Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > General Discussions > Other Talk
Reload this Page >

Four of the top five wealthiest counties in the U.S. are located...

Other Talk "Otterville" plus Religion/Politics

Four of the top five wealthiest counties in the U.S. are located...

Old 11-15-10, 08:55 PM
  #1  
DVD Talk Hero
Thread Starter
 
jfoobar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 37,855
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Four of the top five wealthiest counties in the U.S. are located...

...in the Washington D.C. area. As are seven of the top 10:

http://wtop.com/?nid=25&sid=2115275
http://www.newsweek.com/2010/11/10/t...n-america.html

WASHINGTON - The D.C. area makes plenty of Top 10 lists, and this one shows its residents make the big bucks. According to a new report from Newsweek, seven of the nation's 10 richest counties are in this region.

Virginia's Loudoun County takes home the top spot, with its median household income exceeding $114,000 per year. Seventeen percent of Loudoun households make more than $200,000, while only 16 percent earn less than the national average household income of $50,000.

The survey, based on 2009 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, names Loudoun neighbor Fairfax County the No. 2 breadwinner in the country. The county was the first in America to hit six figures with its median household income, and more than half its homes make more than that number now.

"Fairfax County has traditionally been home away from home for many diplomats and officials who want to live in a rural community close to Washington, D.C.," Newsweek explains.

Maryland makes its entry onto the list with Howard County at No. 3. Thirty percent of its employed population earns six figures.

The rundown on the rest of this area's well-to-do counties goes like this: Arlington County at No. 5, Montgomery County and its median household income of $94,420 at No. 6 and Maryland's Calvert and Charles counties at Nos. 9 and 10.

The other counties on the list sit close to New York City in either New Jersey or New York state.

Speaking of states, this area takes home the "richest" title in that category, too: Maryland's median household income of $69,272 just edges out second-place state New Jersey.

The full list is below:

1. Loudoun County, Va.
2. Fairfax County, Va.
3. Howard County, Md.
4. Morris County, N.J.
5. Arlington County, Va.
6. Montgomery County, Md.
7. Nassau County, N.Y.
8. Somerset County, N.J.
9. Calvert County, Md.
10. Charles County, Md.
This would seem to be indicative just how much money there is in and around the Federal government (along with how salaries in DC have not depressed in the recession as much as elsewhere).

Also, this revelation has got some members of Congress a bit astir:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/...n7042290.shtml

The number of federal workers earning more than $150,000 has doubled since January 2009. It's gone up tenfold in five years.
Old 11-16-10, 08:47 AM
  #2  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: SnogBox
Posts: 7,361
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Four of the top five wealthiest counties in the U.S. are located...

I'd like to point out the population size difference between Fairfax and Loudon. A few more wealthy people move out there and it makes a large difference to the figures.

Loudoun - 301k
Fairfax - 1037k
Old 11-16-10, 10:10 AM
  #3  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: MN
Posts: 23,936
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Four of the top five wealthiest counties in the U.S. are located...

There's a correlation between wealth and power? Who knew?
Old 11-16-10, 10:35 AM
  #4  
Needs to provide a working email
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: MD
Posts: 1,741
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Four of the top five wealthiest counties in the U.S. are located...

I work in Howard County, live in Montgomery County. I make peanuts. Effing private sector.
Old 11-16-10, 11:54 AM
  #5  
DVD Talk Legend
 
cungar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 21,656
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Four of the top five wealthiest counties in the U.S. are located...

Originally Posted by Lemmy View Post
Good Christ, there's not a government employee alive worth 150K per year. Not one.

Ten, maybe, but not one.
What about Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo? He only made $800,000 a year before he was fired and then arrested.

Old 11-16-10, 12:04 PM
  #6  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Directionally Challenged (for DirecTV)
Posts: 123,190
Likes: 0
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
Re: Four of the top five wealthiest counties in the U.S. are located...

This is certainly no surprise. My sister is a GS-15 (or the equivalent of whatever system they're on now) and does very well.

The older federal workers really have it good. They retire under the old very-generous retirement system in their mid-50s and then come back as contractors making even more money. They do that 5-10 years and really bank.
Old 11-16-10, 12:09 PM
  #7  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Posts: 28,106
Likes: 0
Received 14 Likes on 12 Posts
Re: Four of the top five wealthiest counties in the U.S. are located...

Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
This is certainly no surprise. My sister is a GS-15 (or the equivalent of whatever system they're on now) and does very well.

