Homepage

Personal Finance
    SAVE   |   EMAIL   |   PRINT   |   RSS  
America's richest and poorest places
20 richest and poorest: the most affluent counties are in the East, but western cities score well.
August 31, 2005: 2:25 PM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - There's a reason it's called the promised land.

California can count four of the top ten richest cities in America, according to data released Tuesday by the Census Bureau. In addition, seven of the top ten are located west of the Mississippi, while 9 of the 10 poorest cities in the country are located either on the Mississippi or east of it.

So does that mean the West is getting richer while the East slides into decay? Not quite.

The East boasts nine of the 10 richest counties.

It would be tempting to say that affluence in western cities tends to stay closer to downtown while the eastern elite flee to the suburbs, but demographers at the Census Bureau caution against such conclusions.

The sample of this year's study, which only looked at cities and counties with a population of 250,000 or more, isn't wide enough to draw larger trends. For that, we'll have to wait for next year's study, which will survey all cities and counties with a population of 65,000 or more.

In the meantime, here's a look at how the largest cities and counties stacked up, according to the Bureau's 2004 American Community Survey:  Top of page

Richest American cities with a
population of 250,000 or greater
Rank City Median household income, 2004
1 San Jose, CA $71,765
2 Anchorage, AK $61,565
3 San Francisco, CA $60,031
4 Virginia Beach, VA $55,781
5 San Diego, CA $51,382
6 Anaheim, CA $49,622
7 Raleigh, NC $47,878
8 Seattle, WA $46,650
9 Washington, DC $46,574
10 Honolulu, HI $46,500
11 Oakland, CA $46,190
12 Charlotte, NC $46,082
13 Boston, MA $45,892
14 Arlington, TX $45,712
15 Austin, TX $45,508
16 Colorado Springs, CO $45,388
17 Riverside, CA $44,866
18 Las Vegas, NV $44,737
19 Aurora, CO $44,480
20 Minneapolis, MN $44,116
Poorest American cities with a
population of 250,000 or greater
Rank City Median household income, 2004
1 Miami, FL $24,031
2 Newark, NJ $26,309
3 Cleveland, OH $27,871
4 Detroit, MI $27,871
5 Buffalo, NY $28,544
6 St. Louis, MO $30,389
7 Philadelphia, PA $30,631
8 Milwaukee, WI $31,231
9 New Orleans, LA $31,369
10 El Paso, TX $31,764
11 Tucson, AZ $31,901
12 Pittsburgh, PA $31,910
13 Cincinnati, OH $31,960
14 Memphis, TN $32,399
15 Baltimore, MD $34,055
16 Toledo, OH $35,239
17 Tulsa, OK $36,255
18 Oklahoma City, OK $36,347
19 San Antonio, TX $36,598
20 Stockton, CA $37,322
Richest counties with a population of 250,000 or more
Rank City Median household income, 2004
1 Fairfax County, VA $83,975
2 Somerset County, NJ $84,892
3 Morris County, NJ $83,583
4 Montgomery County, MD $82,971
5 Howard County, MD $82,065
6 Nassau County, NY $78,762
7 Prince William County, VA $77,678
8 Monmouth County, NJ $77,223
9 Rockland County, NY $75,306
10 Santa Clara County, CA $74,509
11 Fairfield County, CT $73,110
12 Chester County, PA $72,288
13 Suffolk County, NY $71,956
14 McHenry County, IL $71,153
15 Bergen County, NJ $70,957
16 Norfolk County, MA $70,903
17 Lake County, IL $70,347
18 Middlesex County, NJ $70,344
19 DuPage County, IL $70,174
20 Westchester County, NY $70,095
Poorest counties with a population of 250,000 or more
Rank City Median household income, 2004
1 Hidalgo County, TX $24,778.00
2 Cameron County, TX $26,290.00
3 Bronx County, NY $28,705.00
4 El Paso County, TX $28,925.00
5 St. Louis city, MO $30,389.00
6 Philadelphia County, PA $30,631.00
7 Caddo Parish, LA $31,317.00
8 Orleans Parish, LA $31,369.00
9 Baltimore city, MD $34,055.00
10 Mahoning County, OH $34,132.00
11 Polk County, FL $34,206.00
12 Luzerne County, PA $34,341.00
13 Oklahoma County, OK $35,182.00
14 Mobile County, AL $35,512.00
15 Lake County, FL $35,856.00
16 E. Baton Rouge Parish, LA $35,954.00
17 Pasco County, FL $35,997.00
18 Kings County, NY $36,030.00
19 Nueces County, TX $36,050.00
20 Marion County, OR $36,591.00

YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS
Population
Census Bureau
California
Mississippi
Manage alerts | What is this?