Laguna Beach, Calif.
Laguna Beach, Calif.

Wealth doesn't always directly equate to income. Income, home values, and credit availability all influence someone's wealth. NerdWallet staffers Courtney Miller and Veronica Ramirez looked at 475 American cities with at least 65,000 people to find out where people are actually wealthy.

California cities were ranked highly for wealth, with nine of the top 10 wealthiest cities located in California. The only non-California city was Bethesda, Md., where the median home value is $808,800.

The nine California cities rated as the wealthiest in the nation were: Palo Alto, San Ramon, Pleasanton, Newport Beach, Yorba Linda, Laguna Niguel, Redwood City, Redondo Beach, and Carlsbad.

The average credit limit for all 475 cities measured was around $35,800, with the highest limit in Newport Beach, Calif., at $83,000. The average credit limit for the top 10 cities in each region fell between $45,000 and $69,000.

Midwestern cities were among the most affordable for housing. The Midwest top 10 contains five suburbs of Chicago, which is the third most populous city in America. These suburbs had lower median home values and strong median household incomes compared with the rest of the country. This means residents of these places spend less on housing, giving them more buying power compared with other regions.

Read more >