Business Insider's Chart of the Day yesterday looked at median salaries for tech workers in seven major metro areas. "Not surprisingly," they concluded, the San Francisco area had the highest pay -- in fact quite a bit higher than other areas, according to data they used from GoodApril.
There's a good reason for that pay gap, based on data they didn't include in the chart: It's awfully expensive in San Francisco/Silicon Valley. That's shown pretty dramatically in housing costs, also in the data source.
Take a look below at median housing prices next to tech salaries; and then the graph below that, showing how many years it would take a tech worker to earn the price of a median home at median pay. This excludes a lot of real-world factors like taxes, since you don't actually take home anything close to your full salary, but it gives one pretty good reason why Bay Area salaries are unusual high.
Bottom line: Despite that higher pay, housing would be a higher percentage of your income in San Francisco than anywhere else for a tech worker earning median salary buying a median-priced home. If being able to buy a nice house as easily as possible matters to you, it looks like Austin and Boulder are the places to be.
(Living here as I do in the Boston metro area, clearly that's not the most important factor to me, tech worker or otherwise. Many of those living in high-cost regions would argue that there's a reason housing costs more in regions like San Francisco, New York, Washington and Boston: Some urban areas have advantages worth paying extra for.)