Real Estate

The Richest Cities In Michigan Of 2023

Michigan is home to the good ole “Motor City” of Detroit, the University of Michigan, and some fascinating colonial era forts at the tips of the Upper and Lower Peninsulas. Indeed, Michigan is a beautiful state with its fair share of very wealthy cities. In a recent study, we analyzed and identified the 50 richest cities in California. Now, it’s Michigan’s turn.

Read on to find out the richest cities in Michigan of 2023.

The Richest Cities in Michigan

Using data sourced from the Census Bureau’s 2021 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates (latest data available), including median household income, mean household income, median home value, and median property taxes paid, we analyzed and assembled a list of the top 50 richest cities in Michigan. But first, some notes about Census data: The Census Bureau measures median household incomes up to $250,000, with households earning more being denoted as “$250,000+”. The situation is similar with median home value, which goes up to $2 million and anything above that is denoted as “$2,000,000+”. Thirdly, the same goes for median property taxes paid, which go up to $10,000 and any amount above that is denoted as “$10,000+”.

This is where mean household income was especially useful in our analysis. Mean (or average) household income, unlike median household income, has exact values for every city in Michigan. All four of these metrics were scored, added up, and then ranked by the cities’ combined scores.

Below you’ll find a table detailing the top 50 richest cities in Michigan and their respective dollar figures for each metric:

Barton Hills, with only 176 households, ranked as the No. 1 richest city in Michigan. This city, really only a village within Ann Arbor Charter Township, has a median household income in excess of $250,000 per year. Its average household income is the highest in the state, at $421,909. Barton Hills is one of only two cities in Michigan to have median home values in excess of $1 million. On top of that, the median property taxes paid by homeowners in Barton Hills is greater than $10,000 a year.

No. 2 Lake Angelus is very similar to Barton Hills, notably also being home to less than 200 households in total. Geographically, Lake Angelus is a suburb of Detroit. The median household income in Lake Angelus is less than Barton Hills, at $186,842 per year. In fact, the No. 3 richest city in Michigan — Bloomfield Hills — actually has a higher median household income than Lake Angelus. However, the latter was propelled to second place due to its higher mean household income, at $315,177; its significantly greater median home value of $1.067 million versus $852,900 in Bloomfield Hills. Both Lake Angelus and Bloomfield Hills have median property taxes paid in excess of $10,000 a year.

The No. 4 richest city in Michigan is Orchard Lake Village, also a suburb of Detroit, northwest of the city. Orchard Lake Village is small, but with almost 800 households, it is significantly larger than No. 1 Barton Hills and No. 2 Lake Angelus. Interestingly, Orchard Lake Village is the only place among the top 5 richest cities in Michigan where the median property taxes paid by homeowners is less than $10,000, at approximately $8,258 per year.

No. 8 Birmingham, a northern suburb of Detroit, is the largest city — by number of households — to make the list of the top 10 richest cities in Michigan, being home to 9,383 households. Not surprisingly, by having substantially more households than, for example, Barton Hills and Lake Angelus, Birmingham’s median household income is markedly lower — yet still an incredibly high $137,907. What’s more, the average household income in Birmingham is much higher than the median, at $219,420. Although the manufacturing industry employs roughly 18.5% of the workforce in Birmingham, according to DataUSA, incomes are high in the city due likely to the fact that 26.3% — the largest proportion of the workforce — is employed in management occupations.

Ann Arbor, home of the University of Michigan’s main campus, managed to make the top-50 list of the richest Michigan cities, coming in at No. 28. Ann Arbor’s average household income is more than $30,000 higher than its median household income: $107,368 versus $73,276.

Trends in the Richest Cities in Michigan

Looking at all of the top 50 richest cities in Michigan, the average number of households for these 50 places is approximately 5,418 households. The city with the fewest households is Wedgewood, which ranked as the No. 46 richest city in Michigan, with only 82 households; Wedgewood nowhere near Detroit or Ann Arbor, being located out in Wexford County, in the northwest of the Lower Peninsula. On the other end of the spectrum, No. 28 Ann Arbor was the largest city to make the list, with 49,661 households in total.

Despite America’s well-known experience of deindustrialization over the last several decades, Michigan is still home to a serious amount of manufacturing. In the No. 3 richest city in Michigan — Bloomfield Hills — the largest industry is manufacturing, employing 19% of the workforce. At the same time, however, more than a quarter of the workforce (26.6%) are employed in management occupations, according to DataUSA, which helps explain the high incomes there. Many of Michigan’s richest cities have substantial manufacturing sectors. Besides that sector, healthcare and education employ a large proportion of the workforces of Michigan’s richest cities. The state is home to many universities and post-secondary teachers’ (aka college professors’) wages are higher-than-average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

In geographic terms, the most instantly recognizable pattern is that the majority of Michigan’s richest cities are located in the Detroit metro area. But there are some other interesting spots in Michigan that are home to its richest cities; for example, No. 6 Grand Beach is located deep in southwestern Michigan, astride Lake Michigan near the Indiana border.

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