DC Area Outranks the Rest in Wealth

September 25, 2013

Released Census Bureau data shows that the D.C. metro area is the wealthiest in the country.

The 2012 American Community Survey shows, in fact, that four of the top five wealthiest counties in the U.S. are around the nation’s capital.

Arlington County, in Northern Virginia, took top slot, with a median household income of $137,216 — an amount, as the Weekly Standard notes, that is more than $10,000 higher than the second-richest county.

That second-richest county is Loudoun County, and is also reputed to have more horses per capita than anyplace else in Virginia. Loudoun County’s median household income is $127,192, according to the Census Bureau.

Third place was taken by Maryland’s smallest county, Howard County, between D.C. and Baltimore, which has a household income of $125,162. And, back to Northern Virginia for the fourth – Fairfax County, which has a median household income of $124,831.

Fifth place is where we find our first county from outside the Beltway. It’s New Jersey’s Hunterdon County, about an hour outside Manhattan, with a median household income of $123,454.

The Weekly Standard tallied the areas with median household incomes of over $100,000. The conservative magazine found that D.C. area has the highest concentration of counties, nine, and that New York, with seven, has the second-highest:

Note that the metro areas of Chicago, San Diego, Seattle, Miami, Dallas, Houston, and even Los Angeles don’t include a single $100,000 county among them, while the D.C. metro area has 9. Note also that New York’s metro area (population: 20 million) is more than three time the size of D.C.’s, yet the former has fewer $100,000 counties than the latter.

D.C. itself, meanwhile, had a median household income of $82,268, which may sound comparatively modest, but only four states — Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts and New Jersey — have higher figures.

A survey earlier this year, though, showed the D.C. area to have the country’s least affordable housing market. And, indeed, a commenter going by the name “Let Them Eat Cake,” meanwhile, suggested that the high household income is at least partly mediated by the high cost of living: “The sad part is that everyone in the county would be living like a King or Queen in most other parts of the United States. Money never seems to go as far is appears on paper.”

SOURCE: Huffington Post/Greenwood

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