How much money you have to earn to be considered rich in 27 major US cities

  • How much money it takes to be "rich" varies from city to city.
  • About 20% of Americans are upper income, or "rich," meaning they earn at least two times the national median household income.
  • You have to earn the most money in San Francisco, California to be considered rich.

Everything in life is relative.

That phrase is especially true when looking at how much money it takes to be considered "rich" in different cities around America.

While terms like "middle class" and "rich" are broadly — and often incorrectly — used, the federal government strictly defines them using income data.

About 20% of Americans are upper income, or "rich," according to Pew Research Center. This group of earners makes at least two times more than the national median household income: $59,039 in 2016, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2016 American Community Survey.

Nationally, the threshold for how much money it takes to be considered rich is $118,080, but that figure varies from city to city depending on local median income.

To get a sense of how much you need to earn to be considered above middle class in your city, Business Insider pulled census data for the largest metropolitan statistical areas. For clarity, we listed the largest city in the MSA (some include more than one).

Below, find out what it takes to be considered rich in the 27 largest metro areas in the US, plus what income is needed to be in the top 1% in those states.

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How much you need to be rich in US cities
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How much you need to be rich in US cities

Tampa, Florida: more than $102,230

• How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Florida: $385,410

• Median income in Tampa: $51,115

• Metro-area population: 3 million

Photo credit: Getty

Miami, Florida: more than $102,724

• How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Florida: $385,410

• Median income in Miami: $51,362

• Metro-area population: 6.1 million

Photo credit: Getty

Orlando, Florida: more than $104,770

• How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Florida: $385,410

• Median income in Orlando: $52,385

• Metro-area population: 2.4 million

Photo credit: Getty

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: more than $112,126

• How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Pennsylvania: $360,343

• Median income in Pittsburgh: $56,063

• Metro-area population: 2.3 million

Photo credit: Getty

San Antonio, Texas: more than $112,210

• How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Texas: $424,507

• Median income in San Antonio: $56,105

• Metro-area population: 2.4 million

Photo credit: Getty

Detroit, Michigan: more than $112,284

• How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Michigan: $306,740

• Median income in Detroit: $56,142

• Metro-area population: 4.3 million

Photo credit: Getty

Phoenix, Arizona: more than $116,150

• How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Arizona: $309,102

• Median income in Phoenix: $58,075

• Metro-area population: 4.7 million

Photo credit: Getty

Riverside, California: more than $116,472

• How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in California: $453,772

• Median income in Riverside: $58,236

• Metro-area population: 4.5 million

Photo credit: Getty

St. Louis, Missouri: more than $119,560

• How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Missouri: $305,471

• Median income in St. Louis: $59,780

• Metro-area population: 2.8 million

Photo credit: Getty

Charlotte, North Carolina: more than $119,958

• How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in North Carolina: $327,549

• Median income in Charlotte: $59,979

• Metro-area population: 2.5 million

Photo credit: Getty

Houston, Texas: more than $123,416

• How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Texas: $424,507

• Median income in Houston: $61,708

• Metro-area population: 6.8 million

Photo credit: Getty

Atlanta, Georgia: more than $125,226

• How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Georgia: $345,876

• Median income in Atlanta: $62,613

• Metro-area population: 5.8 million

Photo credit: Getty

Dallas, Texas: more than $127,624

• How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Texas: $424,507

• Median income in Dallas: $63,812

• Metro-area population: 7.2 million

Photo credit: Getty

Sacramento, California: more than $128,104

• How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in California: $453,772

• Median income in Sacramento: $64,052

• Metro-area population: 2.3 million

Photo credit: Getty

Los Angeles, California: more than $131,900

• How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in California: $453,772

• Median income in Los Angeles: $65,950

• Metro-area population: 13.3 million

Photo credit: Getty

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: more than $131,992

• How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Pennsylvania: $360,343

• Median income in Philadelphia: $65,996

• Metro-area population: 6.1 million

Photo credit: Getty

Chicago, Illinois: more than $132,040

• How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Illinois: $416,319

• Median income in Chicago: $66,020

• Metro-area population: 9.5 million

Photo credit: Getty

Portland, Oregon: more than $137,352

• How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Oregon: $312,839

• Median income in Portland: $68,676

• Metro-area population: 2.4 million

Photo credit: Getty

San Diego, California: more than $141,648

• How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in California: $453,772

• Median income in San Diego: $70,824

• Metro-area population: 3.3 million

Photo credit: Getty

New York City: more than $143,794

• How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in New York: $517,557

• Median income in New York City: $71,897

• Metro-area population: 20.2 million

Photo credit: Getty

Denver, Colorado: more than $143,852

• How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Colorado: $410,716

• Median income in Denver: $71,926

• Metro-area population: 2.9 million

Photo credit: Getty

Minneapolis, Minnesota: more than $146,462

• How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Minnesota: $411,022

• Median income in Minneapolis: $73,231

• Metro-area population: 3.6 million

Photo credit: Getty

Baltimore, Maryland: more than $153,576

• How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Maryland: $421,188

• Median income in Baltimore: $76,788

• Metro-area population: 2.8 million

Photo credit: Getty

Seattle, Washington: more than $157,224

• How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Washington: $387,854

• Median income in Seattle: $78,612

• Metro-area population: 3.8 million

Photo credit: Getty

Boston, Massachusetts: more than $164,760

• How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Massachusetts: $539,055

• Median income in Boston: $82,380

• Metro-area population: 4.8 million 

Photo credit: Getty

Washington, DC: more than $191,686

• How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in Washington, D.C.: $544,719

• Median income in D.C.: $95,843

• Metro-area population: 6.1 million 

Photo credit: Getty

San Francisco, California: more than $193,354

• How much money it takes to be in the top 1% in California: $453,772

• Median income in San Francisco: $96,677

• Metro-area population: 4.7 million 

Photo credit: Getty

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