What it takes to be considered wealthy in 12 major US cities

Depending on where you live, a net worth totaling millions of dollars may still be considered merely “comfortable,” a new survey finds.

In the US overall, it takes a net worth of $2.2 million to be considered “wealthy” by other Americans — up from $1.9 million last year, according to financial services company Charles Schwab’s annual Modern Wealth Survey.

However, if you want to be considered rich by residents of large metropolitan areas, it will require even more wealth.

In San Francisco, the threshold for what’s considered wealthy is a net worth of $5.1 million. That’s the highest total in the survey, which examined 12 of the biggest metropolitan areas in the country.

To be considered “financially comfortable,” a San Francisco resident would need a net worth of at least $1.7 million, the survey finds.

Here’s a look at what it takes to be considered wealthy by city in 2022, as ranked by net worth thresholds:

  1. San Francisco: $5.1 million
  2. Southern California (includes Los Angeles and San Diego): $3.9 million
  3. New York City: $3.4 million
  4. Washington, D.C.: $3.3 million
  5. Seattle: $3.2 million
  6. Phoenix: $2.7 million
  7. Boston: $2.7 million
  8. Dallas: $2.6 million
  9. Houston: $2.6 million
  10. Atlanta: $2.5 million
  11. Chicago: $2.5 million
  12. Denver: $2.3 million

The online survey was conducted in early February, with a sample of 500 to 750 local residents for each metropolitan area, between the ages of 21 and 75.

Net worth is a measure of the value of the assets a person or corporation owns, minus the liabilities they owe.

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