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Census Report: San Diego Third Wealthiest Big City in the Nation

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Aired 4/19/09

The U.S. Census Bureau says San Diego is among the wealthiest big cities in the country. But a county economist says income is only one side of the equation. KPBS reporter Andrew Phelps has details.

San Diego's median household income last year was nearly $59,000. That puts San Diego Number 3 nationwide among big cities, behind only San Jose and San Francisco.

Marney Cox is chief economist with the San Diego Association of Governments . He says a high income is good, but don't forget about the high costs.

Cox: San Diego unfortunately is a high cost-of-living area, with high cost of housing, high cost of transportation, high cost of medical care. Those kinds of things would eat into purchasing power.

Good news, though. Cox says purchasing power has also gone up a bit -- for the first time in five years. That means people's paychecks went up faster than their bills.

Andrew Phelps, KPBS News.

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