The older federal workers really have it good. They retire under the old very-generous retirement system in their mid-50s and then come back as contractors making even more money. They do that 5-10 years and really bank.
This is what the older state workers around here do. Oh wait, they didn't change the retirement plan, this is what all state workers around here do.
Old 11-16-10, 02:52 PM
  #8  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 12,966
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Four of the top five wealthiest counties in the U.S. are located...

Damn, live in #3 and I make peanuts.
Old 11-16-10, 02:56 PM
  #9  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,102
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Four of the top five wealthiest counties in the U.S. are located...

Fairfax in da house.... Whoop whoop!
Old 11-16-10, 07:02 PM
  #10  
DVD Talk Hero
Thread Starter
 
jfoobar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 37,855
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Re: Four of the top five wealthiest counties in the U.S. are located...

Alas, I live in one of the few D.C.-area counties that is not on the list. The fact that it is not on the list would be no surprise at all to anyone who lives in the area.
Old 11-16-10, 08:42 PM
  #11  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 12,966
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Four of the top five wealthiest counties in the U.S. are located...

Oh no. You don't live in Langley Park do you?
Old 11-17-10, 03:56 PM
  #12  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Conducting miss-aisle drills and listening to their rock n roll
Posts: 18,279
Received 16 Likes on 13 Posts
Re: Four of the top five wealthiest counties in the U.S. are located...

All this proves is that the counties are small. When other publications do the list of wealthiest zip codes none of those DC areas show up. The wealthiest parts of America (like Beverly Hills, Newport Beach, La Jolla, Mountain View, Manhatten, etc) are a part of larger counties that also include low income areas. So they don't make the list. Find the wealthiest cities list or wealthiest zip code list or the median home price by city list, you won't see Prince Frederick, MD in the top 1000.
Old 11-17-10, 04:21 PM
  #13  
DVD Talk God
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Directionally Challenged (for DirecTV)
Posts: 123,190
Likes: 0
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
Re: Four of the top five wealthiest counties in the U.S. are located...

I sure don't think of Loudoun, Fairfax, and Montgomery counties as small.

And there are some poor areas of Arlington Co (where I live) and that's a small county.
Old 11-17-10, 04:43 PM
  #14  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Conducting miss-aisle drills and listening to their rock n roll
Posts: 18,279
Received 16 Likes on 13 Posts
Re: Four of the top five wealthiest counties in the U.S. are located...

Loudon County, VA 521 sq miles
Orange County, CA (home of Newport Beach) 948 sq miles
San Diego County, CA (home of La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe) 4,200 sq miles
Los Angeles County, CA (home of Beverly Hills, Malibu, San Marino) 4,752 sq miles

All of these cities and towns have higher per capita income and median home prices than anything in Loudon County. But none of these counties made the list because they are also home to Santa Ana, El Cajon, Hawaiian Gardens, Compton, etc.

Comparing geographic areas is difficult. For instance I believe the city with the highest median home price in CA has a median of like $3.8 million dollars. But when you look closely you realize it's a city that consists of 48 homes.

Last edited by Mabuse; 11-17-10 at 04:53 PM.
Old 11-17-10, 07:11 PM
  #15  
DVD Talk Hero
Thread Starter
 
jfoobar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 37,855
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Re: Four of the top five wealthiest counties in the U.S. are located...

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
Loudon County, VA 521 sq miles
Orange County, CA (home of Newport Beach) 948 sq miles
San Diego County, CA (home of La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe) 4,200 sq miles
Los Angeles County, CA (home of Beverly Hills, Malibu, San Marino) 4,752 sq miles.
Cook County, IL (home of Chicago) = 689 sq. mi.
Fulton County, GA (home of Atlanta) = 535 sq. mi.
Dade County, FL (home of Miami) = 1946 sq. mi.
Harris County, TX (home of Houston) = 1778 sq. mi.
Mecklenburg County, NC (home of Charlotte) = 546 sq. mi.

Perhaps the issues is that Los Angeles has unusually large counties as much if not more than D.C. has small counties? 31 of the 50 states have mean county sizes under 1000 sq. mi, 38 of the 50 under 2000. The vast majority of those that don't are in the far west or are Alaska and Hawaii.

If you would like, you can combine some of the contiguous MD and VA counties from the top 10 together to increase the area and you would still have per capita incomes right at the top of the list.

