NEW YORK (June 30) - If you want to get rich, leave New York City, Washington, D.C. or Los Angeles and head to Plano, Texas; Aurora, Colo.; or Omaha, Neb., where wages are high and life is good, a new survey showed.
A poll that ranked 69 U.S. cities with populations of more than 250,000 people showed the best places to build personal wealth and raise a family were in cities where some of the nation's largest companies are headquartered.
The No. 1 city, Plano, is the ninth-largest metropolis in Texas and home to corporate headquarters including soft drink company Dr Pepper Snapple Group, PepsiCo's snack foods company Frito-Lay and movie theater company Cinemark.
"The city has a reputation as one of the best places in the country for employers to do business and for families to live and work. Plano has a nationally acclaimed public education system and well-educated, diverse residents," Salary.com, the pay and performance Web site that conducted the survey, said.
Aurora, the third-most populous city in Colorado, came in second, according to the survey which said its economy is booming and it is a business leader in key growth industries such as biotechnology, aerospace and high technology.
Nebraska's largest city Omaha, home to famed U.S. investor Warren Buffett, nabbed third place. Buffett, who is the richest man in the world according to Forbes magazine, is often called the "Oracle of Omaha" for his successful investments.
"With diversification in several industries including banking, insurance, telecommunications, architecture/construction, and transpiration, Omaha's economy has grown dramatically since the 1990s," Salary.com explained.
New York City came in last, behind Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles.
"These cities do have some of the highest average wages in the country, but when it comes time to stretching your dollar and accumulating a nest egg for the future, it is difficult to do in these cities," Salary.com said.
The survey measured the relative value of earnings, cost of living and unemployment rates, along with diversity of industry, education level of the cities' population, proximity to post secondary institutions, percent of population below poverty level and median travel time to work.
Reporting by Michelle Nichols; editing by Patricia Reaney