04/29/2013 04:10 pm ET Updated Apr 30, 2013

Richest Cities In America: New Study Shows Towns With Broad-Based Prosperity, San Ramon The Wealthiest

dynamic energy of success.  a...
dynamic energy of success. a...

There are lots of ways to measure the wealthiest city in America.

You can look at median household income or the percentage of people who rake in ungodly amounts of money every year.

However, while those sorts of measures can tell you a lot about a given place, they typically only give a portrait of a small subset of the population.

Personal finance site NerdWallet's new study, on the other hand, measures the richest cities in the country by crunching U.S. Census Department data to determine which cities have largest percentage of households earning over $100,000 per year.

By setting the income bar comparatively lower than many other studies, NerdWallet was able to capture a larger portion of a city's population and really measure broad-based prosperity.

What NerdWallet's analysts found were 16 cities, primarily clustered in California and Texas, where over half of the households earn more than $100,000 annually. All of the cities are well-heeled suburbs orbiting economically vibrant metropoles.

Interestingly, because the measure penalizes a city for a high rate of income inequality, the towns populating the list might surprise you.

For example, most San Francisco Bay Area residents would likely point to some of the tonier suburbs of Marin County or Silicon Valley as the richest towns in their midst. However, it's actually the East Bay community of San Ramon, most famously the home base of oil giant Chevron, that ranks as the richest city in the nation with nearly two-thirds of its populace earning over $100,000.

Check out Nerdwallet's list of the richest cities in the country in the slideshow below:

NerdWallet's Richest Cities