Bethesda, Rockville make list of ‘Top 10 Snobbiest Small Cities in America’


Bethesda Row. Bethesda made a recent list of “snooty little cities.” (Photo by Jeffrey Porter/For The Washington Post)

Hey, Bethesda and Rockville — you just got named among the Top 10 “snobbiest small cities in America.”

According to the real estate Web site Movoto.com, these “snooty little cities” in Montgomery County have rich, well-educated, private-school-loving, art gallery devotees who have the “most rigid of standards that must always be met.”

Bethesda ranked No. 2. Rockville tied for No. 8 with Encinitas, Calif. (Palo Alto, Calif. ranked #1 for the “perfect place for the snooty to live, love and play their way.”)

Bethesda had the list’s highest percentage of locals with a college degree — 83 percent — and one of the highest median home prices “so that people who wish to live well and be known for it won’t have much trouble.”

Rockville, the listing noted, “had some seriously snooty stats,” including the list’s fifth most “elite” private schools per capita.

Of course, such lists get people to click on real estate Web sites, and you have to wonder whether the list makers have visited these places, let alone sized up the locals. One College Park reader commented, “Chevy Chase and Potomac are sobbing in the corner” for being omitted, while another said “Rockville is downright blue collar” compared to Chevy Chase.

Movoto.com said the list included cities with populations between 45,000 and 65,000 and factored in snob quotient data from the 2010 U.S. Census, including median home prices, median household income, percentage of the population with a college degree, the number of private schools per capita and the number of art galleries per capita.

If slogging through Rockville Pike traffic to pick up dinner at the Giant deli doesn’t exactly feel like the snob’s life, you can take heart. The listing notes that the criteria “denote safe, wealthy and interesting places to live” and that “not everyone” in the cities think of themselves as “the creme de la creme.”

So there.

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Katherine Shaver is a transportation and development reporter. She joined The Washington Post in 1997 and has covered crime, courts, education and local government but most prefers writing about how people get — or don’t get — around the Washington region.
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