A new study based on census figures rated American cities with more than 75,000 people for affluence. Three Maryland cities made the population cut. Columbia ranked 24th, Silver Spring came in at 46, and Baltimore trailed behind at 294, with a median household income of only $40,313. Only one large city, San Francisco, cracked the top ten.
But neighbor Washington sits at 35. Its median household income is $57,936, but its home values are much higher. So while District residents are wealthier on paper, we all know how having a high home value is not particularly helpful when the gas bill is due, and even harmful when the mortgage bill is due.
This study, though, was not looking at the risk of foreclosure, or even unemployment rates, but how much wealth a city can boast, in the aggregate. Washington’s higher salaries, and probably more stable federal government jobs, boost its ranking.