Do You Live in One of the Richest Towns in America?
In 2018, the median household income in the U.S. was $63,179. That may sound like a lot, but it wouldn’t be enough to get by in some small towns around the country. Every year, Bloomberg compiles a list of the richest small towns in America — and the price tags on these neighborhoods is sure to make your jaw drop!
To qualify as "small," each town on the list had to have a population between 1,000 and 50,000 people. To qualify as "rich," the average household income had to be three to four times greater than the average. Let’s find out what makes these locales so special.
25. McLean, Virginia
McLean, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C., has a fairly "modest" average income of $186,962. How is that merely modest? The median home value in the area is more than $955,000. Obviously, most Americans can't afford to live in this upper-crust neighborhood.
24. Travilah, Maryland
Another suburb of Washington, D.C., Travilah has a population of around 12,000. With an average household income of $284,000 and a median home value of just over $1 million, living in this town costs 20% more than the average U.S. city. Is it worth it?
23. Riverside, Connecticut
Riverside, Connecticut, got its name from the Mianus River running along the western border. It boasts an average household income of $290,904 and a population of less than 9,000. Depending on where you live (north or south of Interstate 95), houses range from about $1 million to well over $2 million.
22. Ladue, Missouri
Ladue, Missouri, is a suburb of St. Louis, with a population of 8,591 and a median household income of $291,794. This small town has an overall livability rating of A+, but it drops all the way to a C+ when it comes to diversity. Like many Midwestern towns, it attracts residents with conservative points of view — but don’t confuse that with "backwards."
21. Kentfield, California
Kentfield, California, is located in the notoriously expensive Marin County, just north of San Francisco. Homes are typically large and on large, wooded lots. It should be noted up front that the cost of living in Kentfield is a whopping 196% above the U.S. average. That probably explains why residents need to make an average of $299,450 a year.
20. Paradise Valley, Arizona
The hometown of actor Emma Stone, Paradise Valley, Arizona, is close to downtown Phoenix. The average household income is a cool $300,521 a year. What makes Paradise Valley special is that it’s in a SUP (Special Use Permit) area, and houses cannot exceed one unit per acre.
19. Rumson, New Jersey
Close to NYC, Rumson has been on this list for many years, but now it’s starting to gain in rank. The area climbed a huge 19 spots between 2018 and 2019 and boasts an average household income of $303,542. Why is it so popular? For residents, Rumson provides easy access to and from the city.
18. Westport, Connecticut
Another suburb of New York City, Westport, Connecticut, has an average household income of $304,439. Located just an hour outside of Manhattan, it’s situated on Long Island Sound — often called the "Gold Coast." Widely known as a refuge for the rich and famous, Westport is a great place to spot a celebrity or two!
17. University Park, Texas
University Park, a suburb of Dallas, has held steady as the 17th richest town for several years now. It's home to Southern Methodist University and has an average household income of $304,898. Consistently ranked as one of the best Dallas suburbs to live in, the desirable school system and low crime rates attract plenty of buyers.
16. Great Falls, Virginia
Another suburb of Washington D.C, Great Falls is home to the famous Great Falls Park and amazing views of the Potomac River. The has an average household income of $309,599. Despite the over development in much of Northern Virginia, Great Falls remains largely rural.
15. Larchmont, New York
Larchmont is one of the most expensive places to live in the U.S., but it’s also one of the best places to live. Ranked as one of America's top small towns, Larchmont (home to "Black Swan" author Nicholas Nassim Taleb) has an average household income of $313,586 and a median home value of $1.18 million.
14. West University Place, Texas
According to a 2019 list of America's 50 Best Cities to Live, West University Place is #1. It's also one of the most expensive places to live. The suburb of Houston has an average household income of $330,459 and a median home value of $954,000 — affordable compared to other towns on our list, but still out of reach for most buyers.
13. Winnetka, Illinois
The setting of the classic Christmas movie Home Alone, Winnetka, Illinois, has an average household income of $331,231 and a median home value of slightly more than $1 million. Often referred to by locals as the "crown jewel of the North Shore," the town boasts a desirable location right on gorgeous Lake Michigan.
12. Old Greenwich, Connecticut
NYC suburb Old Greenwich, Connecticut, dropped a few spots in recent years, but with an average income of $336,693, it's still one of the country's most affluent neighborhoods. Unlike Westport with its thriving arts scene, Old Greenwich offers a quieter way of life.
