List of U.S. cities by adjusted per capita personal income estimates the per capita personal income (PCPI) of residents of United States' Metropolitan statistical areas (MSA). A MSA is defined as a central city or cities and their surrounding area of influence. The PCPI is adjusted by differences in the cost of living, called "regional price parities" by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The effect of adjusting the per capita personal income by the cost of living is to narrow the difference in the standard of living between most high-income cities and most low-income cities.

The BEA defines regional price parities as an estimate of "the differences in price levels across states and metropolitan areas for a given year and are expressed as a percentage of the overall national price level."[1] The BEA defines personal income as follows:

Personal income is the income received by, or on behalf of, all persons from all sources: from participation as laborers in production, from owning a home or business, from the ownership of financial assets, and from government and business in the form of transfers. It includes income from domestic sources as well as the rest of world. It does not include realized or unrealized capital gains or losses. Personal income is estimated before the deduction of personal income taxes and other personal taxes and is reported in current dollars (no adjustment is made for price changes).[2]

Per Capita Personal Income (PCPI) is a more inclusive estimate of the average standard of living of residents in the U.S. than measures of per capita income. PCPI "includes wages, benefits, proprietor income, dividends, interest, rent, and transfer payments" such as Social Securityveteran's benefitsfarm subsidieswelfare, and food stamps.[3]

The difference in estimates of per capita income and per capita personal income is large. In 2019, the U.S. Census Bureau calculated a per capita income of the United States as 34,103 dollars.[4] The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis calculated the PCPI as 56,490 dollars.[5]

A more valid accounting of the differences in the standard of living of residents in different citizens requires recognition that prices vary from state to state and city to city. In general, a dollar has more purchasing power in the poorer cities than it does in the richer cities. The difference in housing costs from city to city is especially important. The Bureau of Economic Analysis has calculated that the regional price parity in 2019 of the 50 largest MSAs ranges from 88.3 in BirminghamAlabama (which has the lowest cost of living of the 50 most populous MSAs) to 126.7 in San JoseCalifornia (the highest cost of living of the 50 most populous MSAs). An income of $0.88 in Birmingham equals an income of $1.27 in San Jose with the U.S as a whole having an average PCPI of $1.00. To put it another way, the purchasing power of a dollar compared to the U.S. average is $1.13 in Birmingham and $0.79 in San Jose. The net impact of accounting for differences in the purchasing power of a dollar in different MSAs is to narrow the gap in the standard of living between rich and poor cities.[6]

The statistical analysis is complicated by the various definitions of what constitutes a "city." There are three commonly used definitions. First, is the population with the legal limits of an incorporated city. Secondly. is an MSA which includes not only the population within the legal boundaries of a city but also the population of the jurisdictions in its suburbs and in the surrounding counties which are influenced by the central city. influence. Thirdly, adding to the complexity, are Combined Statistical Areas which combine the population of two or more MSAs.

The population and per capita personal income estimates of metropolitan statistical areas are used in the following table.

Standard Metropolitan statistical areas by PCPI, adjusted by regional price parity

50 largest metropolitan areasPer Capita Personal Income (PCPI) (2019)[7]Rank in PCPI before adjustmentPurchasing power of $1.00 (2019)[8]PCPI after adjustments for purchasing power of dollarRank in PCPI after adjustment
35. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA$114,0801$0.79$90,1231
12. San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA$104,2912$0.74$77,1752
11. Boston-Worcester-Providence, MA-RI-NH-CT$81,4983$0.87$70,9033
1. New York City-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA$79,8444$0.80$63,8757
15. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA$78,0735$0.87$67,9244
6. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV$74,3856$0.85$63,2279
19 Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO$67,2367$0.96$64,5475
2. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA$66,6848$0.84$56,01534
8. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD$66,5969$0.95$63,22610
48. Hartford-East Hartford-Middletown, CT$65,15210$0.98$63,8498
16. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI$64,22511$0.97$62,29813
21. Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD$63,98812$0.95$60,78921
17. San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, CA$63,72613$0.85$54,16741
3. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI$63,50014$0.97$61,59518
29. Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown, TX$61,97715$1.01$62,59712
7. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL$60,96616$0.90$54,86939
36. Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN$60,68017$1.06$64,3216
27. Pittsburgh-New Castle-Weirton, PA-OH-WV$60,22718$1.01$60,82920
25. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA$59,92119$0.95$56,92531
5. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX$58,89020$0.98$57,71228
26. Sacramento-Roseville-Folsom, CA$58,84321$0.95$55,90135
4. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX$58,72522$0.99$58,13827
44. Richmond, VA$58,62823$1.04$60,97319
39. Milwaukee-Waukesha, WI$58,45724$1.06$62,06014
42. Raleigh-Cary, NC$57,85125$1.04$60,16523
United States$56,490$1.00$56,490
33. Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN$56,36026$1.10$61,96615
20. St. Louis, MO-IL$56,29327$1.11$63,18511
38. Providence-Warwick, RI-MA$56,13828$1.00$56,13833
30. Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN$56,03329$1.10$61,63616
34. Cleveland-Elyria, OH$55,45130$1.11$61, 55117
31. Kansas City, MO-KS$55,00931$1.08$59,40624
9. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, GA$54,55732$1.02$55,64836
45. New Orleans-Metairie, LA$54,46333$1.07$58,27526
47. Salt Lake City, UT$54,45034$1.01$54,99538
14. Detroit–Warren–Dearborn, MI$54,17235$1.04$56,33932
22. Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC$53,91643$1.06$57,15130
50. Birmingham-Hoover, AL$53,37441$1.13$60,31322
32. Columbus, OH$52,47740$1.09$57,20029
49. Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY$52,33139$1.06$55,47137
46. Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN$52,13438$1.12$58,39025
37. Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC$52,01137$1.04$54,09142
40. Jacksonville, FL$51,42136$1.05$53,99243
18. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL$48, 90843$1.01$49,39747
41. Oklahoma City, OK$48,86044$1.11$54,23540
28. Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV$48,80645$1.03$50,27046
24. San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX$48,69446$1.07$52,10645
10. Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler, AZ$48,06547$1.01$48,54648
43. Memphis, TN-MS-AR$47,98548$1.12$53,74344
23. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL$45,15649$1.01$45,60849
13. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA$42,24250$0.93$39,28550


  1. ^ "Regional Price Parities by State and Metro Area"Bureau of Economic Analysis. Retrieved 25 January 2021.
  2. ^ Sauter, Michael B. (25 November 2020). "Arkansas, Mississippi are among the states where a dollar has the highest value"USA Today: Money. Retrieved 24 January 2021.
  3. ^ Personal Income BEA.
  4. ^ Press Release BEA.