The 10 Richest Cities In America For 2021


We looked at the most recent census data to determine where the 1% call home.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the richest cities in America.

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Does being rich make you a happier person?

Maybe not.

According to a recent study, if you earn about $95,000 a year, you’re optimally happy. Any more than that, and you’re not. Surprised by that? We were. I think just about everyone who’s reading this would think, “Give me a million bucks, I’ll be happy as heck!”

Happiness isn’t the metric we’re measuring, today, however. It’s pretty easy to see where the richest people live. You just have to measure how much money people make, and who has the best jobs in every city. Or, you could just see where people like this live and try and get on their good side.

Where do you go if you want to see the richest people in the nation? We’re not talking about individuals. We mean, specifically, which parts of the country.

The general assumption is going to be suburbs of major cities where people live in big homes, away from the grimy, packed downtown areas. Yes, we took that into account, but you also have to assume the richest cities in America are going to be where people have amazing jobs.

The cities we’re about to mention are pretty wealthy, overall.

Is everyone in these places loaded? No. But are most of their bank accounts pretty fat? Yeah they are.

So, what’s the richest big city in America according to the data? Per the most recent ACS data, the richest city in America is Centennial, CO.You can check out how CO ranked overall in our richest states in America.

To see exactly how we calculated these rankings, read on.

Or if you’re simply not interested in reading about the high and mighty, and you don’t care about this list, check out:

The 10 Richest Cities In America For 2021

Centennial, CO

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 110,218
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $109,324 (13th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.1% (7th best)
More on Centennial: Real Estate | Crime | Cost Of Living

We’re climbing higher and higher up the money tree, as we visit the very wealthy city of Centennial, Colorado. Folks here have great jobs, work hard, and hardly anyone in town struggles to make ends meet.

This is where a lot of the rich and fancy residents live with their families. People here earn on average, the 13th highest incomes overall, and only 3.1% of people who live here don’t have a job. For a state this large, that’s crazy low.
In fact, People in other parts of the nearby areas generally stereotype this part of the state as being wealthy and stuck up. Well, that’s probably because the students have better cars than their teachers.

There’s a lot of old money here, too. Rich people can spend all their money and then they’re broke. But wealthy people – like old money people will never spend all their money. They can’t even do it if they tried. People come here to find jobs and for a more peaceful and better quality of life.

Crazy Rich Asians would maybe even consider buying a home here.

Fremont, CA

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 235,740
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 3)
Median Income: $133,354 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.6% (22nd best)
More on Fremont: Real Estate | Crime | Cost Of Living

Our next stop, Fremont, California, probably won’t come as a surprise to anyone who lives in the state. When you think of wealthy areas in California, some people may think Beverly Hills or Sunnyvale. But in fact, it’s the jam-packed east bay city of Fremont that’s the wealthiest in all of the Golden State. Households here make earn the 2nd highest incomes. The residents here aren’t necessarily famous, but they’re definitely rich.

While you may see people in this city driving around in fancy cars, odds are people you meet there are really comfortable. In fact, people here are more likely to downplay their money than show it off. One reason people are ‘rich’ in Fremont is the fact that salaries are so inflated because the cost of living is so high. So, you’re not as ‘rich’ in Fremont as you would be in, say, Cary, NC.

And while it might be easy to scoff at the success of folks here, you have to remember, just about everyone here worked their butts off to get to where they are.

Pearland, TX

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 122,078
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Income: $104,504 (18th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.2% (11th best)
More on Pearland: Real Estate | Crime | Cost Of Living

Who are the 3rd richest people in the entire country? That would be the people in Pearland, Texas. And you can bet that many of the residents here are aware of the fact that they’re only the second richest people in the state, too.

Here, the average income per household is much more than you and I would earn every year. It’s the kind of place where you see soccer moms running errands in the middle of the day, where landscaping crews do their duty, and where the everyone’s biggest concern is who is going to try and take their money away from them.