11. The Village of Indian Hill, Ohio
With a population of around 5,900 people, Indian Hill is technically a city, but it still has that "village" vibe (and it’s right there in the full name). Located in Hamilton County, The Village of Indian Hill is a suburb of Cincinnati and has an average household income of $338,267. It’s a quiet neighborhood with a rural atmosphere and a strong sense of community.
10. Glencoe, Illinois
Located in Northeast Illinois along the banks of Lake Michigan, Glencoe sits about 25 miles from the center of Chicago. Up five spots from 2018, it has an average household income of $339,883 and a median home value of $940,000. With children living in 40% of the households, it’s a more family-centric community than some others.
9. Bronxville, New York
About 15 miles from Manhattan, Bronxville, New York, has an average household income of $340,448. Unlike some others on our list, this Westchester County town is affluent without being flashy or fancy. At only one square mile in size, it's tiny, but it manages to squeeze in a lot of amenities (without overcrowding).
8. Darien, Connecticut
Yet another suburb of New York City, Darien, Connecticut, has an average household income of $341,090 and a median home value of $1.3 million. A 14.9-square-mile coastal town in Fairfield County, Darien boasts one of the highest-ranked school systems in the state. It also provides tons of natural beauty and an easy commute to NYC.
7. Highland Park, Texas
Highland Park is an affluent suburb of Dallas with an average household income of $358,994. Located just 4 miles north of downtown, it offers a lot of small-town charm, but with plenty of easy access to city life. Residents are attracted to some of the best-rated schools in the state and the quiet, tree-lined streets.
6. Short Hills, New Jersey
Located in the southwest corner of Essex County, Short Hills offers easy access to New York City. The average household income is $367,491, and the median home value is just over $1.3 million. Homebuyers flock to the town for the top-ranked school system and quiet neighborhoods.
5. Hillsborough, California
With an average household income of $373,128, Hillsborough, California, gained one spot from last year. The notoriously hilly neighborhood is home to some of the richest people in the world — like Charles Johnson, founder of Franklin Resources, who is worth $5.7 billion. Located between San Francisco and San Mateo, it’s a favorite of tech buffs.
4. Los Altos Hills, California
Located in the southern stretch of Silicon Valley, Los Altos Hills is a beautiful residential community with an average household income of $386,174. Consistently ranked as one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in the U.S., it's home to celebs like Google co-founder Sergey Brin.
3. Cherry Hills Village, Colorado
A short ride from many of America's top ski resorts, Cherry Hills Village has an average household income of $394,259. Once a vacation destination for city dwellers, it’s now the residence of choice for many upper-echelon business people and celebrities.
2. Scarsdale, New York
Featuring a nice blend of quaintness and big-city amenities, Scarsdale's average household income is $417,335. The main draw for many residents is the easy commute. A morning express train can get you to Grand Central Station in just 30 minutes flat — and commuters are guaranteed parking in the village!
1. Atherton, California
Atherton, California, isn't just home to the super-rich. It's home to the MEGA super-rich. If you want a house here, be prepared to spend more than $6 million. The average household income is a huge $450,696 per year, and prominent residents include Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg and brokerage magnate Charles Schwab.
Honorable Mention: Los Altos, California
Los Altos, California, is a suburb of San Jose with an average household income of $280,162. Located at the southern end of Silicon Valley (nestled right next to #4 Los Altos Hills), it's a neighborhood of choice for families, singles and investors alike. The city is one of the quieter locations in the valley due to a restriction on commercial establishments.
Honorable Mention: Greenville, New York
Located just outside New York City, Greenville has a population of around 7,000 and a median income of $279,820. It's a family-centric neighborhood, with more than 27% of households including children. Many of the town’s residents refer to it as "Edgemont," which is the name of the school district.
Honorable Mention: Montecito, California
Located in Santa Barbara County, Montecito is a hidden enclave of celebrity homes with an average household income of $276,564. A truly idyllic seaside village, it's also one of the nation's wealthiest communities. Oprah Winfrey lives there, and Gwyneth Paltrow is reportedly building a home on a lot she recently purchased.
Honorable Mention: Rye, New York
Rye is a suburb of New York City with an average household income of $276,177. Locals love the town as much for its location on Long Island Sound as they do for its easy commute. Residents have a variety of styles to choose from, from colonials to ranch-style homes — all costing more than $1 million, on average.
Honorable Mention: Piedmont, California
Long considered one of the best places to live in the entire state of California, Piedmont has an average household income of $275,243. By the 1920s, it was known as the city of millionaires due to its high concentration of millionaires per square mile — and the area has only gotten richer since then.