When you think of a rich city, do you think of a place with a ton of million dollar homes? Maybe a place with a lot of culture, job opportunities, or beauty? Many of the richest cities are in high-demand for these very reasons.
But, while some cities may be rich –that is, they have a lot of high earners — the cost of living in these places is really high as well. Your geographic location plays a large role in your cost of living — housing costs, utilities, food prices, and even how much you pay the sitter. So, things kind of balance out in a way.
Using information from FindtheBest, we created a list of the 10 richest cities in America. The list includes cities with a population greater than 500,000 that have the highest percentage of households earning at least $150,000 per year.
We’ve also included information on the corresponding salary a person needs to live comfortably in each of these cities. The salary a person needs to be comfortable in each city is based on studies finding the magic salary number — $75,000 — as the salary amount at which comfort is achieved.
We’ve adjusted this $75,000 upwards or downwards based on living costs in each city, using a cost of living calculator and comparing each city to Phoenix, Ariz. — a city with a moderate cost of living and a median income that’s close to the nationwide benchmark.
The richest cities
These are the 10 richest cities, and the salary a person would need to live comfortably in each of them:
1. San Francisco — You’d need $124,561 to live comfortably in SF.
2. San Jose — You’d need around $115,515 here.
3. Washington, D.C. — $108,092 would be a comfortable salary in the nation’s capital.
4. Seattle — $93,634 would be ideal here.
5. San Diego — You could be comfortable with a salary of $101,984.
6. Boston — $106,082 is what you’d need to be financially comfortable in this northern city.
7. New York City — To live comfortably, you’d need $131,365 in Brooklyn, $169,639 in Manhattan, and $116,907 in Queens.
8. Los Angeles — $102,061 would have you sitting pretty in LA.
9. Denver — $82,036 would be an ideal salary here.
10. Austin — Surprisingly, in spite of the high percentage of people earning over $150,000, you’d only need $72,912 to be comfortable in this Texas city.