Report shows six-figure incomes hard to come by in Grand Rapids


According to the study, 3.6% of workers in the Grand Rapids metro area have jobs that typically pay six figures or more. Courtesy Experience Grand Rapids

Earning a six-figure income is a goal for many Americans, but according to a recent study, less than 4% of employees in Grand Rapids will achieve it.

According to a new report from Volusion, less than 7% of American workers are employed in occupations paying a median salary of $100,000 or more. However, in some parts of the country, earning six figures is practically a requirement to live comfortably.

The numbers are even bleaker on the local level. According to the study, 3.6% of workers in the Grand Rapids metro area have jobs that typically pay six figures or more.

Data for Grand Rapids/Kentwood metro areas is as follows:

  • Share of employment in six-figure occupations: 3.6% (6.7% nationally)
  • Percent change in six-figure employment (2015-2018): 152.8% (84.6% nationally)
  • Total employment in six-figure occupations: 19,870 (9,705,350 nationally)
  • Median annual wage across all occupations: $36,050 ($38,640 nationally)
  • Most over-indexed six-figure occupation: Oral and maxillofacial surgeons
  • Highest-paying six-figure occupations: Chief executives, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, family and general practitioners, psychiatrists

Coastal states with higher costs of living tend to have more six-figure earners. California boasted the highest proportion of employees working in occupations with median earnings of over $100,000, at 12.7%. Massachusetts and Maryland were close behind with 12.2% and 11.9%, respectively.

By contrast, Mississippi and Louisiana had the lowest share of six-figure earners in the country with both states coming in at just over 1%.

Top 10 metros with the highest share of six-figure earners:

1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California: 28.2%

2. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-Virginia-Maryland-West Virginia: 20.9%

3. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California: 20.9%

4. Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, Massachusetts-New Hampshire: 14%

5. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Washington: 13.1%

6. New York City-Newark-Jersey City, New York-New Jersey-Pennsylvania: 12.6%

7. Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, Connecticut: 11.1%

8. Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, California: 10.8%

9. San Diego–Carlsbad, California 10.2%

10. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, California: 10.1%


Volusion analyzed data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Metros were ranked according to the share of employment in occupations with median annual earnings of $100,000 or greater.

The researchers also calculated the percentage change in six-figure employment from 2015 to 2018, the total employment in six-figure occupations, the median annual wage across all occupations, the most over-indexed six-figure occupation and the highest-paying six-figure occupation(s).

The most over-indexed six-figure occupation for each metro was determined as the occupation that has the greatest difference in employment share when compared to that occupation at the national level.

Only metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 people were included in the analysis.

Volusion is a Texas-based software company specializing in building websites for e-commerce.

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