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America's richest and poorest places
20 richest and poorest: the most affluent counties are in the East, but western cities score well.
August 31, 2005: 2:25 PM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - There's a reason it's called the promised land.

California can count four of the top ten richest cities in America, according to data released Tuesday by the Census Bureau. In addition, seven of the top ten are located west of the Mississippi, while 9 of the 10 poorest cities in the country are located either on the Mississippi or east of it.

So does that mean the West is getting richer while the East slides into decay? Not quite.

The East boasts nine of the 10 richest counties.

It would be tempting to say that affluence in western cities tends to stay closer to downtown while the eastern elite flee to the suburbs, but demographers at the Census Bureau caution against such conclusions.

The sample of this year's study, which only looked at cities and counties with a population of 250,000 or more, isn't wide enough to draw larger trends. For that, we'll have to wait for next year's study, which will survey all cities and counties with a population of 65,000 or more.

In the meantime, here's a look at how the largest cities and counties stacked up, according to the Bureau's 2004 American Community Survey:  Top of page

Richest American cities with a
population of 250,000 or greater
RankCityMedian household income, 2004
1San Jose, CA$71,765
2Anchorage, AK$61,565
3San Francisco, CA$60,031
4Virginia Beach, VA$55,781
5San Diego, CA$51,382
6Anaheim, CA$49,622
7Raleigh, NC$47,878
8Seattle, WA$46,650
9Washington, DC$46,574
10Honolulu, HI$46,500
11Oakland, CA$46,190
12Charlotte, NC$46,082
13Boston, MA$45,892
14Arlington, TX$45,712
15Austin, TX$45,508
16Colorado Springs, CO$45,388
17Riverside, CA$44,866
18Las Vegas, NV$44,737
19Aurora, CO$44,480
20Minneapolis, MN$44,116
Poorest American cities with a
population of 250,000 or greater
RankCityMedian household income, 2004
1Miami, FL$24,031
2Newark, NJ$26,309
3Cleveland, OH$27,871
4Detroit, MI$27,871
5Buffalo, NY$28,544
6St. Louis, MO$30,389
7Philadelphia, PA$30,631
8Milwaukee, WI$31,231
9New Orleans, LA$31,369
10El Paso, TX$31,764
11Tucson, AZ$31,901
12Pittsburgh, PA$31,910
13Cincinnati, OH$31,960
14Memphis, TN$32,399
15Baltimore, MD$34,055
16Toledo, OH$35,239
17Tulsa, OK$36,255
18Oklahoma City, OK$36,347
19San Antonio, TX$36,598
20Stockton, CA$37,322
Richest counties with a population of 250,000 or more
RankCityMedian household income, 2004
1Fairfax County, VA$83,975
2Somerset County, NJ$84,892
3Morris County, NJ$83,583
4Montgomery County, MD$82,971
5Howard County, MD$82,065
6Nassau County, NY$78,762
7Prince William County, VA$77,678
8Monmouth County, NJ$77,223
9Rockland County, NY$75,306
10Santa Clara County, CA$74,509
11Fairfield County, CT$73,110
12Chester County, PA$72,288
13Suffolk County, NY$71,956
14McHenry County, IL$71,153
15Bergen County, NJ$70,957
16Norfolk County, MA$70,903
17Lake County, IL$70,347
18Middlesex County, NJ$70,344
19DuPage County, IL$70,174
20Westchester County, NY$70,095
Poorest counties with a population of 250,000 or more
RankCityMedian household income, 2004
1Hidalgo County, TX$24,778.00
2Cameron County, TX$26,290.00
3Bronx County, NY$28,705.00
4El Paso County, TX$28,925.00
5St. Louis city, MO$30,389.00
6Philadelphia County, PA$30,631.00
7Caddo Parish, LA$31,317.00
8Orleans Parish, LA$31,369.00
9Baltimore city, MD$34,055.00
10Mahoning County, OH$34,132.00
11Polk County, FL$34,206.00
12Luzerne County, PA$34,341.00
13Oklahoma County, OK$35,182.00
14Mobile County, AL$35,512.00
15Lake County, FL$35,856.00
16E. Baton Rouge Parish, LA$35,954.00
17Pasco County, FL$35,997.00
18Kings County, NY$36,030.00
19Nueces County, TX$36,050.00
20Marion County, OR$36,591.00

 
 
 
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