San Jose, San Francisco top richest cities list

Between San Jose and San Francisco, the Bay Area is home to the two richest cities in the country by income, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. (Paul Sakuma / Associated Press)

The denizens of San Jose, that Silicon Valley gem, haul in a median household income of $76,593, making the city the wealthiest in the country.

That’s compared with the national figure of $50,502, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

In San Jose, 13.9% of residents go without health insurance coverage, compared with 15.1% nationally. Of the preschool-age population, 56.8% was enrolled in school, compared with 47.4% around the country. Fewer than three in 10 Americans over age 25 have a bachelor’s degree; 36.6% of that demographic in San Jose have graduated from college.

Homes cost more in the city — $540,800 for an owner-occupied property, compared with $173,600 nationwide. The population is more eclectic, with 39.2% foreign-born compared with 13% around the country.

San Francisco, with a median income of $69,894, was the second-richest American metropolitan area. San Diego was fourth with $60,797; Los Angeles fell just shy of the top 10 at $46,148.

Nationwide, the median income slipped 1.3% from 2010, when it was $51,114. The gauge ranged from $70,004 in Maryland to $36,919 in Mississippi. Vermont was the only state that saw an increase — all other states either declined or stayed the same.

In California, income tanked nearly 4% to $57,287 from $59,540.

Statewide poverty increased, with the rate hitting 16.6% last year. In 2011, more than 330,000 Californians fell below the barrier, which considers a family of two adults and two children to be poor if household income is below $22,811.  

Fresno, where 25.8% of residents are considered poor, had the second-worst poverty rate among cities. Among metropolitan areas with populations of at least 500,000, the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission region in Texas had a 37.7% rate. The Washington metro area had the lowest rate, with 8.3%.

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