One reason it’s called the Golden State: A new study says 15 of the 20 wealthiest large cities in the nation are in California – including five from Orange County.

NerdWallet studied 475 cities with population of 65,000 or more to compile its rankings based on a broad definition of wealth: high levels of median household income, median home values, percentage of homes without mortgages and average credit scores.

Palo Alto was top-ranked with a median income of $151,370. Its homes cost a median $2.5 million, and 34 percent have no mortgage. Residents had average credit limits of $71,696.

San Ramon was second and Pleasanton was third.

Highest-ranked in Southern California was Newport Beach, with a median income of $106,801. Homes cost a median $1.56 million, 31 percent have no mortgage, and average credit limits are $82,811.

• Yorba Linda was sixth with its $117,368 median income, homes at a median $781,500 – 19 percent mortgage-free, and average credit limits of $72,395.

• Laguna Niguel was seventh, with its median $96,732 income, homes at a median $776,600 – 18 percent mortgage-free, and $72,823 credit limits.

• San Clemente was 11th with median income of $98,710, homes costing a median $851,200 – 24 percent mortgage-free, and $66,663 credit limits.

• Mission Viejo was 16th with median income of $103,607; homes costing a median $659,600 – 21 percent mortgage-free, and $57,869 credit limits.

Also from Southern California:

• No. 9: Redondo Beach, with median income of $110,451, homes costing a median $916,300 – 20 percent mortgage-free, and $55,991 credit limits.

• No. 10: Carlsbad, with median income of $104,424, homes costing a median $740,200 – 21 percent mortgage-free, and $62,555 credit limits.

• No. 13: Thousand Oaks, with median income of $97,291, homes costing a median $668,800 – 21 percent mortgage-free, and $66,768 credit limits.

Two cities were in Maryland (Bethesda and Ellicott City) and one each in Texas (Flower Mound), Illinois (Naperville) and Massachusetts (Newton).

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