Arlington, VA

Aspiring to be in the top 20% of Arlington households by income? You’ll need to make more than three times what someone in Cleveland earns to crack the same top quintile.

Arlington is No. 4 among the 100 largest cities and Census-Designated Places in the U.S. in terms of income needed to be among the top earners, according to new rankings from the website SmartAsset.

The entry level for the top 20% of working households in Arlington is $216,605 in annual income, SmartAsset reports, based on Census data.

The top 3 on the list, ahead of Arlington, are all in the Bay Area:

  1. San Francisco (>$250,000)
  2. Fremont, Calif. ($243,080)
  3. San Jose, Calif. ($219,023)

Arlington’s fellow Amazon headquarters city, Seattle, was No. 5 at $190,348. By contrast, Detroit had the lowest income level for its 20% ($65,603) and Cleveland has the second-lowest ($70,632).

The rankings also highlight income disparities, even in prosperous cities.

“In 2018, the working households that comprised the top 20% of earners nationwide made at least $125,322 throughout the year,” SmartAsset noted. “In contrast, the working households in the bottom 20% of earners made $25,434 or less. As a ratio, top-earning households made almost five times as much as bottom-earning households.”

Photo by Pepi Stojanovski on Unsplash

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