There is no struggling here. It’s a different type of place from the rest of the state. Everything is just…peaceful. If Scrooge McDuck was real, he’d probably have a home here, don’t you think? This rich little enclave is just outside of Houston. Folks here rank 18th for income levels, and 2nd-lowest for number of people living in poverty (3.5%).

Frisco, TX

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 177,020
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Median Income: $127,055 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.6% (26th best)
More on Frisco: Real Estate | Crime | Cost Of Living

Where’s our 4th richest city in the entire nation? That would be Frisco, Texas — a little nook just outside of Dallas.

It’s sorta like Dynasty. Many people here are loaded. Just about all households who live here earn well over $100,000 a year annually. Some parts of this area are just off the charts out of touch with reality. Households here vary between two-income homes when both parents have great jobs, or households where there’s one primary earner in the top tier of their industry. Doctors, lawyers, business owners and entrepreneurs.

Most of the well to do here frequent Whole Foods, Starbucks, Core Power or LuLuLemon.

Do you think they know they’re the richest people in the state? I think that’s a safe bet.

Is it snobby here? Maybe from an outsiders standpoint, but it might be more of a shallow suburban type of vibe. Does being rich make you out of touch with reality? Perhaps.

But money does indeed buy happiness. Just ask someone without it.

Cary, NC

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 166,268
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Median Income: $104,669 (17th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.2% (10th best)
More on Cary: Real Estate | Crime | Cost Of Living

Here in Cary, North Carolina, things couldn’t be more rich. Cary is just a perfect little slice of heaven outside of Raleigh. At least that’s what the locals would tell you.

Only 3.24% of residents here are without work, and if you drive around town long enough, it’ll be clear; anyone who wants a job here can get a job. If you’re out of work in Cary, it’s your own damn fault.

It may not be a very large place, but people’s bank accounts are pretty large. Families earn the 3rd highest incomes in the whole state. It’s a great place to raise kids. It’s safe. You won’t see too many police officers around, but when they police are called, they show up in minutes.

Bellevue, WA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 144,403
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 3)
Median Income: $120,456 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.4% (15th best)
More on Bellevue: Real Estate | Crime | Cost Of Living

Welcome to Bellevue, Washington, our 6th most richest city in America. Some of these neighborhoods are where you go to for sell Girl Scout cookies or candy bars or where all the poor kids go trick-or-treating on Halloween.

Their workforce is also among the best-educated in the state, too. Better-educated workers tend to make more money. This city has it all – Grand houses. Great schools. Excellent tennis instructors. The very best groundskeepers and gated-subdivision on-call security guards around.

If you’re a kid here, your allowance is probably more than your teacher’s salary.

Overland Park, KS

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 191,011
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Income: $86,487 (4best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.0% (3rd best)
More on Overland Park: Real Estate | Crime | Cost Of Living

We continue our money train tour of the state as we stop in the city of Overland Park, Kansas. What? How in the heck did they get so much money here?

They have to be doing something right in here. Families earn the 7th highest incomes in the state. In addition, this city has a low unemployment rate, and one of the state’s lowest poverty rates. Only 1 in 11 people here lives in poverty. While that might seem high, for an entire city, it’s really low.

Do people work hard in this city? After all, it has a stereotype as being a very snobby city. But snobs can work hard, can’t they? In fact, most have bigger bank account than you will ever have.

Ca Ching, Ca Ching, Ca Ching. Great jobs, low unemployment and a really low cost of living makes this Prairie State city one of the best places you could live if you wanted to earn a great living.

Olathe, KS

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 137,618
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Median Income: $90,435 (36th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.8% (best)
More on Olathe: Real Estate | Crime | Cost Of Living

The HomeSnacks money train takes its next stop in Olathe, Kansas. Okay, thanks Mr. Obvious. Just about everyone in Kansas knows these people are loaded. This place has a ton of money. Overall, the average households bring in pretty big salaries every year. This might sound like a decent chunk of change, but when you think about how much it costs to live here, suddenly it might not seem like a lot.

