the crime rate in Orchard Lake Village is lower than the state average, but the median home value is 344 percent higher. Fun fact: Legendary rock singer and Detroit native Bob Seger lives in Orchard Lake Village.
Wealthiest City in Minnesota: Deephaven
- Median home value: $614,800
- Median household income: $133,875
Sixteen miles from Minneapolis, on the shores of Lake Minnetonka, lies Deephaven — an exclusive 2.3 square mile city with about 3,600 residents. Deephaven residents enjoy low crime and high employment rates, but have to contend with the infamous Minnesota weather and a high cost of living — it's 47 percent more expensive to live Deephaven compared to the rest of the state, according to AreaVibes. Fun fact: In 1910, the Douglas family, one of the founders of the Quaker Oats Company, built a 27-room estate in Deephaven.
Wealthiest City in Mississippi: Madison
- Median home value: $242,400
- Median household income: $99,109
Madison is known for its low crime rate, high property values and abundant public facilities. Your money will go a long way buying a house in Madison. The city is protective of this status and has very strict rules against rentals and other multifamily housing to discourage locals from renting out their properties. Despite the tight regulations, Madison is ranked as the most livable city in the entire state by AreaVibes.
Wealthiest City in Missouri: Ladue
- Median home value: $839,300
- Median household income: $179,464
The median household income in Ladue is 276 percent higher than Missouri as a whole and the median home values are 442 percent higher, according to AreaVibes. This St. Louis suburb has local arts and culture, low crime rates and is home to some of the city's most beautiful homes. Fun fact: Rock and roll pioneer Chuck Berry lived in a Ladue stone manor.
Wealthiest City in Montana: Frenchtown
- Median home value: $290,200
- Median household income: $69,136
Frenchtown, Montana is a small, exclusive community in Missoula County. Frenchtown is home to Frenchtown State Park, a 5-acre spring-fed lake that's home to a variety of wildlife, where residents enjoy kayaking, canoeing and swimming. With relatively low home prices, Frenchtown is a good place to move for a richer life. Fun fact: The Frenchtown name was influenced by early French Canadian settlers.
Wealthiest City in Nebraska: Papillion
- Median home value: $229,100
- Median household income: $74,111
Papillion residents may endure harsh winters, but the rewards of living in this wealthy Omaha suburb include a stable economy, low cost of living and low crime rates. Papillion is just 6 percent more expensive than the rest of the state, although the median household income is 41 percent higher and median home values are 28 percent higher. The economy is driven by a diverse range of industries, including food production and insurance — Mutual of Omaha, Conagra and Berkshire Hathaway have headquarters in nearby Omaha.
Wealthiest City in Nevada: Genoa
- Median home value: $714,300
- Median household income: $162,778
Genoa, Nevada is just outside the state capital of Carson City. Unemployment is higher than the national average, but jobs are expected to grow over 37% in the next 10 years. In fact, the entire state is finally poised to see massive job growth after being hit hard by the 2008 recession. Fun fact: Genoa's oldest bar was built in 1853 and was well-known as a "gentleman's saloon."
Wealthiest City in New Hampshire: Rye
- Median home value: $726,100
- Median household income: $95,583
Rye, New Hampshire is located between Boston, Massachusetts and Portland, Maine on the Atlantic coast. In the Victorian era the town was a major vacation destination, but none of those hotels and boarding houses remain today. Fun fact: Rye is the site of the first settlement in New Hampshire, named Pannaway Plantation, which was established in 1623.
Wealthiest City in New Jersey: Sea Girt
- Median home value: $1,724,300
- Median household income: $120,341
Sea Girt is a small, exclusive borough on the Atlantic Ocean, equidistant from New York City and Philadelphia. Sea Girt ranks high in amenities, employment, weather and education, but the high cost of living and real estate prices keep this area out of reach for most Americans. Fun fact: Sea Girt is home to the Sea Girt Light, one of only 11 lighthouses in New Jersey that are open to the public.
Wealthiest City in New Mexico: Corrales
- Median home value: $367,500
- Median household income: $69,563
Corrales, New Mexico is nestled along the western bank of the Rio Grande, just a few minutes north of Albuquerque. The city was originally known for its agriculture, but the majority of its employed residents now work in management, business or finance.
