The D.C. suburbs dominate the list of wealthiest U.S. counties

December 12, 2013

(Census)

The Census Bureau has confirmed that, once again, the Washington region dominates the list of the most affluent places in the United States.

Among more than 3,000 counties across the nation, Loudoun County is the richest, with a median household income last of almost $119,000. Maryland’s Howard County and Virginia’s Fairfax, Arlington and Stafford counties also made it into the top 10. Three New Jersey counties outside New York City also were among the well-off top 10.

The Census Bureau listed the city of Falls Church, where the median income is $121,000, as the richest location, but that’s just because of a quirk in how the census ranks independent cities in Virginia alongside much larger counties instead of with cities or towns. Montgomery County and Prince William County fell just below the 10 wealthiest counties. Also in the top 30 were Charles, Calvert, Anne Arundel and St. Mary’s counties in Maryland, and the city of Fairfax in Virginia.

The Washington area has reigned at the top of the most affluent counties for years, in large part because it has so many residents with college degrees working at professional jobs. That gives the region a disproportionately large share of two-income households in which both adults have well-paying jobs.

Here’s the Census Bureau list of the counties with the highest median incomes (including tiny Falls Church):

  1. Falls Church city, Va. $121,250
  2. Loudoun County, Va. $118,934
  3.  Los Alamos County, N.M. $112,115
  4.  Howard County, Md. $108,234
  5.  Fairfax County, Va., $106,690
  6.  Hunterdon County, N.J. $103,301
  7.  Arlington County, Va. $99,255
  8.  Douglas County, Colo. $98,426
  9.  Stafford County, Va. $95,927
  10. Somerset County, N.J. $95,574
  11.  Morris County, N.J. $95,236
  12.  Montgomery County, Md. $94,365
  13.  Prince William County, Va. $93,011
Carol Morello is the diplomatic correspondent for The Washington Post, covering the State Department.
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