A $100K Income Is Worth the Most in These U.S. Cities

An income of $100k has the most purchasing power in these cities.

3D render of translucent blue dollar sign on red background.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Making a salary of $100k may sound like a lot, but its actual purchasing power depends largely on where you live. The city you live in plays a big factor in how far your money goes, as cost of living differences and varying tax rates can significantly impact the value of your salary. Because of this, making an informed decision on where to call home can have a lasting impact on your long-term finances. 

After adjusting for federal, state and local taxes, as well as local cost of living premiums, SmartAsset has determined just how much $100,000 is worth in the largest cities across the U.S. in 2024. Here’s where your cash goes the farthest, and where it’s worth the least. 

Where $100k goes the farthest 

If you live in one of the following cities, an income of $100k will stretch the farthest. Included is the purchasing power of $100,000 after adjusting for taxes and the cost of living.

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  • El Paso, TX: $88,840
  • Oklahoma City, OK: $87,585
  • Memphis, TN: $86,960
  • Corpus Christi, TX: $86,383
  • San Antonio, TX: $85,625
  • Lubbock, TX: $85,065
  • Tulsa, OK: $84,507
  • Jacksonville, FL: $83,878
  • Houston, TX: $82,986
  • St. Louis, MO: $82,614

Out of the above cities, four are located in Texas, one of the nine states with no income tax. Topping the list is El Paso, which not only has no state or local income taxes, but also a 12% discount on the cost of living. According to Zillow, the average El Paso home value is $215,671, while the U.S. average is $342,941. Next on the list is Oklahoma City, with an average home value of $194,848. 

In a similar study published earlier this year, GOBankingRates also calculated how far a $100,000 salary goes in America’s 50 largest cities. In that study, both El Paso and Oklahoma city also found to be two of the top 10 least expensive cities, with Memphis taking the number one spot. The study found that Oklahoma city was the second cheapest city on the list for rent, behind Wichita, Kansas. El Paso also had one of the lower annual rent costs on this list. 

Where $100k is worth the least 

  • Manhattan, NY: $30,914
  • Honolulu, HI: $39,148
  • San Francisco, CA: $40,997
  • Brooklyn, NY: $43,376
  • Los Angeles, CA: $47,762
  • Washington, DC: $48,734
  • Queens, NY: $49,978
  • San Diego, CA: $50,082
  • Boston, MA: $50,109
  • Oakland, CA: $51,237

It likely comes as no surprise that seven out of the ten cities where you cash is worth the least are located in New York and California, states known for their high cost of living. Manhattan, where $100k is only worth $31,000, had the highest cost of living and second-highest tax rate in the study. As the New York State tax guide shows, New York is one of the highest-taxed states in the U.S. It also leads the list of the 10 Most Expensive Cities to Live in the U.S.

GOBankingRates also found New York to be the most expensive city, with costs for rent, healthcare, utilities and total expenses all topping the list. The study also found that New York and San Francisco are the only two cities that leave you in the red.  

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Erin Bendig
Personal Finance Writer

Erin pairs personal experience with research and is passionate about sharing personal finance advice with others. Previously, she was a freelancer focusing on the credit card side of finance, but has branched out since then to cover other aspects of personal finance. Erin is well-versed in traditional media with reporting, interviewing and research, as well as using graphic design and video and audio storytelling to share with her readers.