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

·5 min read
typhoonski / iStock.com
typhoonski / iStock.com

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%.

25. Detroit

  • Population: 672,351

  • Lowest Income to be Considered “Rich” (Top 20%): $70,445

  • Average Income of the Top 20%: $122,571

  • Average Income of the Top 5%: $212,891

24. Memphis, Tennessee

  • Population: 650,910

  • Lowest Income to be Considered “Rich” (Top 20%): $88,188

  • Average Income of the Top 20%: $179,830

  • Average Income of the Top 5%: $357,964

23. El Paso, Texas

  • Population: 679,879

  • Lowest Income to be Considered “Rich” (Top 20%): $98,356

  • Average Income of the Top 20%: $166,336

  • Average Income of the Top 5%: $289,479

22. Indianapolis

  • Population: 869,387

  • Lowest Income to be Considered “Rich” (Top 20%): $102,307

  • Average Income of the Top 20%: $185,488

  • Average Income of the Top 5%: $339,007

21. Columbus, Ohio

  • Population: 889,079

  • Lowest Income to be Considered “Rich” (Top 20%): $104,414

  • Average Income of the Top 20%: $167,428

  • Average Income of the Top 5%: $277,362

20. San Antonio

  • Population: 1,529,133

  • Lowest Income to be Considered “Rich” (Top 20%): $105,187

  • Average Income of the Top 20%: $179,594

  • Average Income of the Top 5%: $309,579

19. Philadelphia

  • Population: 1,581,531

  • Lowest Income to be Considered “Rich” (Top 20%): $105,619

  • Average Income of the Top 20%: $196,218

  • Average Income of the Top 5%: $357,577

18. Jacksonville, Florida

  • Population: 902,488

  • Lowest Income to be Considered “Rich” (Top 20%): $107,413

  • Average Income of the Top 20%: $190,971

  • Average Income of the Top 5%: $348,332

17. Dallas

  • Population: 1,338,846

  • Lowest Income to be Considered “Rich” (Top 20%): $117,373

  • Average Income of the Top 20%: $249,690

  • Average Income of the Top 5%: $493,848

16. Houston

  • Population: 2,313,238

  • Lowest Income to be Considered “Rich” (Top 20%): $118,212

  • Average Income of the Top 20%: $243,777

  • Average Income of the Top 5%: $470,182

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15. Nashville, Tennessee

  • Population: 667,070

  • Lowest Income to be Considered “Rich” (Top 20%): $119,283

  • Average Income of the Top 20%: $219,061

  • Average Income of the Top 5%: $406,865

digidreamgrafix / Getty Images/iStockphoto
digidreamgrafix / Getty Images/iStockphoto

14. Phoenix

  • Population: 1,658,422

  • Lowest Income to be Considered “Rich” (Top 20%): $119,571

  • Average Income of the Top 20%: $218,693

  • Average Income of the Top 5%: $396,723

13. Fort Worth, Texas

  • Population: 892,221

  • Lowest Income to be Considered “Rich” (Top 20%): $123,686

  • Average Income of the Top 20%: $204,381

  • Average Income of the Top 5%: $350,555

12. Charlotte, North Carolina

  • Population: 873,570

  • Lowest Income to be Considered “Rich” (Top 20%): $132,471

  • Average Income of the Top 20%: $264,995

  • Average Income of the Top 5%: $513,371

11. Chicago

  • Population: 2,699,347

  • Lowest Income to be Considered “Rich” (Top 20%): $135,973

  • Average Income of the Top 20%: $262,070

  • Average Income of the Top 5%: $497,192

10. Los Angeles

  • Population: 3,973,278

  • Lowest Income to be Considered “Rich” (Top 20%): $141,990

  • Average Income of the Top 20%: $280,645

  • Average Income of the Top 5%: $538,703

Elisabeth Bender / Getty Images
Elisabeth Bender / Getty Images

9. Austin, Texas

  • Population: 965,872

  • Lowest Income to be Considered “Rich” (Top 20%): $149,503

  • Average Income of the Top 20%: $269,753

  • Average Income of the Top 5%: $487,862

8. Denver

  • Population: 715,878

  • Lowest Income to be Considered “Rich” (Top 20%): $150,375

  • Average Income of the Top 20%: $277,734

  • Average Income of the Top 5%: $512,101

7. New York

  • Population: 8,379,552

  • Lowest Income to be Considered “Rich” (Top 20%): $150,422

  • Average Income of the Top 20%: $306,068

  • Average Income of the Top 5%: $605,410

6. San Diego

  • Population: 1,414,545

  • Lowest Income to be Considered “Rich” (Top 20%): $163,046

  • Average Income of the Top 20%: $285,383

  • Average Income of the Top 5%: $497,741

5. Boston

  • Population: 689,326

  • Lowest Income to be Considered “Rich” (Top 20%): $167,096

  • Average Income of the Top 20%: $312,343

  • Average Income of the Top 5%: $581,901

4. Seattle

  • Population: 741,251

  • Lowest Income to be Considered “Rich” (Top 20%): $197,129

  • Average Income of the Top 20%: $345,093

  • Average Income of the Top 5%: $604,519

3. Washington, D.C.

  • Population: 701,974

  • Lowest Income to be Considered “Rich” (Top 20%): $198,674

  • Average Income of the Top 20%: $363,219

  • Average Income of the Top 5%: $651,989

2. San Jose, California

  • Population: 1,029,409

  • Lowest Income to be Considered “Rich” (Top 20%): $226,099

  • Average Income of the Top 20%: $361,269

  • Average Income of the Top 5%: $582,798

1. San Francisco

  • Population: 874,784

  • Lowest Income to be Considered “Rich” (Top 20%): $250,001

  • Average Income of the Top 20%: $443,810

  • Average Income of the Top 5%: $770,722

More From GOBankingRates

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.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: How Much You Need To Be ‘Rich’ in 25 Major US Cities