How much money you have to earn to be considered rich in 42 major US cities

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Veuve ClicquotHow much money it takes to be ‘rich’ is highest in San Jose, California.
  • How much money it takes to be “rich” varies from city to city.
  • About 20% of Americans are upper-income, or “rich,” meaning they earn at least two times the national median household income.
  • The amount of money it takes to be considered rich is largest in San Jose, California.

Everything in life is relative.

That phrase is especially true when looking at how much money it takes to be considered “rich” in different US cities.

While terms like “middle class” and “rich” are used broadly – and often incorrectly – they can be quantified using federal data.

About 20% of Americans are upper-income, or “rich,” according to the Pew Research Center. This group of earners makes at least two times the national median household income: $US59,039 in 2016, according to the latest data from the US Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey.

Nationally, the threshold for “rich” is $US118,080, but that figure varies from city to city depending on the local median income.

To get a sense of how much you need to earn to be considered above-middle-class in different cities, Business Insider pulled census data for the largest metropolitan statistical areas. For clarity, we listed the largest city in the MSA (some include more than one).

Below, find out what it takes to be considered rich in the 42 largest metro areas in the US, plus what income is needed to be in the top 1% in those states.


Memphis, Tennessee: more than $US99,618

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How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Tennessee: $US308,834

• Median income in Memphis: $US49,809

• Metro-area population: 1.3 million


Tampa, Florida: more than $US102,230

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Florida: $US385,410

• Median income in Tampa: $US51,115

• Metro-area population: 3 million


Miami, Florida: more than $US102,724

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How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Florida: $US385,410

• Median income in Miami: $US51,362

• Metro-area population: 6.1 million


Cleveland, Ohio: more than $US104,262

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Ohio: $US317,124

• Median income in Cleveland: $US52,131

• Metro-area population: 2.1 million


Orlando, Florida: more than $US104,770

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Florida: $US385,410

• Median income in Orlando: $US52,385

• Metro-area population: 2.4 million


Las Vegas, Nevada: more than $US108,768

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Nevada: $US311,977

• Median income in Las Vegas: $US54,384

• Metro-area population: 2.2 million


Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: more than $US110,130

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How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Oklahoma: $US324,935

• Median income in Oklahoma City: $US55,065

• Metro-area population: 1.4 million


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: more than $US112,126

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Pennsylvania: $US360,343

• Median income in Pittsburgh: $US56,063

• Metro-area population: 2.3 million


San Antonio, Texas: more than $US112,210

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How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Texas: $US424,507

• Median income in San Antonio: $US56,105

• Metro-area population: 2.4 million


Detroit, Michigan: more than $US112,284

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Michigan: $US306,740

• Median income in Detroit: $US56,142

• Metro-area population: 4.3 million


Indianapolis, Indiana: more than $US113,500

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How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Indiana: $US296,640

• Median income in Indianapolis: $US56,750

• Metro-area population: 2.0 million


Jacksonville, Florida: more than $US113,680

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Florida: $US385,410

• Median income in Jacksonville: $US56,840

• Metro-area population: 1.5 million


Milwaukee, Wisconsin: more than $US116,058

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Wisconsin: $US312,375

• Median income in Milwaukee: $US58,029

• Metro-area population: 1.6 million


Phoenix, Arizona: more than $US116,150

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How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Arizona: $US309,102

• Median income in Phoenix: $US58,075

• Metro-area population: 4.7 million


Riverside, California: more than $US116,472

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in California: $US453,772

• Median income in Riverside: $US58,236

• Metro-area population: 4.5 million


St. Louis, Missouri: more than $US119,560

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Missouri: $US305,471

• Median income in St. Louis: $US59,780

• Metro-area population: 2.8 million


Charlotte, North Carolina: more than $US119,958

James Willamor

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in North Carolina: $US327,549