Your "all this proves" statement is obviously off the mark anyway. Wow, there are several individual zip codes and towns that have substantially higher per capita incomes than entire suburban counties? Of course there are. There are in D.C. was well, although certainly not to the famously opulent level of some of the wealthier areas of southern California.

Comparing geographic areas is difficult.
Yes it is, and all methods are inherently imperfect. However, and despite your assertions to the contrary, doing so by county is a pretty good method of comparison. This especially true when one is simply trying to highlight a very interesting socioeconomic trend pertaining to a particular metropolitan area (as in this case).

What this Newsweek study also doesn't highlight is how dramatically some of these counties have trended upwards just in the past few years. Calvert County, MD, for example, has tripled its per capita income just in the past decade or so if I have been correctly informed.
Old 11-17-10, 07:33 PM
  #16  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Th0r S1mpson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 36,443
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Four of the top five wealthiest counties in the U.S. are located...

Originally Posted by Timber View Post
Damn, live in #3 and I make peanuts.
Fortunately, peanut makers there earn $200,000 a year.
Old 11-17-10, 09:07 PM
  #17  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Words
Posts: 28,207
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Four of the top five wealthiest counties in the U.S. are located...

I've lived in 3 of them, and it was freaking expensive.
Old 11-17-10, 09:17 PM
  #18  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Duran's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Columbia, MD
Posts: 8,177
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Four of the top five wealthiest counties in the U.S. are located...

Originally Posted by jfoobar View Post
Cook County, IL (home of Chicago) = 689 sq. mi.
Fulton County, GA (home of Atlanta) = 535 sq. mi.
Dade County, FL (home of Miami) = 1946 sq. mi.
Harris County, TX (home of Houston) = 1778 sq. mi.
Mecklenburg County, NC (home of Charlotte) = 546 sq. mi.

Perhaps the issues is that Los Angeles has unusually large counties as much if not more than D.C. has small counties?
I'd say the issue is more likely that the MD/VA counties don't include the urban area of Washington, DC, such as the counties you've cited above. If I just looked at the suburbs of Chicago, it might be a better comparison.
Old 11-17-10, 10:30 PM
  #19  
DVD Talk Hero
Thread Starter
 
jfoobar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 37,855
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Re: Four of the top five wealthiest counties in the U.S. are located...

Originally Posted by Duran View Post
I'd say the issue is more likely that the MD/VA counties don't include the urban area of Washington, DC, such as the counties you've cited above. If I just looked at the suburbs of Chicago, it might be a better comparison.
They do not. Washington, D.C. is not a county at all, as it happens. I provided them as comparisons to his inclusion of Los Angeles County, which does contain the city of Los Angeles. Also, what I failed to mention in my last post are that the five municipal counties I provided were 5 of the 6* cities I mentally chose "at random" from the eastern 2/3 of the United States. They were not cherry-picked.

But, since you brought it up:

Kane County, IL = 524 sq. mi.
Lake County, IL = 448 sq. mi.
DuPage County, IL = 337 sq. mi.

I went to high school in DuPage County. When I was there in the late 80s, it was the second in the nation in per capita income, not because it had anything resembling a Beverly Hills in it, but because it almost entirely lacked poor areas. It was basically 300+ square miles of upper middle class subdivisions and shopping malls. Now it is not even in the top 25.

*The other was St. Louis, which I discovered is not officially within a county.
Old 11-18-10, 12:23 AM
  #20  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 20,726
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Four of the top five wealthiest counties in the U.S. are located...

What, I'm the only one who remembered this when it was in the news?
Metro area is nation's best educated
July 15, 2010 - 6:08am

WASHINGTON - You probably already know your next door neighbor is college-educated and an expert in his field. What you might not know is that overall the Washington region has the best-educated population in the country.

The metro region has more adults over 25 with bachelor's degrees than any other major metro area in the nation, according to the Brookings Institution, which crunched the 2008 numbers.

The 2008 data show that 46.8 percent of adults have bachelor's degrees.

Here are the metro areas ranked in the top 10:

1. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.Va.
2. Bridgeport, Conn.
3. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.
4. San Francisco-Oakland-Freemont, Calif.
5. Boston-Cambridge, Mass.-N.H.
6. Raleigh, N.C.
7. Madison, Wis.
8. Austin, Texas
9. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.-Wis.
10. Denver-Aurora, Colo.

D.C. also held the No. 1 ranking in 1990. Demographers have ranked the area the best-educated for at least 40 years.

Bakersfield, Calif. ranks last in the top 100 metro areas.

