For Cities Getting Richer the Fastest, Look to the South

The Census Bureau reported this week that median household incomes rose 5.2% between 2014 and 2015, robust gains by almost any standard. If your initial reaction was, “Wait a second, I don’t know many people getting those types of raises,” you might be right—many cities aren’t seeing gains anywhere near that.

Today the Census Bureau released the results of the 2015 American Community Survey, which allows comparison of incomes city by city. To find those cities where median household incomes are rising the fastest, look to the South. Among America’s 50 biggest metropolitan areas, the biggest household income gains were witnessed in Nashville, Tenn., Birmingham, Ala., and Atlanta.

Other Southern cities with outsize gains include Memphis, Tenn., Orlando, Fla., Austin, Texas, and Raleigh, N.C… That means seven of the 15 big cities growing faster than 5% are in the South.

Still, for the richest U.S. cities overall, look to the coasts. The wealthiest metro areas in 2015, by median household income, were San Jose, Calif., and Washington, D.C. Median household incomes in San Jose climbed above $100,000 last year—and climbed at a 5.6% clip. Incomes in Washington were second and losing ground to San Jose, climbing by 2.2%. San Francisco was in third place, and closing in on Washington quickly, with income gains of 6.2%. If those growth rates continue, San Francisco would surpass Washington next year.

While only the 50 largest cities are included in that table, no metro or micro area of any size matches the incomes in those three. Two smaller metro areas well outside the top 50 used to be close: Bridgeport, Conn. (hedge-fund money) and California, Md. (a wealthy Chesapeake Bay community). But between 2014 and 2015, San Francisco leapfrogged over both.

Uh, yes, but aren’t these areas where one can be literally “under water” from hurricanes and just bad weather overall???

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Thought you are moving to Singapore? Nowhere has worse weather than SG.

Well, it is under consideration for say half the year. But surely, more manageable than the South right?

@hanera, you are needed in the ER for commenting…

How can it be? SG’s way worse than the South. Even Florida is quite some way away from the equator.

An interview snippet of LKY the founding father of Singapore:

I like Singapore. It shows a different model of growth from the West. But no escape that SG has one of the worst weathers in the world. It’s amazing how they can overcome that and become one of the wealthiest places in the world.

Look at the new college ranking. SG has the top colleges in Asia too. LKY is a great man.

According to this report, yeah, sounds like hot and humid all the time and rainfall. I was thinking more manageable in the sense that flooding is typically not as bad in Singapore than say in the South. No evidence to support that (hence the call out to our resident Singapore expert @hanera).

Sounds like the weather is not a deal breaker:

After all is said and done, despite these complaints, Singapore is still considered a top destination for expats. Singapore was recently ranked as the ‘Happiest country in Asia’ in a study reported by ABC News. The city has a lot to offer – security and safety being its unique advantage. The city is clean and green, with fairly acceptable pollution levels. The government has ensured housing for all and encourages its residents to maintain a work-life balance. Residents live harmoniously despite their varied ethnic backgrounds. To find out more about quality of life, see

I have long argued weather is not a deal breaker for anyone. :slight_smile: But you seem to be more fuzzy about your weather.

Life is SG I am sure is quite pleasant, thanks to AC. Flooding in a big city with able government will never be a problem. And SG has the world’s most efficient and effective government.

Come on, the ONLY reason why I am considering SG even in the tiniest bit, is because my wife’s family is there. Shoot, my wife DOESN’T even want to leave our oasis in the Sunset, remember??? If I left, I would have to change my name and I certainly wouldn’t want to do that…


But still, San Francisco (with so many tourists traps and so little parking ) lags incomes in San Jose, THE CITY, by almost 15k. Perhaps you Frisco based people should consider a move down here.


San Jose has a higher percent with college and advanced degrees too. I’m wondering when startups will start to locate down here.

Step 1: make downtown more appealing.

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when San Ho gets some real chinese restaurants…eh @manch??? Eat some of that chicken wings yet, @manch???

Those greasy wings that pass as Chinese food? Nah…

East Lake has some of the best Chinese dishes in the entire Bay Area. And that’s in San Jose da City.

According to my sons, they would not want to stay in Singapore because of the hot and humid climate.

Expats love Singapore because:
a. Expat pay
b. Cheap stay-in maids, can afford 1-3 easily
c. Expat housing is usually a bungalow with a pool or a luxury full service condo
d. Many exclusive clubs to socialize and opportunities to rub shoulders with influentials folks
e. They are treated like demigods by locals - many still think they are British subjects
f. Because they are usually from HQ, many local employees try to carry them… big shot feeling

This is crucial, esp for guys. These expats have the easiest time of hooking up with local women.

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I intentionally omitted that because of some ladies on this forum whom husbands may be posted to Singapore for a short period without spouses (however usually company pays for all the expenses including family and maid). Social escorts are well educated i.e. usually with a Biz Admin degree, and speak English very well.

That seems to me all the more reason to post. :slight_smile: Keep those husbands on the shortest leash!!

Don’t worry, me wifey is quite familiar with Asia. She expressly said I can never go to Asia alone. She trusts me, she says, she doesn’t trust the gals over there…

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