NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The U.S. economy has a lot of moving parts, along with substantial geographical disparity from state to state, city to city, town to town. The Census Bureau knows this, and has taken the barometer out to measure the most prosperous cities in the country. The agency's American Community Survey aims to benchmark income, poverty and health insurance across the 50 states and, somewhat surprisingly, income and poverty levels aren't all that different in our cities (with some exceptions, as laid out below.) It suggests the economic recovery is fairly stable, and the economy seems to be raising boats in uniform fashion. Still, one city has to finish at the top of the Census Bureau's list of most prosperous metropolitan areas, and this year, that city is Washington, D.C.. because it's home to so many federal government agencies, including the White House and executive branch, the Federal Trade Commission, the FBI, Internal Revenue Service and scores of others. The budget for the Department of Defense alone stood at $553 billion last year, guaranteeing thousands of jobs for the D.C. metropolitan areas. Other region are doing well for different reasons. North Dakota, thanks to a boom in oil and natural gas, saw its median household income rise by 17% in the past dozen years. Tens of thousands of jobs have opened up as energy companies descend on the Roughrider State. to countries such as Mexico, where the average per-hour salary is only $4 to $5 per hour, compared with $28 per hour in Michigan.