The richest and poorest U.S. cities by income
Tech riches in San JoseThree Girls MediaSan Jose, Santana Row, Hotel Valencia
San Jose, Calif., has the highest median household income among the country's 25 most populous cities, with the city's level approaching $77,000 last year, about 50% higher than the national median of $51,000, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau. The city boasts that it's "home to the largest concentration of technology expertise in the world -- more than 6,600 technology companies employing more than 254,000 people." Taking a broader view, California is home to several top cities for household income. However, the state is one of only five where inequality is higher than the U.S. level. Median household income in California is higher than for the U.S. as a whole, but the state's poverty rate is also above the national average.
Well educated in San FranciscoUnion Square ShopUnion Square, San Francisco
Following close on San Jose's heels is San Francisco, where median household income hit almost $70,000 last year. The city is filled with computer and technical workers, many making north of $90,000 a year. People are highly educated, with 52% of those at least 25-years old having at least a college degree, compared with 29% across the U.S. Even San Francisco's youngest residents are into education: about 70% of the preschool-age tots are enrolled in school, compared with 47% across the U.S. Also of note: more than one-third San Francisco's population is foreign-born, compared with 13% of the U.S.
Wealth in WashingtonPedestrians and bicyclists cross the street at 5th and L Streets NW in Washington DC at the end of a workday. Behind the traffic is a billboard for iPad.
Households in Washington, D.C. are No. 3 when it comes to income, with a median of about $63,000. Folks there are well educated, and home values are high. It's a company town -- about 29% of workers are federal, state or local government employees. About 11% of Washington households have income of at least $200,000, compared with 4% in the United States.
Slew of riches in SeattlePike Place Market merchants watch as customers scrutinize their vegetables. The market, one of Seattle's most popular tourist spots, celebrated its centennial in 2007 and today features daily fresh produce grown by dozens of farmers from around the greater Seattle area.
In Seattle the median household income was $61,000 last year. The largest industry is educational services, and health care and social assistance, followed by professional, scientific, and management, and administrative and waste management services. Turns out coffee is a pretty big deal there, too:
Money and meerkats in San DiegoThis is the entrance to the famous Gas Lamp District in Downtown San Diego. This starts along 5th ave. and up towards Market St. Many restaurants and shops are along this path.
San Diego had a median household income of $61,000 last year, ranking it No. 5 among the country's largest cities. About 44% of workers are in management, business, science, and arts occupations. And, of course, there's the city's famous zoo, home to meerkats, wombats and other creatures. But San Diego isn't resting on its cute laurels. According to the city's website, the regional economy "continues to undergo a dynamic transformation from one based on military and defense spending to an economy that is propelled by high-technology companies competing in the international marketplace."
A long way to go in DetroitReutersGeneral Motors Corp. world headquarters is seen from an old, mostly abandoned warehouse district in Detroit, Michigan March 31, 2009.
Detroit has the lowest median household income among the country's most populous cities, ranking it No. 25. Last year household income was about $25,000, half of the national level. While the auto industry has improved, Detroit remains deeply troubled. The median value for an owner-occupied home in this city is about $50,000, less than one-third of the U.S. level. Meanwhile, only about 13% of people at least 25 years old have at least a bachelor's degree, compared with 29% for the country. Detroit says it wants to reclaim its "future as a world-class city," by diversifying into areas such as life sciences and advanced manufacturing.
Low home prices in PhiladelphiaOgden Street in North Philadelphia.
At $34,000, the median household income in Philadelphia is a jump up from Detroit, but still ranks the City of Brotherly Love at No. 24. The median value for an owner-occupied home was $142,000, compared with a U.S. level of $174,000. The educational services, and health care and social assistance industry accounts for about three-tenths of the working population, with major employers such as the University of Pennsylvania and
Memphis is singing the bluesMemphis, Tenn.
Memphis ranks No. 23, with a median household income of about $35,000 in 2011. The largest chunk of the employed population -- about one-fifth -- is in the educational services, and health care and social assistance industry. There are major employers such as
Poverty in BaltimoreView of an abandoned neighborhood in Baltimore, Maryland.
Households in Baltimore have a relatively low median income of about $39,000, ranking the city No. 22. The setting for the gritty, fictional television series "The Wire," Baltimore has a median value for an owner-occupied home of $154,000, compared with $174,000 for the U.S. About one-quarter of the city's population is in poverty. Educational services, and health care and social assistance is by far the largest industry, with major employers such as Johns Hopkins University.
Indianapolis chugging alongImage of the Indianapolis skyline and streets.
The median household income in Indianapolis is about $39,000, ranking it No. 21. The largest industry is educational services, and health care and social assistance, followed by retail trade. About one-in-four people who are at least 25 have at least a bachelor's degree. The city, known for its auto racing, has attracted substantial foreign investment from firms such Rolls-Royce (RR.) .