Wealthiest City in New York: Sands Point
- Median home value: $2,303,800
- Median household income: $206,833
Sands Point is a city in Long Island, NY. Home values in Sands Point are 738 percent higher than the New York state median. The median household income is 252 percent higher than New York as a whole, but the cost of living is high too — 224 percent higher than the state median according to AreaVibes. Unemployment rates are low and incomes are high, but residents have to withstand a crowded lifestyle and big city stress — Sperling's listed Sands Point as No. 2 in Sleepless Cities.
Wealthiest City in North Carolina: Marvin
- Median home value: $651,700
- Median household income: $158,246
Marvin, North Carolina is a community in the Charlotte suburbs. Housing in Marvin is 250 percent more expensive than North Carolina overall and the median household income is 239 percent higher, making the cost of living 62 percent higher than the entire state, according to AreaVibes. The community is known for its diverse economy, educated population and access to local arts and entertainment. Residents have to contend with growth, sprawl and long commutes — the average commute time is 48 minutes, compared to the national average of 26 minutes.
Wealthiest City in North Dakota: West Fargo
- Median home value: $237,100
- Median household income: $69,104
West Fargo is one of the fastest-growing communities in North Dakota and is known for its small-town living with the resources and amenities of a large metropolitan city. Home values and incomes are double-digits higher than the rest of the state, but the cost of living is just 5 percent greater, making it a relatively affordable place to live. What the city lacks in warm weather and diversity, it makes up for with a strong economy, well-kept parks and a strong community feel.
Wealthiest City in Ohio: The Village of Indian Hill
- Median home value: $1,073,000
- Median household income: $209,250
Residents of this affluent Cincinnati, Ohio suburb enjoy the city's rural atmosphere, quiet community and proximity to art and culture. The majority of employed adults work in management, business and finance, followed by healthcare and technology. Median home values are 613 percent higher and median household incomes are 328 percent higher than Ohio as a whole, but the cost of living in The Village of Indian Hill is just 108 percent higher than the rest of the state, according to AreaVibes. Fun fact: The Village of Indian Hill was home to Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon.
Wealthiest City in Oklahoma: Goldsby
- Median home value: $214,300
- Median household income: $82,813
Goldsby is located just outside of Oklahoma City, a major center for the oil industry and manufacturing. Compared to the rest of the country, Goldsby's cost of living is actually one percent lower, which means residents here can live large on a smaller salary. Job growth is expected to increase 43 percent over the next 10 years.
Wealthiest City in Oregon: Cedar Mill
- Median home value: $580,300
- Median household income: $96,361
Cedar Mill is a small community just outside Portland, Oregon, along the Columbia River. This area attracts wealthy residents because of its low crime rate, proximity to arts and culture and strong school system. It has been rated as a top city for seniors and as one of the most fiscally fit cities in the country.
Wealthiest City in Pennsylvania: Fox Chapel
- Median home value: $716,700
- Median household income: $168,274
This Pittsburgh suburb was named one of the best cities to relocate to in America and one of the most secure places to live by Sperling's. The median household income and median home values are about 216 percent higher than the rest of the state, although the cost of living is also 56 percent higher. Fox Chapel residents are gainfully employed in sales, office and administrative support jobs, as well as production, transportation and material moving.
Wealthiest City in Rhode Island: Jamestown
- Median home value: $581,600
- Median household income: $95,833
Jamestown is located just outside of Newport, Rhode Island. Property values and incomes are high, but the community is very close to some depressed areas that see crimes rates as high as 60 percent above the state average. Jamestown residents work in a wide variety of fields, with sales, office and administration and healthcare and technology filling the top spots. Fun fact: Humans arrived in this area between 10,000 and 12,000 years ago, at the end of the last ice age.
Wealthiest City in South Carolina: Tega Cay
- Median home value: $290,000
- Median household income: $114,294
Tega Cay is about 20 miles from Charlotte, North Carolina, near the state border. The cost of living in this city is 34 percent higher than the rest of the state, although the median household income is 154 percent higher. The population has boomed 215 percent since 2000 and most of the city's employed residents work in management, business or finance — nearby Charlotte is home to financial powerhouses like Bank of America and Wachovia (now part of Wells Fargo), as well as Lowe's home improvement stores and steel maker Nucor.
