Monday, June 30, 2008

Best and Worst U.S. cities for building Personal Net Worth has released its 2008 salary value index ranking of 69 U.S. cities with at least 250,000 residents. The index measured local salaries, the cost of living and unemployment rates to come up with the communities with the most favorable combinations. The top five and bottom five cities are shown below in the table. The top five offer the largest difference between pay and costs providing the best opportunity to build wealth.

It’s no surprise that New York city or Honolulu are expensive places to reside, but I didn’t expect to see Washington DC so high up on this list at #2.

As for the top five, I can attest that as a whole, Texas has an inexpensive cost of living. Eight other Texas cities made the best cities list as well. Of course, just being a cheap place to live is not enough to rate highly in this index, it’s also important to have good paying jobs. And that combination does not seem to lend itself to some of the prime real estate locations in this country.


  1. It figures that my city is ranked in the bottom 10. :(

    It makes sense that the lowest ranked cities are also major metropolitan areas that have high salaries. The problem is too many people have high salaries which drives up costs. The key is to not to strive to keep up with the status quo and save/invest.

    Of course the best condition is to have a high paying job in a low cost city such as yourself. =)

  2. The trick is to build personal wealth in one of the cheap cities, and move to a "worst" city once you are wealthy. NYC, LA, SF, Honolulu are all terrific places to live if you have money.