With its proximity to Stanford University, and the corporate campuses of Google and Facebook, the leafy Bay Area suburb of Atherton, Calif. has placed first in Bloomberg's Richest Places annual index for the third year in a row, with an average household income above $450,000.
Atherton Mayor Bill Widmer said the tree-lined streets and lot sizes of at least an acre offer residents enough privacy while still being close to the bustle of Silicon Valley. "We value a semi-rural environment," said Widmer, who moved to Atherton in 1996. "There are few sidewalks and many places don’t have streetlights."
Scarsdale, a tony Westchester County suburb north of Manhattan, moved up to the No. 2 spot on this year’s list as its residents enjoyed a $30,000 increase in annual household income.
"We moved here, as many did, because of the outstanding school system," said Scarsdale Mayor Dan Hochvert, a 40-year resident. "That’s one of the primary drivers."
According to the survey, more than half of the top 100 richest places in America were either in the New York City area or California. A handful in the Midwest and Southwest also made the list.
In the US, wealth is largely concentrated in six counties: Westchester in New York, Bergen in New Jersey and Fairfield in Connecticut, Cook County (better known as Chicago), Los Angeles County, and Montgomery County, Maryland, which borders Washington, D.C.
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