Where America's Wealthiest Suburbanites Live - And Where They Don't

Tyler Durden's picture


For years, Bloomberg Businessweek notes, the American residential dream went something like this: Move to a city, work hard, and eventually you’ll make enough to move out. So perhaps it’s not surprising that today many of America’s largest metropolitan areas house their highest earners on the outskirts of town. Exactly where they live varies from city to city — or rather, from suburb to suburb. Perhaps this is what they mean by 'rotten to the core'?

An analysis by Bloomberg Businessweek of data recently compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau offers a new level of detail in describing how far away — and in what direction — the nation’s top-earning suburbanites live, relative the local urban center.


In the New York metropolitan area, the greatest concentration of top earners live in New Jersey. In Bergen County, for example, the median household income was $84,255 in 2012.


Top earners have vacated Downtown L.A. and the area south of the Civic Center in favor of wide-open spaces closer to the beach.


Here, the highest earners populate Chicago’s North Shore suburbs, including Glencoe, Winnetka, and Highland Park. A commuter rail system leaves Cubs games an hour away.


Here, the wealthiest residents have congregated just west of the city center in the well-to-do River Oaks area and a bit further out in Memorial.


Center City in Philadelphia is surrounded by a local ring of lower-income housing. High-crime areas such as the city’s Kensington neighborhood and Camden, N.J., remain unattractive to the wealthy.


The top earners tend to live outside the city in suburbs to the north and east, such as Glendale and Scottsdale.


Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

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Fri, 01/31/2014 - 19:26 | 4389856 ShrNfr
ShrNfr's picture

Fine, but how about the pigs in DC?

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 19:40 | 4389901 paradox
paradox's picture

DC is just big donut with a bite out of the SE corner =]

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 20:07 | 4389966 I need Another Beer
I need Another Beer's picture

I have been nailing critters for a while

When the shtf I don't care what U think

I will treat U to existence



Sat, 02/01/2014 - 03:57 | 4390844 stacking12321
stacking12321's picture

just be safe and use a condom

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 21:42 | 4390246 Yes We Can. But...
Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

Here in DC there is a band of wealth along the Potomac River - North Arlington, McLean, Bethesda, Potomac, Great Falls, and west into horse country - Loudoun Co. and Middleburg...

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 19:30 | 4389865 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 Vir-Gina and D.C. >median. Rancho Santa Fe/ Hamptons > vulgar...

  That is all...

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 19:36 | 4389883 Kamehameha
Kamehameha's picture

I think these graphical depictions can make it into the top 10 list for worst visual displays of quantitative information.  Leave it to Bloomberg.  Each of them needs a copy:


The Visual Display of Quantitative Information [Hardcover]

The classic book on statistical graphics, charts, tables. Theory and practice in the design of data graphics, 250 illustrations of the best (and a few of the worst) statistical graphics, with detailed analysis of how to display data for precise, effective, quick analysis. Design of the high-resolution displays, small multiples. Editing and improving graphics. The data-ink ratio. Time-series, relational graphics, data maps, multivariate designs. Detection of graphical deception: design variation vs. data variation. Sources of deception. Aesthetics and data graphical displays. This is the second edition of The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. Recently published, this new edition provides excellent color reproductions of the many graphics of William Playfair, adds color to other images, and includes all the changes and corrections accumulated during 17 printings of the first edition.

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 19:50 | 4389924 machineh
machineh's picture

As anyone who knows these cities can see, dividing their suburban rings into 90-degree pie slices and averaging doesn't even come close to representing reality.

This is graphic design intellectual masturbation.

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 22:24 | 4390359 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture

Forest Hills is NOT poor.  

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 00:26 | 4390573 FrozenOut
FrozenOut's picture

Isn't 50 miles east of NYC in the Atlantic Ocean...?

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 02:57 | 4390805 SilverIsKing
SilverIsKing's picture

Smithtown is about 50 miles east of Manhattan. Montauk is over another 50 miles to the east. Then you will be in the Atlantic if you go further east.

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 20:14 | 4389992 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 Really?  What part of median!, did you miss my statistical friend?

