The mayor of your city almost certainly makes more than you. Unless you live in Texas.
Our curiosity was piqued about the relationship between mayoral salaries and resident incomes in the cities they served. So we looked up the data on the 25 largest cities in the country, getting 2012 median household salary information from the Census and mayoral salaries from a wide range of places.
What's interesting is that there isn't a strong relationship between how much people in a city make and how much the mayor makes. In cities that have higher median incomes — again, among America's 25 largest — those higher incomes correlated slightly with higher mayoral salaries. But really, it was all over the map.
We pointed out four cities for special attention on that graph. There's San Jose, where residents make the most money; San Francisco, where the mayor does; Detroit, where the residents earn the least; and San Antonio, where the mayor does. (Yet another reason why Julian Castro jumped at the chance to be the next Housing and Urban Development Secretary in the Obama Administration.)
There's a better way to look at the relationship between the two: the ratio between the mayor's salary and residents' income. The chart below shows how many times larger the mayor's salary is than the median household income or, for places like San Antonio, where the mayor gets a $3,000 stipend, how many times larger the median income is than that salary.
On average, mayors make about three times the median household incomes of their cities' residents. In El Paso, that is lowest: the mayor makes only slightly more than the median income. In Detroit, it's highest. The mayor's $158,000 salary is far larger than the median household income of less than $27,000.