20 US cities that had major per capita income drop

Per capita income in the United States has more than doubled in the last 60 years. In 1959, Americans’ average per capita income was about $15,000. As of 2019, the average per capita income in the United States was $35,672. 

Incomes, however, have not risen equally nationwide. In many major metropolitan areas, incomes have increased far less. Many of these cities were relatively wealthy areas in the mid-20th century, but broad economic trends hampered growth and led to stagnant wages over the decades since. 

To determine the American cities that went from rich to poor, 24/7 Wall St. calculated per capita income for all U.S. metropolitan areas and metro area equivalents in both 1959 and in 2019. We ranked cities based on their change in rank relative to all metro areas over that 60-year period. Income figures for 1959 have been adjusted for inflation.