Report: Grand Rapids among best metros to save money

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A new report from Self Financial ranked Grand Rapids No. 3 for saving money of all large metros in the U.S.

The personal finance website gave Grand Rapids a composite score of 89.89 out of 100. Comparatively, Pittsburgh ranked No. 1 with a score of 92.84. The Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, California, metro came in at the bottom at No. 53, with a total score of 51.76.

Summary of Grand Rapids-Wyoming data with national statistics in parentheses:

  • Real per capita personal income: $51,161 ($50,372)
  • Median housing costs as a percentage of household income: 17.7% (21%)
  • Historical unemployment rate: Below average (5.3%)
  • Median home price: $215,184 ($242,141)
  • Fair market rent (2br): $962 ($1,204)

While savings behavior and ability differ across demographic groups, living in certain locations makes it far easier to save money than others. At the state level, North Dakota and South Dakota are the best states for saving money.

North Dakota and South Dakota are among a large group of Midwestern states that score highly across these metrics. Florida, Arizona and New Mexico, on the other hand, are some of the hardest states to save money due to below-average income and above-average unemployment rates.

Methodology

Self Financial analyzed the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Zillow and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The researchers ranked metro areas according to a composite score based on real per capita personal income, median housing costs as a percentage of median household income and the historical unemployment rate. For additional context, researchers also calculated the median home price and the fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment.

To improve relevance, only metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 people were included in the analysis. Additionally, metro areas were grouped into cohorts based on population size. Small metros consist of 100,000 to 349,999 residents, midsize metros consist of 350,000 to 999,999 residents, and large metros consist of at least 1,000,000 residents.

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