But the State of NoVa’s stranglehold on the top of the rankings ended, at least for a year. Dropping from second in 2011 to fourth in the rankings this year is Fairfax County, even though its median income actually rose in 2012. And dropping from third to sixth is Arlington County, while Prince William moves from seventh to 12th. Virginia separates its cities from its counties for census purposes, apparently unlike any other state in the union, so Alexandria made the Top 30 rankings in 2011, at 26th, but this year has fallen out of the Top 30. Post census guru Carol Morello points out that these numbers are drawn from surveys, and the smaller the county or city, the fewer the number of surveys, increasing the margin of error for places like Alexandria.
Speaking of cities, Falls Church and Fairfax City are included in this year’s census rankings, and Falls Church tops all counties in America with a median household income of $121,250. Fairfax City is 25th with a median income of $86,963. It doesn’t seem fair to compare those cities, with populations of about 13,000 (Falls Church) and 23,000 (Fairfax) to the larger counties, but it’s definitely worth noting. Neither were in the rankings last year.