The 10 US cities with the largest share of upper-class residents

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Thirty-two percent of the adult population in the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria metro area is in the upper class.
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Flickr / Tony Brooks

The American middle class is shrinking, and consequently, the lower- and upper-income tiers are gaining share.

In a May 2016 report, the Pew Research Center found that between 2000 and 2014, the share of upper-income adults increased in 172 of the 229 US metro areas it analyzed.

The report also highlighted the 10 areas with the largest upper-income populations, which were mostly in the northeast region or on the California coast.

“Midland, Texas, the exception to this rule, leads the metropolitan ranking of upper-income areas,” Pew reported. “Some 37% of the adult population in Midland was upper income in 2014, thanks to a prospering oil economy.”

Pew defined upper-income households as those with an income that is more than double the US median household income. Incomes are adjusted for household size and for the cost of living in the area relative to the national average cost of living. “That means the incomes of households in relatively expensive areas, such as New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA, are adjusted downward,” Pew explained in its methodology.

Note that New York City didn’t crack the top 10. In addition to Pew adjusting incomes for the cost of living, it’s important to recognize that New York City, with a population of about 8.5 million, makes up less than half of the New York-Newark-Jersey City metro area, which has a population of about 19.8 million.

Read on to see which other metro areas joined Midland in the top 10. We included the share of the population that qualifies as upper-income in each metro, along with the median household income of the upper class (also from Pew).


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Trenton, New Jersey.
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K.L. Kohn/Shutterstock

Trenton

Residents who are upper-income: 28%

Median household income of upper class: $180,110


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San Francisco, California.
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Shutterstock

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward

Share of upper class: 28%

Median household income of upper class: $185,290


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New London, Connecticut.
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Laura Stone/Shutterstock

Norwich-New London

Share of upper class: 29%

Median household income of upper class: $164,030


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Boston, Massachusetts.
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Albert Pego/Shutterstock

Boston-Cambridge-Newton

Share of upper class: 30%

Median household income of upper class: $178,050


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Hartford, Connecticut.
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Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford

Share of upper class: 30%

Median household income of upper class: $175,800


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Barnstable, Massachusetts.
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Re Avarez/flickr

Barnstable Town

Share of upper class: 30%

Median household income of upper class: $170,650


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Santa Clara, California.
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Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz/Shutterstock

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara

Share of upper class: 31%

Median household income of upper class: $187,390


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Washington, DC.
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Richard Ricciardi/Flickr

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria

Share of upper class: 32%

Median household income of upper class: $177,900


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Stamford, Connecticut.
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alexpro9500/Shutterstock

Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk

Share of upper class: 32%

Median household income of upper class: $205,190


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Midland, Texas.
source
Google Maps

Midland

Share of upper class: 37%

Median household income of upper class: $181,280