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 04:00 | 4390846 stacking12321
stacking12321's picture

if chart porn turns you on, i recommend:


Fri, 01/31/2014 - 19:48 | 4389918 giorgioorwell
giorgioorwell's picture

Definitely does not apply to San Francisco

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 00:40 | 4390601 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

there was no downtown in LA until ten years ago.


that has now changed and changed dramatically.

The real estate bubble of 1993-2008 truly was epic:

These cities really expanded beyond even any concept of reality back then.
The question then becomes "what do I shrink into then?"

This whole thing is run on a worthless dollar.
What do we do when the greenback suddenly has tremendous value?


Fri, 01/31/2014 - 19:50 | 4389930 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

These look about right, a bunch of sphincters.  Would not live in any of them.  Show me a graph where the registered gun ownerhip is highest, that I can relate to.

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 20:14 | 4389993 giorgioorwell
giorgioorwell's picture

Pretty sure you'll find high registered gun ownership %'s in Dallas and Houston and they have equally high violent/gun crime rates to any "liberal city"

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 21:05 | 4390148 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

No guns are registered at all in Texas, outside the federally registered full autos, suppressors, "any other weapons" and the like.

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 20:34 | 4390034 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Sucks as a graphic, not doubt.

Alistair Cooke pointed out years ago, that you can measure the health of a city by whether wealthy people want to live in the heart of it.  In Europe, the answer is usually yes.  In the States, not so much.

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 21:00 | 4390123 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

That's control freak central planning in action in Europe. Our statists inthe USA are dead set on packing us on top of each other as well, warring against suburbs and the car. Read about Plan Bay Area for a taste.

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 21:04 | 4390139 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

"registered" gun ownership. Fuck that noise.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 12:25 | 4391293 Creepy Lurker
Creepy Lurker's picture

I logged in just to give you an upvote for that. Can't imagine who on this site gave you the red, must be the paid .gov commenter.

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 19:57 | 4389946 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Highest income areas are usually to the west of the city, unless there is some physical or property use barrier.

Goes all the way back to the coal days.  The freshest, cleanest air was west of the city in the Northern Hemisphere. 

In most cases, it still is.  Holds true in DC, also.

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 21:01 | 4390120 Count de Money
Count de Money's picture

In NYC's case, there is a more relevant reason. Taxes. NJ tax rates are lower than NY and and a lot of Jersey people work in NYC but don't pay have to pay NYC income tax. In general, cost of living is lower in NJ and you're not hemmed in by all the toll bridges.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 09:15 | 4391020 My Days Are Get...
My Days Are Getting Fewer's picture

Wrong.  Almost zero deductions against NJ personal income.  In NJ, you pay 6% tax on $75,000 to $500,000 income.  9% on income over $500,000.


Sat, 02/01/2014 - 14:41 | 4391523 Count de Money
Count de Money's picture

Back at you.

In NY, you pay 6.45% on income over $40,000, going up to 8.8% on income over $2,000,000. Add on top of that, you also pay NYC tax of 3.591% on anything over $45,000, going up to 3.876% on income over $500,000. Tax rates at any income level are less if you live in NJ vs. NYC.

Consider yourself lucky compared to the poor slobs across the river.

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 21:48 | 4390267 swmnguy
swmnguy's picture

Also it's kind of hard to live to the East of Chicago, or to the west of SF.

But that's a very interesting point you make. I need to look at some maps.  I remember the big money being mostly on the east side of Cincinnati, though.

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 22:19 | 4390339 ceilidh_trail
ceilidh_trail's picture

Still correct today.

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 20:11 | 4389983 blindman
blindman's picture

"earners". that is the key term i question.
the meaning of the word "earn". in accordance
with/by what authority? just saying what you already
know and have elucidated for a few years, ongoing.

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 20:17 | 4390001 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Spotting the Poor Zones or the Inner City is easy in all but for Houston.

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 20:26 | 4390003 trader1
trader1's picture

what kind of people subject themselves to the socio-economic collapse risks and stress of living within 50 miles of a > 1 million population city and/or high-density population center?


top tip: keep your gate-keepers and security guards happy and loyal ;-)

<and by the way, don't underestimate the power of humor and empathy, a cost-free investment of your time.  the payback is often greater than one might expect.>


Fri, 01/31/2014 - 20:20 | 4390004 Miss Expectations
Miss Expectations's picture

Highlands, NJ....really?  It's a bit of a clam digging town.  Perhaps they meant Atlantic Highlands:


Fri, 01/31/2014 - 20:32 | 4390029 gatorengineer
gatorengineer's picture

Bullshit as per usual as of late.  NO ONE in the 50 mile blast zone of NYC makes 20k.....  Giverment guarantees at least 50......

