Top 5 Cities to Build Wealth
by Maura Pallera - Salary.com Contributing Writer
Is your paycheck not stretching far enough? Are you considering moving to a new town? Are you just
looking to change jobs? If so, it may be time to look at one of the cities at the top of Salary.com's 2008
Salary Value Index. The compensation experts at Salary.com uncovered the top US cities for building
personal net worth by taking into account local salaries, cost of living and unemployment relative to the
This year's list also factors in qualitative measures, including diversity of industry, education level of the
cities' population, proximity to post-secondary institutions, percent of the population below the poverty
level and median travel time to work.
Below are the top five Salary Value Index cities with links to salary ranges for an accountant,
administrative assistant, nurse and software developer in each city. Compare the differences between the
cities and use the Salary Wizard to see what you could earn in these locales or others.
1. Plano, Texas
Located within the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan area, Plano is the ninth-largest city in Texas.
A frequent destination for business travelers, it is home to many corporate headquarters, including
JCPenney, Frito-Lay and Perot Systems. The city has a reputation for being 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.
2. Aurora, Colorado
Aurora is part of the Denver-Aurora metropolitan area and is the third most-populous city in Colorado.
Once a budding frontier town of farmers and ranchers, Aurora is now a largely suburban city with over
450 neighborhoods. Aurora has a booming economy and is a business leader in such key growth
industries as biotechnology, aerospace and high technology.
3. Omaha, Nebraska
Part of the Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area, Omaha is the largest city in Nebraska. Omaha has
been racially and ethnically diverse since its founding and continues to boast a rich cultural background.
Omaha's economy has grown dramatically since the 1990s, largely due to diversification in several
industries, including banking, insurance, telecommunications, architecture/construction and
4. Minneapolis, Minnesota
Part of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area, Minneapolis is the largest city in Minnesota. The
economy is based on commerce, finance, rail and trucking services, and healthcare.
5. Albuquerque, New Mexico
This fast-growing city at the center of the New Mexico Technology Corridor is the largest city in New
Mexico. Boasting a newly revitalized downtown area, Albuquerque has a diverse population and some of
the leading high tech research facilities in the country.
Salary Value Index - Top 25 Cities
Plano, TX 1
Aurora, CO 2
Omaha, NE 3
Minneapolis, MN 4
Albuquerque, NM 5
Wichita, KS 6
Indianapolis, IN 7
St Paul, MN 8
Oklahoma City, OK 9
Seattle, WA 10
Colorado Springs, CO 11
Tulsa, OK 12
Austin, TX 13
Lexington, KY 14
Charlotte, NC 15
Nashville, TN 16
Raleigh, NC 17
Virginia Beach, VA 18
Anchorage, AK 19
Louisville, KY 20
Kansas City, MO 21
Denver, CO 22
Memphis, TN 23
San Antonio, TX 24
San Jose, CA 25