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Metro Areas Where Residents Love Certificates of Deposit

Written by Lauren Perez | Updated on 7/30/2019

Certificates of deposit (CDs) have long been a great place to stash your savings, especially for conservative investors who want a guaranteed yield. But who are these conservative savers, and where do they live?

In this study, DepositAccounts looked at the percentage of households owning CDs in the 100 largest metros in the U.S. to gauge where this investing product is most — and least — popular.

Until only a few months ago, 1-year CD yields were reaching as high as 3.00%. But CDs as a whole are coming off their recent highs. The federal funds rate hasn’t had a boost since December 2018, and we’re even starting to see the best CD rates decline.

This doesn’t mean that CDs have suddenly become a poor investment. In fact, we found that the households with the most money tend to favor CDs even more. Read on to see where your city ranks.

Key findings

  • Among the 100 largest U.S. metros, San Francisco came out on top, with 25.4% of households owning certificates of deposit.

  • That’s more a little more than twice as many households, on a percentage basis, than Greensboro, N.C., our bottom-ranked city, where only 12.5% of households own CDs.

  • Typically, households in large cities are more likely to sock money away in CDs. Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. — among the 10 largest metros in the U.S. — all make our list of top 10 cities where people own CDs.
  • There are some exceptions, of course. Odgen, Utah ranks No. 4 in the nation for CD saving: 21.9% of Ogden households have CDs. Note that Ogden is the smallest city on the list of the 100 largest U.S. metro areas.
  • Variability in local CD rates may explain some of the difference, as the highest rates available by state can vary by as much as one percentage point. In fact, in Jan. 2019, Utah had the highest average local 1-year CD yield in the country.

Big cities love CDs

This heat map illustrates the differences in CD ownership among the top metro areas in the U.S. The larger cities along the coasts, like Los Angeles and New York City, fall on the higher end of the spectrum, while smaller metro areas in the South and Midwest have fewer CD-owning households.

“My guess is that it's correlated with savings,” says Ken Tumin, founder of DepositAccounts.com. “The richest households will be the ones who invest most in CDs.” Taking this analysis into account, the data suggests that the richest households are in the big cities along the West and East coasts, with an occasional smattering of households in between.

As for why CDs would be so appealing, CDs provide a more conservative and secure place to stash savings compared to, say, mutual funds. This would allow households who have a lot of money to set aside to keep some of their principal safe.


DepositAccounts looked at the 100 largest U.S. metros to find the cities with the highest percentage of households that own certificates of deposit, according to S&P Global in 2019.

Related Pages: banking tools and data
Previous Comments
  |     |   Comment #1
Lauren: Your two charts are interesting, but don't parallel one another, and leave much room for speculation. Your first chart is currently "Top 10 savings cities " . . . but is off topic from your presentation about CDs. Particularly when the second chart is "Bottom 10 CD-owning cities"

Wouldn't it make sense, if not to replace the first chart, to at least include a chart that relates directly with the second one, something on the order of "Top 10 CD-owning cities" . . . ?

We might then put into better perspective remarks in the text, such as
-- San Francisco came out on top, with 25.4% of households owning certificates of deposit
-- The larger cities along the coasts, like Los Angeles and New York City, fall on the higher end of the spectrum

No data is currently displayed to support your comments about any of these three cities!
  |     |   Comment #2
I would not look at or trust any charts because of lack of data to create those charts.
Problem 1: Who did the survey?
Problem 2: Where the data came from?
Problem 3: Most of the people shop and open accounts online.
Problem 4: The banks / CUs do not give such data voluntarily?
Problem 5: Someone in LA could open CD in TX for a better rate(s).

