These Metro Areas Have the Highest Median Household Incomes in the US

January 8, 2018

The US Census Bureau recently released its 2012-2016 American Community Survey 5-year estimates, and with it a bevy of interesting statistics across a variety of socio-economic characteristics. Among the data released were median household income stats for the nation’s metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas, showing those with the highest figures compared to the national average of $55,300 for all US households.

We downloaded and sorted the data to determine what the median household incomes were for the 2012-2016 period in the US’ highest-income areas.

Among metropolitan statistical areas, the top 5 by median household income were:

  • San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA: $100,469;
  • Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV: $93,804;
  • California-Lexington Park, MD: $86,810;
  • Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT: $86,670; and
  • San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA: $85,947.

If you’re keeping count, that means that in the top metro area, the median household is affluent (at least $100k in household income).

The Census Bureau defines metropolitan statistical areas as ones having at least one urbanized area of 50,000 or more inhabitants.

Meanwhile, among micropolitan statistical areas, the top 5 were:

  • Los Alamos, NM: $105,902;
  • Summit Park, UT: $91,470;
  • Williston, ND: $90,080;
  • Juneau, AK: $87,436; and
  • Gillette, WY: $80,822.

The Census Bureau defines micropolitan statistical areas as ones having at least one urban cluster of at least 10,000 but less than 50,000 population.

The top micropolitan statistical area – Los Alamos – had a median household income almost double the national average.

Median Income Stats

In other median income stats released by the Census Bureau (excluding Puerto Rico):

  • Some 17.9% of US counties experienced a drop in median household income, more than twice the share (7.4%) that enjoyed an increase;
  • Four of the top 5 counties and county equivalents by median income were in Virginia, led by Loundon County;
  • The bottom 5 counties by median income were each in the Southern region in the US;
  • Middlesborough, KY was the micropolitan statistical area with the lowest median household income ($22,603); while
  • Brownsville-Harlingen, TX was the metropolitan statistical area with the lowest median household income, of $34,578.
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