Top 5 cities for Americans earning $50,000

Not a millionaire yet?

You’re not alone. The median household income in the country as of September was $61,372, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

And even though the U.S. economy is on a steady path toward recovery, in some high-tax cities it can be tough to get by.

GOBankingRates looked at the 100 most populous metropolitan areas and analyzed a number of factors including median rent, the cost of groceries, utilities and transportation, as well as taxes to determine where a $50,000 salary would get you the furthest.

Here’s a look at the results:

1. Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis ranked top on GOBankingRates’ list of the best cities for those making $50,000. Median rent in the city is about $855, while monthly transportation costs only come out to about $47.50.

An individual with an income of $50,000 would have an after-tax income of about $41,806. With all costs considered, researchers estimate the average person would have $25,978 in left-over income.

The median income in the city itself is only $38,230.

2. El Paso, Texas

Similar to Memphis, an individual with $50,000 in income will receive an after-tax check of nearly $42,000 in El Paso.

The median rent in this Texas city is slightly higher, however, at $1,016. The average cost of groceries per month is about $192.34, while utilities tend to set the average resident back about $118.39.

Left-over income would be valued around $25,327 for someone with a salary of $50,000.

The median income in El Paso is about $44,431.

3. Toledo, Ohio

Ranking third on the list is Toledo, Ohio. Median rent in Toledo is fairly low, just shy of $800.

If you’re making $50,000 in Toledo, you’re after-tax income will average out to about $39,629. After all regular costs are accounted for, left-over income is estimated around $24,105.

The median income in the city is $35,808.

4. Cleveland, Ohio

Another Ohio town took the fourth spot on the list: Cleveland.

Costs in this town might be lower considering the median income in Cleveland is almost half of $50,000 – at $27,854.

The median rent is $887, while transportation costs are about $50 per month. Utilities average out to about $143.

Based on a $50,000 salary, take home income, after taxes and expenses, averages out to about $22,938.


5. Tulsa, Oklahoma

Tusla, Oklahoma, assumed the fifth spot on GOBankingRates’ rankings.

The median rent in the city is about $963, while utilities cost about $149.

When all expenses are taken into account, including taxes, the average individual making $50,000 would have about $22,424 left over.