You may have heard before that everything is bigger in Texas. There may be many millionaires and many wealthy neighborhoods and townships in the Lone Star State, but a recent study from 24/7 Wall St. showed that just three of the designated towns in Texas ranked in the 25 wealthiest towns in America.
The wealthiest towns in America are not just clustered around New York City or Silicon Valley. An effort was made to look much further than just counting median income levels to create the list of the 25 wealthiest and 25 poorest towns in America.
What proved to be surprising in the study of the 25 wealthiest towns in America was that Virginia actually outranked Texas. In fact, it wasn’t even close, at a ratio of seven to three.
What you have to consider is the size of certain towns and the close proximity to Washington, D.C., in this view. There is also a lot that goes into deciding what constitutes being among the wealthiest towns. Again, it is not just the consideration of per capita income. It should also be noted that some towns are not part of a metropolitan statistical area, so unincorporated regions, called Census Designated Areas, were also considered. Other townships and villages (see below) were considered too small to be counted statistically in studies.
Texas is of course a massive state, the largest of the lower 48. If you flip Texas over on the map to the left or to the right, it would go into the Pacific Ocean or into the Atlantic. The 2010 US Census showed that the population in Texas was 25.1 million, which is more than three times the 8 million people in Virginia.
The formal methodology of determining the richest and poorest towns is complex. 24/7 Wall St. considered 2010 to 2014 five-year average median household incomes from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Towns were excluded if a margin of error at 90% confidence was greater than 10% for both median household income and population.
Scarsdale, N.Y., was ranked as the richest town in America with a median annual household income of $241,453. This is a whopping 13 times higher than in the poorest town of Macon, Miss., at $18,232 annually.
The wealthiest towns in America are generally made up of people employed in highly skilled positions and in high-paying industries. Most of these positions require higher education levels. Unlike the higher concentration of Virginia’s high-paying federal or consulting positions, the wealthiest towns in Texas have ties to the oil and gas industry. Still, many of their residents are not formally tied to energy.
When 24/7 Wall St. featured the 25 richest and 25 poorest towns in America, it found that 86% of adults nationwide have at least a high school diploma. In the wealthiest towns, at least 97% of adults have high school diplomas. At least 75% of adults have at least a bachelor’s degree in 19 of the 25 richest towns in America. Meanwhile, fewer than 20% of adults in all the 25 poorest towns have at least a college education.
Additional data used to compile this study included the poverty rate, median home values and the percentage of adults with at least a bachelor’s degree. The wealthiest towns in America are also home to some of the nation’s most expensive property, and they are multiples higher than typical homes nationwide at $175,700. The median home value in all the 25 richest towns is greater than $500,000. In 10 of these communities, the typical home value exceeds $1 million.
The three towns in Texas included among the 25 wealthiest towns of America are located within or close to the cities of Dallas and Houston. They may not be totally tied to oil and gas, but those doctors, lawyers and business people who live in these towns likely know or do business with people the energy sector. An additional section was included here due to a population issue that would have cumulatively altered this list handily.