If you want to live in one of the wealthiest communities in the United States of America, do not move to Manhattan or Palm Beach, Florida. Move instead to the suburbs or exurbs of San Francisco or Washington, D.C.
The Census Bureau this week released its data on the 2021 median household incomes for areas that have populations of 65,000 or more. According to this data, taken from the bureau’s American Community Survey, the five wealthiest counties in the United States were all situated near the nation’s capital or the City by the Bay.
Specifically, Loudoun County, Virginia, had the highest median household income ($153,506) of any county in the survey, and Santa Clara County, California, ($141,562) had the second highest.
Fairfax County, Virginia, ranked third with a median household income of $134,115; Howard County, Maryland, ranked fourth with a median household income of $133,267; and San Mateo County, California, ranked fifth with a median household income of $131,796.
But the trend did not stop there.
It turned out that 11 of the 20 richest counties, according to the Census Bureau’s data, were located either near Washington, D.C., or near the Golden Gate.
In addition to the five counties cited above, these included Arlington County, Virginia, which ranked eighth with a median household income of $125,651; Calvert County, Maryland, which ranked 11th with a median household income of $122,266; San Francisco County, California, which ranked 13th with a median household income of $121,826; Marin County, California, which ranked 16th with a median household income of $118,209; Prince William County, Virginia, which ranked 17th with a median household income of $118,117; and Stafford County, Virginia, which ranked 19th with a median household income of $117,251.
Four counties that are suburbs or exurbs of New York City also ranked among the 20 richest counties in the country that have populations in excess of 65,000. Yet the highest ranking of these was Nassau County, New York, which ranked seventh with a median household income of $125,696.
That means that Loudoun County, Virginia, the wealthiest in the Census Bureau survey, had a median household income that was $27,810—or 22%—more than the median household income in Nassau County, New York.
The other three New York-area counties in the top 20 for median household income were Somerset County, which had a median household income of $124,764, Morris County ($122,962), and Hunterdon County ($121,982), all in New Jersey.
The top 20 richest counties, when measured by median household income, also included Douglas County, Colorado, which ranked sixth ($129,299); Rockwall County, Texas, which ranked 14th ($121,568); Forsyth County, Georgia, which ranked 15th ($118,814); Williamson County, Tennessee, which ranked 18th ($117,927); and Delaware County, Ohio, which ranked 20th ($117,224).
Nationwide, the median household income in the United States in 2021 was $69,717, according to the Census Bureau.
That means the median household income in the Washington, D.C., exurb of Loudoun was more than twice the median household income nationwide.
In Fairfax County, part of which sits inside the Washington Beltway, the 2021 median household income of $134,115 was 1.9 times as great as the national median of $69,717.
In Arlington County, which sits directly across the Potomac River from the nation’s capital, the median household income of $125,651 was 1.8 times as great as the national median.
To put this further in perspective, it is worth looking at the median household income in the independent city of Falls Church, Virginia, the inside-the-Beltway suburb that borders on Arlington and Fairfax.
The Census Bureau says that it did not include Falls Church in this release that used the American Community Survey data because Falls Church had a 2020 population of only about 14,000 compared with the 65,000 threshold used here.
However, last December, the Census Bureau released data from a different survey, the Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates, that did include the median household income for the independent city of Falls Church for the year 2020. It was $160,305.
In that SAIPE survey, Loudoun County had a 2020 median household income of $155,363 and Santa Clara County had a median household income of $139,462.
At $160,305, the small inside-the-Beltway town of Falls Church had a median household income in 2020 that was more than twice as much as the national median household income was last year.
The bottom line: We are living in a country where big government is even more lucrative than Big Tech.
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