The 9 Best Cities to Grow Wealth

April 28, 2016
Jared Kaltwasser

When it comes to your ability to grow and protect wealth, geography can play a much bigger role than you might think.

It’s no secret that the cost of living varies widely from state to state and city to city. The salary dentists earn can go a lot further in places with a low cost of living. Thus, a low cost of living makes it easier to build wealth over the long term.

Of course, that’s not the only factor that determines how quickly one is able to build wealth. The financial website Bankrate.com looked at a variety of factors when it created its recently released list of the best cities for building wealth. Among the metrics they used: After-tax savable income; the city’s job market; educational opportunities; access to financial services; and the local housing market. They also looked at retirement savings and 401(k) participation.

The resulting list has a number of surprises. It’s not full of the kinds of places one thinks of when they think of wealth, although it does have its share of ritzy, glamorous cities. Nor is the list overtaken by low cost-of-living cities, since some of those cities lack access to financial services and sufficiently robust job markets.

What follows are the nine best cities to build wealth, according to Bankrate. We’ve included their rankings for the city’s labor and housing markets (their full list uses other metrics, too). In addition to those stats, we’re adding the city’s median household income and median home value.

9. Minneapolis-St. Paul

Labor Market Rank: 6

Housing Market Rank: 3

Median Household Income: $70,721

Median Home Value: $213,700

8. Miami

Labor Market Rank: 16

Housing Market Rank: 13

Median Household Income: $49,946

Median Home Value: $284,900

7. Baltimore

Labor Market Rank: 12

Housing Market Rank: 14

Median Household Income: $69,272

Median Home Value: $108,800

6. Dallas-Fort Worth

Labor Market Rank: 8

Housing Market Rank: 4

Median Household Income: $58,190

Median Home Value: $130,500

5. New York

Labor Market Rank: 2

Housing Market Rank: 17

Median Household Income: $50,711

Median Home Value: $587,400

4. Detroit

Labor Market Rank: 18

Housing Market Rank: 1

Median Household Income: $25,193

Median Home Value: $39,900

3. Cleveland

Labor Market Rank: 14

Housing Market Rank: 12

Median Household Income: $26,556

Median Home Value: $53,700

2. Washington, DC

Labor Market Rank: 4

Housing Market Rank: 7

Median Household Income: $64,267

Median Home Value: $495,100

1. Houston

Labor Market Rank: 5

Housing Market Rank: 5

Median Household Income: $44,648

Median Home Value: $141,100

Sources: Bankrate.com, Zillow, Sperling’s Best Places, US Census Bureau.