21 US cities where making $100,000 a year isn’t enough to put you in the top 20% of earners

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In Los Angeles, a household income of $100,000 puts you in just the top 25% of earners.
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Filipe Frazao/Shutterstock

If you’re making $100,000 a year, you’re doing pretty well for yourself, especially considering that the median household income in the US is $53,889.

But if you live in the metro areas of Seattle, San Francisco, or Washington, DC, a low-six-figure household income barely puts you among the top half of earners, let alone in the top 20%.

In Stamford, Connecticut, for example, you’d represent the top 48% with a $100,000 household income.

That’s according to an interactive tool from The New York Times that allows you to enter your household income and compare your earnings across 344 metro areas throughout the US.

Here, we’ve highlighted 21 US cities where a $100,000 annual household income isn’t enough to crack the top 20% of earners.

Kathleen Elkins contributed to a previous version of this article.


A household income of $100,000 puts you in the top 22% of earners in Salt Lake City.

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Council Hall in Salt Lake City.
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Don Mammoser/Shutterstock

A household income of $100,000 puts you in the top 24% of earners in Atlanta.

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The Atlanta skyline as seen from Piedmont Park.
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Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

A household income of $100,000 puts you in the top 25% of earners in Denver.

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A sunset over Denver’s capital building.
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Nicholas Courtney/Shutterstock

A household income of $100,000 puts you in the top 25% of earners in Los Angeles.

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Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles.
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Filipe Frazao/Shutterstock

A household income of $100,000 puts you in the top 26% of earners in New York City.

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The Brooklyn Bridge, which connects Manhattan and Brooklyn.
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Reuters/Jim Bourg

A household income of $100,000 puts you in the top 26% of earners in Dallas.

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The Dallas skyline.
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Michael Zanussi/flickr


A household income of $100,000 puts you in the top 26% of earners in New Haven, Connecticut.

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New Haven’s Five Mile Point Lighthouse.
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Shutterstock


A household income of $100,000 puts you in the top 27% of earners in Chicago.

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A residential area in Chicago.
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Shutterstock

A household income of $100,000 puts you in the top 27% of earners in Hartford, Connecticut.

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The Hartford skyline.
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Shutterstock


A household income of $100,000 puts you in the top 28% of earners in Minneapolis.

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Shutterstock


A household income of $100,000 puts you in the top 28% of earners in Philadelphia.

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Shutterstock


A household income of $100,000 puts you in the top 28% of earners in San Diego.

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Shutterstock


A household income of $100,000 puts you in the top 28% of earners in Santa Barbara, California.

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Shutterstock

A household income of $100,000 puts you in the top 30% of earners in Napa, California.

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A vineyard in Napa Valley.
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Shutterstock

A household income of $100,000 puts you in the top 31% of earners in Seattle.

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The Seattle skyline and waterfront.
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Shutterstock

A household income of $100,000 puts you in the top 30% of earners in Baltimore.

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Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.
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Shutterstock

A household income of $100,000 puts you in the top 35% of earners in Boston.

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Boston’s historic Back Bay neighborhood.
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Shutterstock

A household income of $100,000 puts you in the top 42% of earners in Washington, DC.

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Georgetown, Washington DC.
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Shutterstock


A household income of $100,000 puts you in the top 40% of earners in San Francisco.

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San Francisco’s Painted Ladies.
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Ventdusud/Shutterstock

A household income of $100,000 puts you in the top 43% of earners in Danbury, Connecticut.

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The Tarrywile Mansion in Danbury.
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Shutterstock


A household income of $100,000 puts you in the top 48% of earners in Stamford, Connecticut.

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A harbor in Stamford.
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Shutterstock