Wealthiest City in Tennessee: Belle Meade
- Median home value: $1,617,300
- Median household income: $202,061
No, you aren't seeing double: home values in Belle Meade are a stunning 1,006 percent higher than the rest of the state. This Nashville-adjacent city also has a low crime rates, high graduation rates and high household incomes. Fun fact: Belle Meade residents include big names like former Vice President Al Gore and country music stars Vince Gill and Amy Grant.
Wealthiest City in Texas: Piney Point Village
- Median home value: $1,747,800
- Median household income: $250,001
Piney Point Village is part of a Houston upscale community known as the Memorial Villages. The cost of living here is 1,364 percent higher than Texas as a state — a bigger difference than any other wealthy city on our list. Residents of this city are fiercely protective of their community and the city is against all forms of business. Many public services, like police and fire departments, are headquartered in Memorial Villages even though they serve Piney Point. Fun fact: Beyonce bought her mom, Tina Knowles, a $5.9 million mansion here in 2013.
Wealthiest City in Utah: Highland
- Median home value: $494,500
- Median household income: $107,121
Highland is a wealthy suburb of Salt Lake City. Like many other cities in this study, most residents work in business, finance and management or sales. Fun fact: The area was named by Scottish Mormon immigrants who thought the area looked like the highlands of Scotland.
Wealthiest City in Vermont: Charlotte
- Median home value: $498,100
- Median household income: $111,667
Charlotte is just outside the capital of Burlington, in the northwest part of the state. Residents enjoy outdoor activities, beautiful architecture and the youthful vibe from living so close to a college town. The city is also host to working farms, wineries, livestock operations and other agricultural businesses, although the majority of residents work in sales, office and administrative support.
Wealthiest City in Virginia: Great Falls
- Median home value: $1,078,200
- Median household income: $229,200
This city along the Potomac River is known for its historical architecture, proximity to local arts and culture and low crime rate — 59 percent lower than Virginia overall. Many Great Falls residents work in Washington, D.C. The city is ranked as the best city for teleworking by Sperling's.
Wealthiest City in Washington: Clyde Hill
- Median home value: $2,298,400
- Median household income: $192,250
On the east shore of the picturesque Puget Sound lies Clyde Hill — a small, exclusive Seattle suburb. The cost of living here is 221 percent higher than the rest of the state, but residents are more than willing to pay a high price for the beautiful scenery, proximity to arts and culture in Seattle and neighboring recreational activities. Sperling's ranked Clyde Hill as America's least stressful city and best city for a healthy retirement. Fun fact: There are only two commercially zoned areas in Clyde hill: a gas station and a Tully's Coffee shop.
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Wealthiest City in West Virginia: Cross Lanes
- Median home value: $124,800
- Median household income: $55,538
Cross Lanes, West Virginia is one of the more affordable wealthy cities in this study. The cost of living is just 6 percent higher than the rest of the state, according to AreaVibes. It's close to Charleston, the state capital, where there is a large government and commercial center, as well as industrial and chemical-related industries. Job growth is expected to rise just over 31 percent in the next 10 years.
Wealthiest City in Wisconsin: Shorewood Hills
- Median home value: $641,600
- Median household income: $143,906
Shorewood Hills is part of the Madison area and is known for its lively and well-kept downtown and youthful college town vibe. Fun fact: Shorewood Hills is home to the First Unitarian Society Meeting House, which was designed by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
Wealthiest City in Wyoming: Jackson
- Median home value: $778,900
- Median household income: $64,345
The median home value is 186 percent higher in Jackson, although the median household income is just 10 percent higher than the rest of the state. Still, Jackson residents don't pay income tax and sales tax is just 6 percent. Fun fact: Contrary to popular belief, the city is called Jackson, not Jackson Hole. That's the name of the valley where the city is located.
Methodology: To find the wealthiest city in the U.S., GOBankingRates used March 2017 ZHVI data from Zillow to first identify the cities with the highest home values. We then found the median household incomes for each city using Sperling's Best Places, which states on its site it last updated this data in December 2016. (Please note: Sperling's median household incomes might differ from the Census Bureau's estimates, which are typically sourced from its 2011-2015 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates data.) The cities with the highest median household incomes were deemed the highest city in their respective states. States excluded from the study include Maine and South Dakota due to insufficient and/or unavailable data.