• Median income in Charlotte: $US59,979

• Metro-area population: 2.5 million


Nashville, Tennessee: more than $US120,060

Courtesy of TripAdvisor

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Tennessee: $US308,834

• Median income in Nashville: $US60,030

• Metro-area population: 1.9 million


Cincinnati, Ohio: more than $US120,520

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How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Ohio: $US317,124

• Median income in Cincinnati: $US60,260

• Metro-area population: 2.2 million


Columbus, Ohio: more than $US120,588

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Ohio: $US317,124

• Median income in Columbus: $US60,294

• Metro-area population: 2.0 million


Kansas City, Missouri: more than $US122,770

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Missouri: $US351,497

• Median income in Kansas City: $US61,385

• Metro-area population: 2.1 million


Houston, Texas: more than $US123,416

Scott Halleran/Getty Images

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Texas: $US424,507

• Median income in Houston: $US61,708

• Metro-area population: 6.8 million


Virginia Beach, Virginia: more than $US123,610

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Virginia: $US406,412

• Median income in Virginia Beach: $US61,805

• Metro-area population: 1.7 million


Providence, Rhode Island: more than $US123,896

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Rhode Island: $US336,625

• Median income in Providence: $US61,948

• Metro-area population: 1.6 million


Atlanta, Georgia: more than $US125,226

Flickr/Terence S. Jones

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Georgia: $US345,876

• Median income in Atlanta: $US62,613

• Metro-area population: 5.8 million


Dallas, Texas: more than $US127,624

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How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Texas: $US424,507

• Median income in Dallas: $US63,812

• Metro-area population: 7.2 million


Sacramento, California: more than $US128,104

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in California: $US453,772

• Median income in Sacramento: $US64,052

• Metro-area population: 2.3 million


Los Angeles, California: more than $US131,900

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How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in California: $US453,772

• Median income in Los Angeles: $US65,950

• Metro-area population: 13.3 million


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: more than $US131,992

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How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Pennsylvania: $US360,343

• Median income in Philadelphia: $US65,996

• Metro-area population: 6.1 million


Chicago, Illinois: more than $US132,040

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Illinois: $US416,319

• Median income in Chicago: $US66,020

• Metro-area population: 9.5 million


Portland, Oregon: more than $US137,352

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Oregon: $US312,839

• Median income in Portland: $US68,676

• Metro-area population: 2.4 million


San Diego, California: more than $US141,648

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in California: $US453,772

• Median income in San Diego: $US70,824

• Metro-area population: 3.3 million


Austin, Texas: more than $US142,000

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Texas: $US424,507

• Median income in Austin: $US71,000

• Metro-area population: 2.1 million


New York City: more than $US143,794

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in New York: $US517,557

• Median income in New York City: $US71,897

• Metro-area population: 20.2 million


Denver, Colorado: more than $US143,852

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Colorado: $US410,716

• Median income in Denver: $US71,926

• Metro-area population: 2.9 million


Minneapolis, Minnesota: more than $US146,462

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Minnesota: $US411,022

• Median income in Minneapolis: $US73,231

• Metro-area population: 3.6 million


Baltimore, Maryland: more than $US153,576

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Maryland: $US421,188

• Median income in Baltimore: $US76,788

• Metro-area population: 2.8 million


Seattle, Washington: more than $US157,224

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Washington: $US387,854

• Median income in Seattle: $US78,612

• Metro-area population: 3.8 million


Boston, Massachusetts: more than $US164,760

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Massachusetts: $US539,055

• Median income in Boston: $US82,380

• Metro-area population: 4.8 million


Washington, DC: more than $US191,686

Orhan Cam/Shutterstock

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Washington, DC: $US544,719

• Median income in DC: $US95,843

• Metro-area population: 6.1 million


San Francisco, California: more than $US193,354

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in California: $US453,772

• Median income in San Francisco: $US96,677

• Metro-area population: 4.7 million


San Jose, California: More than $US220,080

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in California: $US453,772

• Median income in San Jose: $US110,040

• Metro-area population: 2 million

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