Here are some of the overall conclusions the Brookings Institution study:

* Smart metro areas are getting smarter and doing so faster.
* In older suburbs, such as Arlington, residents are more highly educated than other metropolitan residents.
* More young people are going to college or grad school.
* More older adults are getting degrees.

While employment rates for college-educated people tend to be in the 80 percent to 90 percent rate for all of the top 100 metro areas, the D.C. region ranks No. 4 when it comes to employing adults who have no more than a high school diploma. D.C.'s employment rate for people with high school diplomas is 74.3 percent. In the top three spots are Des Moines, Iowa (76 percent), Omaha, Neb. (74.6 percent) and Madison, Wis. (74.4 percent).
http://www.wtop.com/?nid=25&sid=2003312
Sure, lots of money around some federal agencies, but I think this might help explain things.
Old 11-18-10, 07:12 AM
  #21  
Moderator
 
nemein's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: 1bit away from total disaster
Posts: 34,150
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Four of the top five wealthiest counties in the U.S. are located...

Sure, lots of money around some federal agencies, but I think this might help explain things.
I would says that is a trailing indicator not a leading indicator myself. Since the money is there, the smart people congregate there to get their slice.
Old 11-18-10, 11:50 AM
  #22  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Conducting miss-aisle drills and listening to their rock n roll
Posts: 18,279
Received 16 Likes on 13 Posts
Re: Four of the top five wealthiest counties in the U.S. are located...

Originally Posted by jfoobar View Post
I went to high school in DuPage County. When I was there in the late 80s, it was the second in the nation in per capita income, not because it had anything resembling a Beverly Hills in it, but because it almost entirely lacked poor areas. It was basically 300+ square miles of upper middle class subdivisions and shopping malls. Now it is not even in the top 25.
This is what I'm saying about these DC area counties vs counties like Orange, San Diego, and Los Angeles. They are small suburban counties that rank high on the list because of their uniform lacking of poor areas. San Diego (while having two of the most oppulant towns in the country) does not rank on the list because it also incorporates poor areas. Those DC counties aren't in the top 10 because they are "fabulous" but because they are small and lack poor areas.
Old 11-18-10, 01:31 PM
  #23  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 16,173
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Four of the top five wealthiest counties in the U.S. are located...

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
. Those DC counties aren't in the top 10 because they are "fabulous"
No arguments here No. Va is not really a 'fabulous' area when compared to some similar sized areas in California

but because they are small and lack poor areas.
The poor areas are just small as well, don't tell me there are not poor areas, I can give you exact street addresses if you would like to see them.


Small or large doesn't really matter, what I think jfoobar is getting at is that government employees are overpaid and the wealth in this area provides some evidence of that.

It use to be federal jobs paid less in salary than the private sector, but made up for it in benefits (pension, etc), but now it seems the federal positions have higher salaries than the private sector while also having a higher benefits package.

People are still flocking to the metro DC area because there are good paying jobs here while there aren't jobs in many other places of the US.
Old 11-18-10, 02:36 PM
  #24  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Conducting miss-aisle drills and listening to their rock n roll
Posts: 18,279
Received 16 Likes on 13 Posts
Re: Four of the top five wealthiest counties in the U.S. are located...

Originally Posted by 4KRG View Post
The poor areas are just small as well, don't tell me there are not poor areas, I can give you exact street addresses if you would like to see them.

If the poor areas were in any way substantial, then the county wouldn't rank in the top 10. But you and I are really splitting hairs because I completely agree with you.
Old 11-18-10, 09:01 PM
  #25  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Duran's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Columbia, MD
Posts: 8,177
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: Four of the top five wealthiest counties in the U.S. are located...

Originally Posted by 4KRG View Post
It use to be federal jobs paid less in salary than the private sector, but made up for it in benefits (pension, etc), but now it seems the federal positions have higher salaries than the private sector while also having a higher benefits package.
What do you base this on? For the most part, I think private sector employees make more for the same job, although I also think it comes with an expectation of more work. And federal benefits are not absurdly great, like some state and local governments. My private employer's benefits package was on par, and in some areas, slightly superior to federal benefits, in areas such as health and life insurance. The pension is not all that great, requires a long time of service and employee contributions. My vacation time was double what a new Fed gets, and isn't matched by the Feds until 15 years of service.

People are still flocking to the metro DC area because there are good paying jobs here while there aren't jobs in many other places of the US.
This is almost undoubtedly true.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.