How much money you have to earn to be considered rich in 27 major US cities

How much money it takes to be

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How much money it takes to be “rich” is highest in San Francisco.
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Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Veuve Clicquot

  • 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 Francisco.

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: $59,039 in 2016, according to the latest data from the US Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey.

Nationally, the threshold for “rich” is $118,080, 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 27 largest metro areas in the US, plus what income is needed to be in the top 1% in those states.


Tampa, Florida: more than $102,230

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iStock / suwanneeredhead

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Florida: $385,410

• Median income in Tampa: $51,115

• Metro-area population: 3 million


Miami, Florida: more than $102,724

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travelview/Shutterstock

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Florida: $385,410

• Median income in Miami: $51,362

• Metro-area population: 6.1 million


Orlando, Florida: more than $104,770

source
Ricardo’s Photography/Flickr

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Florida: $385,410

• Median income in Orlando: $52,385

• Metro-area population: 2.4 million


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: more than $112,126

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Always Shooting/Flickr

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Pennsylvania: $360,343

• Median income in Pittsburgh: $56,063

• Metro-area population: 2.3 million


San Antonio, Texas: more than $112,210

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Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Texas: $424,507

• Median income in San Antonio: $56,105

• Metro-area population: 2.4 million


Detroit, Michigan: more than $112,284

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Andrey Bayda/shutterstock

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Michigan: $306,740

• Median income in Detroit: $56,142

• Metro-area population: 4.3 million


Phoenix, Arizona: more than $116,150

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Dreamframer/Shutterstock

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Arizona: $309,102

• Median income in Phoenix: $58,075

• Metro-area population: 4.7 million


Riverside, California: more than $116,472

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Shutterstock/Jon Bilous

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in California: $453,772

• Median income in Riverside: $58,236

• Metro-area population: 4.5 million


St. Louis, Missouri: more than $119,560

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Wikimedia Commons

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Missouri: $305,471

• Median income in St. Louis: $59,780

• Metro-area population: 2.8 million


Charlotte, North Carolina: more than $119,958

source
James Willamor

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in North Carolina: $327,549

• Median income in Charlotte: $59,979

• Metro-area population: 2.5 million


Houston, Texas: more than $123,416

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Scott Halleran/Getty Images

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Texas: $424,507

• Median income in Houston: $61,708

• Metro-area population: 6.8 million


Atlanta, Georgia: more than $125,226

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Flickr/Terence S. Jones

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Georgia: $345,876

• Median income in Atlanta: $62,613

• Metro-area population: 5.8 million


Dallas, Texas: more than $127,624

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Shutterstock

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Texas: $424,507

• Median income in Dallas: $63,812

• Metro-area population: 7.2 million


Sacramento, California: more than $128,104

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Shutterstock/Toribio93

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in California: $453,772

• Median income in Sacramento: $64,052

• Metro-area population: 2.3 million


Los Angeles, California: more than $131,900

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blvdone/Shutterstock

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in California: $453,772

• Median income in Los Angeles: $65,950

• Metro-area population: 13.3 million


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: more than $131,992

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f11photo/Shutterstock

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Pennsylvania: $360,343

• Median income in Philadelphia: $65,996

• Metro-area population: 6.1 million


Chicago, Illinois: more than $132,040

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Illinois: $416,319

• Median income in Chicago: $66,020

• Metro-area population: 9.5 million


Portland, Oregon: more than $137,352

source
Flickr / Thomas Hawk

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Oregon: $312,839

• Median income in Portland: $68,676

• Metro-area population: 2.4 million


San Diego, California: more than $141,648

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Flickr / Justin Brown

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in California: $453,772

• Median income in San Diego: $70,824

• Metro-area population: 3.3 million


New York City: more than $143,794

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Drew Angerer/Getty Images

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in New York: $517,557

• Median income in New York City: $71,897

• Metro-area population: 20.2 million


Denver, Colorado: more than $143,852

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Omer Wazir via Flickr

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Colorado: $410,716

• Median income in Denver: $71,926

• Metro-area population: 2.9 million


Minneapolis, Minnesota: more than $146,462

source
Wikimedia Commons

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Minnesota: $411,022

• Median income in Minneapolis: $73,231

• Metro-area population: 3.6 million


Baltimore, Maryland: more than $153,576

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m01229/flickr

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Maryland: $421,188

• Median income in Baltimore: $76,788

• Metro-area population: 2.8 million


Seattle, Washington: more than $157,224

source
Reuters

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Washington: $387,854

• Median income in Seattle: $78,612

• Metro-area population: 3.8 million


Boston, Massachusetts: more than $164,760

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Massachusetts: $539,055

• Median income in Boston: $82,380

• Metro-area population: 4.8 million


Washington, DC: more than $191,686

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Orhan Cam/Shutterstock

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Washington, DC: $544,719

• Median income in DC: $95,843

• Metro-area population: 6.1 million


San Francisco, California: more than $193,354

How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in California: $453,772

• Median income in San Francisco: $96,677

• Metro-area population: 4.7 million