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Six Of America’s Ten Richest Counties In D.C. Area

United States Capitol Building, Washington, D.C. Aerial

Once again, the National Capitol Region is topping the list of America’s richest counties:

WASHINGTON — The D.C. area is rich with history. Or just rich.

Six of the 10 wealthiest counties in the U.S. are in the D.C. metro area, according to Forbes.

Fall Church City, Va., ranked No. 1 on the 2014 list with a median household income of $121,250. Fall Church was incorporated as a city in 1948, giving it county-equivalent status. With a population of about 12,000, about half of its homeowners reside in houses valued at more than $500,000, according to Forbes.

Falls Church City, Va. has county status in Virginia.

It’s no coincidence that Falls Church recently ranked as the most expensive housing market in the D.C. area.

Also on the top 10 list are Loudoun County, Va.; Howard County, Md.; Fairfax County, Va.; Arlington County, Va.; and Stafford County, Va.

This year, Falls Church took the top spot from nearby Loudoun County, where the median household income is $118,934, Forbes reports.

Some of the things that attract wealthy residents to the D.C. area counties are “plenty of lucrative jobs … available in tech contracting and other professional services” and other big sources of employment such as the “local school systems and major federal agencies like the Department of Defense,” Forbes reports.

The four non-D.C. area counties in the top ten list are Los Alamos County, New Mexico, home to the Los Alamos Laboratories among other things, Hunterdon County and Somerset County in New Jersey, which are home to both wealthy suburbs and pharmaceutical companies, and Douglas County, Colorado outside of Denver.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. DrDaveT says:

    Once again we see the widespread confusion between income and wealth. These may or may not be among the richest counties, but you can’t tell that by looking at median income.

    I used to work for a guy who owned and managed “Urgent care” health facilities as a sidebar to his academic career. He specialized in employing doctors who made big salaries but had significantly negative net worth. Conversely, I know quite a few retirees who live on relatively modest incomes, entirely generated as interest and dividends on their considerable wealth.

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  2. HelloWorld! says:

    How could the District itself not make the list? Anywhere in NW costs more than Arlington or Falls Church.

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  3. John Burgess says:

    @HelloWorld!: The Northwest part of DC and a few pockets in the other quadrants, are offset by very low (often zero) incomes in the SE, and NE quadrants.

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  4. Tillman says:

    So if taxes go up, these guys will all move to India I guess?

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  5. al-Ameda says:

    Some of the things that attract wealthy residents to the D.C. area counties are “plenty of lucrative jobs … available in tech contracting and other professional services” and other big sources of employment such as the “local school systems and major federal agencies like the Department of Defense,” Forbes reports.

    Interesting. Some of the things that attract wealthy residents – government-related jobs and good public schools – are things that base conservative evangelical Republicans do not like at all.

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  6. Dave D says:

    @al-Ameda: Which is why they tend to inhabit the poorest states and counties in America. But you know the government doesn’t create jobs.

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  7. Pinky says:

    @Dave D: You’re right, the presence of high wages in a capital city doesn’t prove that the government is creating jobs.

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  8. Dave D says:

    @Pinky: You bet I’m sure the government has nothing to do with it, either directly providing their income or indirectly providing their income i.e. lobbying.

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  9. Pinky says:

    @Dave D: I’ve seen some people on the left say that venture capitalists don’t create jobs, but just move money around and take some off the top for themselves. I’ve seen some people on the right say the same thing about government. It seems to me that it depends on the particular program. There is always the matter of opportunity cost: whatever is spent on A isn’t spent on B.

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