You won’t see condos here. There are very little liquor stores or smoke shops. Crime is something that happens in other cities, not here. While it’s idyllic in many places, it can be quite…boring.

How does 20% of Kansas rank as the wealthiest cities in the nation? Well, maybe there’s a lot less about the midwest than you thought you knew, kiddo. Frankly speaking, Kansas is one of the best places you can live. It’s safe, friendly, and there are great schools. It’s just plain boring is all. But hey — you could spend your days counting your money, right?

Santa Clara, CA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 127,721
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Median Income: $126,006 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.7% (3best)
More on Santa Clara: Real Estate | Crime | Cost Of Living

Santa Clara provides another California city to the richest in America while knocking out Bellevue from last.

Residents here earn the 4th-highest incomes in the entire nation. The fact that its close to San Jose and San Francisco with its booming tech scene really helps drive up the local salary numbers.

What do rich people in Santa Clara do? Well it looks like you could spend a day at the Intel Museum getting your geek on or try out California‘s Greate America to get your thrill on. We’d imagine you could also just roll around in your cash if you wanted to.

Sunnyvale, CA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 152,770
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 6)
Median Income: $140,631 (best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.0% (44th best)
More on Sunnyvale: Real Estate | Crime | Cost Of Living

How We Determined The Wealthiest Cities in The US For 2021

When HomeSnacks looks at a place to live, we study the stats you can find anywhere on the web. You can get just about any demographic on just about any city center.

For this analysis we used the — U.S. Census 2015-2019 American Community Survey.

For this study, we considered the following categories:

  • # of residents living in poverty
  • Income rank
  • % of population unemployed

The census just updated their data at the end of they ear, so we can take a fresh look at it.

And, to be clear, we measured the 305 largest cities in America with over 100,000 people. So, while your little small town might be rollin’ in the dough, we’re only looking at the most populated areas.

To score the cities, we ranked each one from 1 to 305 where 1 is the “richest” for that category. We then averaged the three rankings into a rich score with the lowest overall score being crowned richest in America. You can download the data here.

There You Have It — The Wealthiest Cities in America For 2021

After the analysis was over, we crowned Centennial as the richest city in America for 2021.

In most of these cities, people have it made, financially. They have new homes, drive new cars, and have bright futures. But this comes at a cost. Long work hours means more stress and less family time. Keeping up with friends and neighbors means private school, after school activities and two huge car payments. For some, it’s the only way to live.

For the rest of America, we can feel better about ourselves when we define rich as love, friends, health or the little things in life.

While it’s good news for the cities we mentioned, we have to mention the poorest cities in America. Would you have guessed Detroit, Cleveland and Hartford, Connecticut? Probably.

Here’s a look at the poorest cities in America:

  1. Detroit
  2. Cleveland
  3. Dayton

For more reading, check out:

