Most Affluent city might surprise you

August 27, 2008
USA Today

What's the most affluent city in the USA?

(a) San Jose
(b) San Francisco
(c) Honolulu
(d) Plano, Texas

The answer is Plano — and that surprises even the mayor of this 260,000-person Dallas suburb. "I'd never heard that before," Plano Mayor Pat Evans says. "But it's good to know."

The Census Bureau released its annual report on income and poverty Tuesday. The results offer an interesting — and often unexpected — portrait of who's rich and who's poor in the USA.

Plano was the report's star among cities with populations of 250,000 or more. It had the highest income and lowest poverty rate. Plano's median household income in 2007 was $84,492, up 10% from 2006. Placing a distant second: San Jose, with a median income of $76,963.

Plano is the home to corporate headquarters for Frito-Lay, JCPenney and other companies. Billionaire Ross Perot founded computer giant EDS and Perot Systems, both still based in Plano. The city is north of Dallas at the end of a light-rail line. Gymnast Nastia Liukin, Olympic gold medalist in Beijing, trains there.

Despite its affluence, the median home price is about $225,000, Evans says. By contrast, San Jose's median home price is $744,000. "We've got the lowest taxes and highest level of services in North Texas," the mayor says.