The best cities for building wealth aren't the ones you think

- The personal finance website bankrate.com released a list of the best U.S. metro areas for “building your wealth.” And the winners aren’t where you’d think. Just because a city is productive or wealthy doesn’t mean the average household can get ahead.

San Francisco, Minneapolis, Washington, D.C., St. Louis, and Detroit make up the top 5 cities.

The report was based on 5 categories: savable income, human capital, access to financial services, homeownership and debt burden.

And of course, it’s complicated. San Francisco is expensive, but residents with tech jobs make enough to save more than any other city, the findings show. Minneapolis has the lowest unemployment rate, the best access to retirement and a healthy real estate market. Researchers found that D.C. also had low unemployment and high savable income.

St. Louis has a high number of bank branches and low mortgage rates. In Detroit, homes have gone up in value in recent years.

Other notable cities on the list:

Phoenix, ranked No. 9, was the third highest in savable income and had a good score due to the educational opportunities and low unemployment rate.

Philadelphia was 11th on the list due to it’s above-average credit scores and below-average debt.

Chicago came in 12th for its good access to financial services and New York was 13th due to the above-average credit scores. Dallas, #14, had low unemployment rates, and above average GDP per capita.

If you’re looking to make a move to strike it rich, keep in mind what each city has to offer you. And if you’re staying exactly where you are, financial planners say you should tailor your “wealth-building approach” to your city’s strengths.

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