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How Much You Need To Be ‘Rich’ in 25 Major US Cities

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The life of the average American varies from city to city in the United States and that is because of the varied cultures of the regions, environment and the cost of living. In some areas, cowboy boots are the norm. In others, you’d look out of place in them. And when it comes to money, a salary in the high five figures makes you “rich” in one part of the country but it can be hard to scrape by on that in other locales.

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So just what does it take to be considered “rich” in the various corners of the country? The difference is vast among the 25 most populated cities in the United States.

To highlight just how big those differences are, GOBankingRates identified those 25 biggest cities through statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau and then used data from the American Community Survey to determine the lowest income to be considered in the top 20% richest income bracket, the average income of the richest 20%, and the average income of the richest 5%.

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25. Detroit

24. Memphis, Tennessee

23. El Paso, Texas

22. Indianapolis

21. Columbus, Ohio

20. San Antonio

19. Philadelphia

18. Jacksonville, Florida

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17. Dallas

16. Houston

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15. Nashville, Tennessee

14. Phoenix

13. Fort Worth, Texas

12. Charlotte, North Carolina

11. Chicago

10. Los Angeles

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9. Austin, Texas

8. Denver

7. New York

6. San Diego

5. Boston

4. Seattle

3. Washington, D.C.

2. San Jose, California

1. San Francisco

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Methodology: For this piece, GOBankingRates used American Community Survey data from the United States Census Bureau to first find the 25 largest cities in terms of total population. With these 25 cities isolated, GOBankingRates then used American Community Survey income quintile data to find each city’s: (1) lowest income to be considered in the top 20% richest income bracket; (2) the average income of the richest 20% and; (3) the average income of the richest 5%. Only factor (1) was considered in final rankings. All data was collected and is up to date as of April 19, 2022.