Median household incomes are down for the second straight year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, but technology is the saving grace in many areas of the nation. Cities with booming technology industries continue to do well, while those that rely on retail stores and agriculture are languishing.
Poor areas continue to become poorer as low-wage jobs accumulate in higher concentration, explained Elizabeth Kneebone, a fellow at the Brookings Institute. And overall, the U.S. made a net loss, she said. “That is something we’ve seen in this recovery. Over the decade, the kinds of jobs we are growing are in lower-skill, low-wage industries like hospitality, food service and retail. Those are jobs that don’t tend to pay the kinds of wages that the jobs we lost did.”
While even some of the wealthiest cities show falling numbers, census data from 2011 found that the cities with the highest incomes tended to be technology centers. Of the 10 richest cities, nine have a larger proportion of workers in the professional, scientific and management sectors than the national average of 10.7 percent.
The top 10 richest U.S. metropolitan regions by median income:
- Washington, D.C.; Arlington, Va.; Alexandria, Va. ($86,680)
- San Jose, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara, Calif. ($84,012)
- Bridgeport, Stamford and Norwalk, Conn. ($77,289)
- Oxnard, Thousand Oaks and Ventura, Calif. ($74,623)
- Trenton and Ewing, N.J. ($73,890)
- San Francisco, Oakland and Fremont, Calif. ($71,975)
- Anchorage, Alaska ($71,700)
- Boston, Cambridge and Quincy, Mass. ($69,455)
- Boulder, Colo. ($68,637)
- Poughkeepsie, Newburgh and Middletown, N.Y. ($66,734)
For a more detailed analysis of the richest cities in the nation, visit 24/7 Wall St.