Houston is seeing an influx of wealth, and ranks second in the United States in high-income earners.
Houston finds itself nipping at New York’s heels in the one category that often trumps all: Money.
The Bayou City comes in just behind Gotham in new Richest Cities in America rankings. That’s good for ninth in the country overall, two spots ahead of Dallas, the only other Texas city to crack the Top 20. These new rankings are based on Bloomberg’s culling of U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis data for the 100 biggest metropolitan areas in America. Gross metropolitan product (GMP) per resident serves as the rankings’ ultimate barometer.
Houston’s GMP of $70,097 per resident is just behind New York City’s $70,830. Bloomberg’s reasoning behind going with GMP to determine true wealth is that gross metropolitan product reveals “underlying economic trends, which are often masked by the population inflows and outflows.” In other words, it’s harder to fudge these numbers.
Tech hubs dominate the front of the list. San Jose is America’s Richest City with a whopping $105,482 GMP, more than $10,000 ahead of surprise No. 2 Bridgeport, Conn. San Francisco takes third, at $80,643, and Seattle comes in fourth at $75,874. From Houston, the drop to No. 10 Des Moines ($67,256) is pretty severe. Dallas comes in just behind Iowa’s bell-cow at $66,168.
Houston stands out as the highest-ranked non-East or West Coast city. Perhaps the so-called Texas Miracle really means excelling in an America that’s still economically coast-centric. Houston finishing just behind New York, seen as the United States’ No. 1 economic driver for so long, is also significant.
Not that anyone who lives in Houston ever has much reason to doubt the city’s wealth. A simple drive through River Oaks or the sight of the crowds that turned out to scoop up $24 movie tickets at the new iPic Theaters at River Oaks District opening weekend provides easy confirmation.
New York might be wise to keep that old adage in mind: Objects in the rearview mirror are closer than they appear.