There are numerous questions pooping up from reading this article, but that should turn some heads to find the truth the alternate way(s). No sources where named for this statistic.
  |     |   Comment #16
Thanks Kevin, agree, also I would add problem 6, what was the average interest rate paid per city.
Problem 7, what was the average CD amount in those cities.
I call this article just a teaser or unfinished job or missing the major statistical properties. I grade it from one to ten ( ten being best), this article gets just one. At DA we expect detail reports and correct statistics, any lower than that, it is just a disappointment.
  |     |   Comment #5
In addition to these interesting statistics, it would would be interesting to know what percentages of total assets and investible assets (defined for this purpose as, respectively, including and excluding primary personal residences) the residents of the ten top and bottom cities have allocated to CDs, and to savings accounts.
  |     |   Comment #6
Charleston S.C. made both lists at #10. Interesting.
  |     |   Comment #8
That should have been a pretty big tip-off to the author that the wrong tables were being posted. But hey, some authors get repeated free passes.
  |     |   Comment #7
What tables should have been posted:
a) Top 10 CD-owning cities
b) Bottom 10 CD-owning cities

What tables actually got posted:
a) Top 10 savings cities
b) Bottom 10 CD-owning cities

Totally incongruous and meaningless! Doesn't anyone care? This entire post is just republishing S&P Global's research and it can't even be done right?
  |     |   Comment #9
Just think of this posting as a test (1) of your visual / intellectual acumen, and (2) your ability to offer constructive criticism ;-)
  |     |   Comment #12
yeah it is comparing apples to oranges - very confusing! Seattle #1 in savings, but actually #17 in CDs... sounds like a boo-boo putting in the savings numbers instead of CD (considering the title of the article)
  |     |   Comment #10
Hi Lauren and Deposit Accounts Editorial Staff:
You have picked a potentially valuable topic; however the comparisons do not match up. Rather than comparing top to bottom savings cities; or top to bottom cities with respect to CD investments; you have instead compared top savings to bottom CD owning cities--which is a mismatch. Also, it would be helpful to include footnotes with actual reference citations, rather than a vague and unclear reference to looking at largest US Metros and mentioning S & P Global without citing a particular article or reference. This currently reads like an enthusiastic student book report, but with the suggested edits and clarification, could be of value to Deposit Accounts readers. Editors, please look over such articles more carefully before publishing.
  |     |   Comment #11
So SF is #1 at having 25% with CDs, but considering it is one of the highest income areas in the US, why not a much higher percentage?
  |     |   Comment #13
Our money market account is a waste of time so it's going the way of the dinosaur as soon as all direct deposits are redirected to checking. We will have one checking account, two credit cards (one CC is part of the banking relationship and used only once a year) and two brokerage accounts (one taxable, one small IRA). By the end of the year the IRA will be liquidated because it's too small and not worth dealing with RMD's, etc.

In 2020 we will have one checking account, one brokerage account and one regular use credit card. KISS is our guiding principle.
  |     |   Comment #14
Looks like some/most red-lining by FIs and offering of lower rates to those that do not look out of their area.
  |     |   Comment #15
I appreciate the intent, but this article seems to be riddled with so many apparent flaws that I can't make any sense of it. I can only recommend you don't submit it as your doctoral thesis. I'd also recommend getting a statistician on your staff if you want to publish things like this. The flaws appear to be catastrophic.
  |     |   Comment #18
Thank you to all the readers who flagged the chart discrepancies. They have been updated. We appreciate your continued feedback!
  |     |   Comment #19
You a good sport Lauren. Keep up the good work!
  |     |   Comment #20
The results are interesting but hardly surprising.

Famous bank robber Willie Sutton when asked why he robbed banks has been quoted as saying: "Because that's where the money is."

So it's hardly a surprise that people living in relatively wealthier large urban areas are more likely to own CDs. They're probably more likely to own every type of investment.

In any event thank you for the article, and the edits.
  |     |   Comment #21
Straight to the heart of it. Plain and simple, You nailed it, RRR.
  |     |   Comment #22
Lauren: Thanks for your humility and receptivity to reader feedback; it is appreciated.
  |     |   Comment #23
Which city should I move to to get a good deal?

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