7 area counties among nation’s most affluent

WASHINGTON – Loudoun, Fairfax and Arlington counties top the list of the most affluent counties in the nation, according to new census data.

A total of seven counties in the Washington metro area make the 2011 American Community Survey rankings, The Washington Post and The Washington Examiner report.

  1. Loudoun County – $119,000 median household income
  2. Fairfax County – $106,000
  3. Arlington County -$101,000
  4. Hunterdon County, N.J. – $99,099
  5. Howard County – $98,953
  6. Somerset County, N.J. – $96,360

  7. Prince William County -$95,146
  8. Fauquier County – $93,762
  9. Douglas County, Colo. – $93,573
  10. Montgomery County – $92,909

Seven is the highest number of local counties to ever make the list.

Unlike in Loudoun and Fairfax counties – where two incomes often combine to create the household income – in Arlington, four in 10 homes are one-person households, the Post says.

Arlington saw a one-year income gain of $6,000, moving from the No. 5 spot in the 2010 rankings to the No. 3 spot.

While Virginia counties rank among the wealthiest counties, the state of Virginia ranks ninth overall in highest income level, the Post says. Median household income in Virginia is nearly $62,000, compared with $70,000 in Maryland and about $63,000 in D.C.

Maryland’s household income is the highest in the nation, the Examiner reports.

The new census data show the median U.S. household income to be $50,502, a 3 percent drop from 2008, according to the Examiner.

With a backbone built around federal positions and federal contracting jobs, the Washington region weathered the recession better than other parts of the nation. The entire region gets more than 20 percent of all federal payroll and procurement dollars.

Tens of thousands of jobs and millions in tax revenue, though, could vanish if Congress lets sequestration occur in January.

Automatic federal budget cuts combined with the expiration of Bush-era tax cuts would create a one-two punch economists say could drive the local economy back into recession.

Related Stories:

Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up