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 20:47 | 4390076 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 The statistical imperative is flawed. Look at expenditure over anum/costs. These enclaves are above ground shelters.

  We aren't building "Ice Hotels" in Scandinavia!   Bitchez!

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 20:48 | 4390083 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

No Rancho Cucamonga?

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 01:54 | 4390724 NihilistZero
NihilistZero's picture


Rancho has a few 1%ers in the Alta Loma highlands but not that many.  Also I think it's outside the map of this study.

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 20:52 | 4390096 Australian Economist
Australian Economist's picture

Can we get a chart of Detroit?

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 07:13 | 4390951 Disenchanted
Fri, 01/31/2014 - 21:21 | 4390194 jim249
jim249's picture

Acton CA is not even close to the beach. It is out next to Palmdale Lancaster area. A dry desert.

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 21:33 | 4390231 Georgia_Boy
Georgia_Boy's picture

Where does an 800 pound gorilla sleep?

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 22:03 | 4390308 RaceToTheBottom
RaceToTheBottom's picture


"Top earners have vacated Downtown L.A. and the area south of the Civic Center in favor of wide-open spaces closer to the beach."

Be serious.  When were earners ever in downtown LA???  Which wide open spaces near the beach are you referring to Manhattan Beach?  Hermosa? Santa Monika?

Think before you write....

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 13:45 | 4391428 chinoslims
chinoslims's picture

I was trying to find the article in the LAtimes where the $9.3 million condo just sold at LA live.  But there is an article about the condos at LA Live.


Fri, 01/31/2014 - 22:34 | 4390375 Wood Nickle
Wood Nickle's picture

Gives a new meaning to the Term "across the tracks"...

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 06:43 | 4390930 Freewheelin Franklin
Freewheelin Franklin's picture

Sewell, NJ? Please. The money around Philly is in the Main Line: Lower Merion, from Bala Cynwyd to Radnor. And there's some in Haddonfield and Moorestown, NJ. 


And within the City there are some wealthy neighborhoods, like Chestnut Hill and Rittenhouse Sq. 



Sat, 02/01/2014 - 07:44 | 4390968 DavrosoftheDaleks
DavrosoftheDaleks's picture

I agree.  where's Gladwynn on this.  It's in the top 20 wealthiest zip codes in the US.  The article is spot on.  I remember when the real estate agent showed me "Graduate Hospital" area 9 years ago and it was the ghetto.  Now homes are $400+k.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 09:20 | 4391028 d edwards
d edwards's picture

They left out DC and environs. Gov't is big business with very well paid "public servants" (gag) who line there pockets with our money.



Sat, 02/01/2014 - 09:39 | 4391044 deerhunter
deerhunter's picture

I lived in the cincinnati north suburbs for 8 years a while back.  It is a unique city in that there are some very wealthy pockets all throughout the city proper.  I think it has to do with the city's age.  Cincinnati was a nice place to live with all the big city trimmings without a lot of the big city nastiness and slums.  German heritage maybe but I didn't see abandoned buildings burned out and abananded cars like when I lived in Detroit.  I now am in suburbs of Chicago due to job transfer.  I thought Detroit was the asshole of our country until I moved to Obamaville.  Oh and as far as gun control goes here you need a state police issued photo ID to buy ammunition and firearms.  To own a firearm you need it as well.  To handle a firearm in a gun store you need to show your FOID card.  So having said that if you are a "law abiding citizen" you are already a registered firearm owner with the state.  Just recently the concealed carry law was put into effect.  I have heard that the permit is going to cost 250 dollars for five years plus you need to pass a certified training class and god only knows what that will cost.  Constitutional right????? with some fees attached it seems.

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 11:20 | 4391187 Disenchanted
Disenchanted's picture

re: Cincy

Excepting the "Over The Rhine' area, right??

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