Richest Cities In America For 2021

Rank City Population Median Income
1 Centennial, CO 110,218 $109,324
2 Fremont, CA 235,740 $133,354
3 Pearland, TX 122,078 $104,504
4 Frisco, TX 177,020 $127,055
5 Cary, NC 166,268 $104,669
6 Bellevue, WA 144,403 $120,456
7 Overland Park, KS 191,011 $86,487
8 Olathe, KS 137,618 $90,435
9 Santa Clara, CA 127,721 $126,006
10 Sunnyvale, CA 152,770 $140,631
11 Naperville, IL 147,501 $125,926
12 Mckinney, TX 182,055 $93,354
13 San Mateo, CA 104,333 $124,842
14 Plano, TX 287,064 $95,602
15 Gilbert, AZ 243,254 $96,857
16 Scottsdale, AZ 250,602 $88,213
17 Thousand Oaks, CA 127,873 $109,378
18 Alexandria, VA 157,613 $100,939
19 Torrance, CA 145,492 $93,492
20 Sandy Springs, GA 107,072 $78,613
21 Arvada, CO 118,746 $84,717
22 Sugar Land, TX 118,709 $121,274
23 Allen, TX 101,699 $105,925
24 Simi Valley, CA 125,842 $99,151
25 League City, TX 103,310 $109,073
26 West Jordan, UT 114,138 $80,955
27 Chandler, AZ 252,692 $82,925
28 Carrollton, TX 135,834 $78,306
29 Huntington Beach, CA 200,259 $95,046
30 Carlsbad, CA 114,253 $110,478
31 Thornton, CO 136,868 $79,411
32 Midland, TX 138,549 $79,329
33 Westminster, CO 112,962 $76,142
34 San Francisco, CA 874,961 $112,449
35 Hayward, CA 159,293 $86,744
36 Renton, WA 101,484 $77,739
37 San Jose, CA 1,027,690 $109,593
38 Richardson, TX 116,432 $85,678
39 Roseville, CA 135,637 $89,082
40 Rochester, MN 115,557 $73,106
41 Seattle, WA 724,305 $92,263
42 Cambridge, MA 116,632 $103,154
43 Meridian, ID 101,905 $71,389
44 Virginia Beach, VA 450,201 $76,610
45 Broken Arrow, OK 108,496 $73,119
46 Daly City, CA 106,677 $94,550
47 Santa Clarita, CA 213,411 $99,666
48 Lakewood, CO 155,146 $66,740
49 Orange, CA 139,887 $91,793
50 Costa Mesa, CA 113,159 $84,138
51 Chesapeake, VA 239,982 $78,640
52 Irvine, CA 273,157 $105,126
53 Hillsboro, OR 106,543 $82,275
54 Concord, CA 129,183 $89,564
55 Rancho Cucamonga, CA 176,379 $90,953
56 Round Rock, TX 124,434 $82,676
57 San Buenaventura (Ventura), CA 109,910 $78,882
58 Lewisville, TX 106,386 $64,493
59 Temecula, CA 113,381 $96,183
60 Elk Grove, CA 170,825 $93,780
61 Sioux Falls, SD 177,117 $59,912
62 Peoria, AZ 168,196 $75,323
63 Austin, TX 950,807 $71,576
64 Charleston, SC 135,257 $68,438
65 Billings, MT 109,595 $59,656
66 Davie, FL 104,399 $71,780
67 Corona, CA 166,972 $83,752
68 Santa Rosa, CA 179,701 $75,630
69 Pasadena, CA 141,258 $83,068
70 Denver, CO 705,576 $68,592
71 Vista, CA 100,686 $72,125
72 Sterling Heights, MI 132,476 $64,833
73 West Covina, CA 106,589 $82,938
74 Downey, CA 112,322 $75,878
75 Raleigh, NC 464,485 $67,266
76 West Valley City, UT 136,009 $66,342
77 Anchorage, AK 293,531 $84,928
78 Fairfield, CA 115,282 $84,557
79 Miramar, FL 139,468 $70,669
80 Irving, TX 239,783 $64,868
81 Grand Prairie, TX 192,565 $67,388
82 Aurora, CO 369,111 $65,100
83 Henderson, NV 300,116 $74,147
84 Clovis, CA 109,160 $77,904
85 Port St. Lucie, FL 189,396 $60,587
86 Fargo, ND 121,889 $55,551
87 Stamford, CT 129,309 $93,059
88 Cedar Rapids, IA 132,301 $58,511
89 Surprise, AZ 135,450 $69,076
90 Garden Grove, CA 173,258 $69,278
91 Lincoln, NE 283,839 $57,746
92 Madison, WI 254,977 $65,332
93 Aurora, IL 199,927 $71,749
94 Portland, OR 645,291 $71,005
95 Pembroke Pines, FL 170,072 $68,745
96 Murrieta, CA 112,941 $90,535
97 Omaha, NE 475,862 $60,092
98 Oceanside, CA 175,622 $72,697
99 Escondido, CA 151,300 $64,038
100 San Diego, CA 1,409,573 $79,673

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

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