Special Report

The 10 Richest Towns in America

10. Orinda city, California
> Median household income:
$164,437
> Total population:
18,108
> Median home value:
$973,600
> Metropolitan area:
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA

Orinda is located roughly a half hour outside of downtown San Francisco, just a few miles east of Berkeley. This relatively young Bay Area suburb was incorporated in 1985, and is a wealthy community of commuters and their families. With an annual median household income of just under $165,000, more than three times the national figure, it ranks as the 10th-wealthiest community in the United States. Homes in Orinda cost even more than properties in San Francisco, which is already one of the most expensive housing markets in the country. While the median home value in the San Francisco metro area was just over $600,000, it was $973,600 in Orinda. As is the case with most of the wealthy cities on this list, married families make up a much higher proportion of Orinda’s population. Nationally, less than half of all households included a married couple. In Orinda, it was 71.6% of all households.

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9. Ho-Ho-Kus borough, New Jersey
> Median household income:
$165,827
> Total population:
4,109
> Median home value:
$775,000
> Metropolitan area:
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA

The borough of Ho-Ho-Kus is in central New Jersey, roughly an hour’s commute from Manhattan. It is a small community with a population of less than 5,000 people. There is nearly no poverty in the borough, with an estimated 0.7% of the population living below the poverty line. Nationally, 15.4% of the population lived below the poverty line. Like many of the wealthiest cities, Ho-Ho-Kus’ levels of education surpassed national levels by a wide margin. Just under 98% of adults had at least a high school diploma, compared to 86% of adults nationwide. An even larger gap was in higher levels of education as 71.3% of Ho-Ho-Kus’ adults had a bachelor’s degree or greater, well more than twice the national rate of 28.8%. In nearby Garfield, New Jersey, 18.7% of adults had a bachelor’s degree.

8. Glen Ridge borough, New Jersey
> Median household income:
$167,101
> Total population:
7,561
> Median home value:
$581,400
> Metropolitan area:
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA

Nearly 40% of households in the borough of Glen Ridge reported incomes of at least $200,000, compared to just 4.8% of households nationwide. Areas with high median household incomes tend to consist of more married families than elsewhere in the country. This was no different in Glen Ridge, where nearly three-quarters of households included a married couple, compared to less than half of households nationwide. Most of these wealthiest communities have large populations of highly-skilled workers. Virtually the entire adult population of the town had at least a high school diploma compared to 86% of adults nationwide. And three out of four area adults had at least a bachelor’s degree, compared with 28.8% of residents 25 or older nationwide.

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7. Essex Fells borough, New Jersey
> Median household income:
$171,681
> Total population:
2,115
> Median home value:
$820,800
> Metropolitan area:
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA

Yet another New Jersey community to make this list of the wealthiest towns in America, Essex Fells is just a short drive west of Glen Ridge. Essex Fells is a very small community with a population of 2,115. Like its neighboring wealthy communities, very few Essex Fells households reported low incomes. Just 0.7% of households earned less than $10,000, compared to 7.2% of households nationally. At the same time, 38.2% of households earned $200,000 or more, versus 4.8% of all U.S. homes. High concentrations of high incomes are often found in regions with extreme income inequality. The nearby city of Newark, for example, had a nearly 30% poverty rate, 15.6% of households earned less than $10,000, and just 1% earned $200,000 or more.

6. Southlake city, Texas
> Median household income:
$172,951
> Total population:
27,006
> Median home value:
$514,900
> Metropolitan area:
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX

Southlake, located roughly 25 miles northwest of Dallas, is one of two exceptionally wealthy communities in the proximity of the metro area. While all but one other wealthy area on this list had a median home value of at least $750,000, Southlake had a relatively low median home value of $514,900. Of course, that is still several hundred thousand dollars above the national median home value of $176,700. Like many other especially wealthy U.S. areas, financial well-being in Southlake is not shared by many other communities in the region. In nearby White Settlement, for example, poverty levels are far higher and property values are far lower.

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