The Results Are In For The USA’s Wealthiest Towns – And The Numbers Are Telling

The median household income in the U.S. in 2019 was nearly $69,000, according to the United States Census Bureau. That figure can, of course, vary wildly depending on where you are – especially if you land in one of the country’s most affluent places. But where are America’s richest people? We’ll give you a hint: it’s probably not the major cities you have in mind. Instead, you’ll have to look to smaller locales. Bloomberg has collated the 40 U.S. towns with the highest average household incomes, so let’s check them out together!

40. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey

It’s actually only a 30-mile journey from Upper Saddle River into New York City. But the quaint New Jersey town offers its residents a life that’s worlds away from the Big Apple. Most live in beautiful houses set on large, tree-filled lots. The charming town also features some of the original buildings from its rural farming past – the one-time schoolhouse now serves as the Borough Hall. And average household incomes here are an impressive $272,573.

39. Blackhawk, California

A real estate developer called Ken Behring made Blackhawk, California, into the desirable neighborhood it is today. He transformed what was once a ranch into a series of gated communities, and locals know the town for its many luxury homes. Many of the properties – some English Tudors, some French provincial, some Greek revival – measure in at more than 5,000 square feet. Residents of the area earn a not-so-paltry average of $272,940.

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38. East Hills, New York

After World War II, people started having babies and decamping to the suburbs. And East Hills, New York, was one of the many destinations for these mid-century families. Developers kept up with demand by building up neighborhoods in the area, too. Fast-forward 70 years, and East Hills is one of the priciest towns in the U.S. Those who live in the Long Island area today make $273,306 annually on average.

37. Malibu, California

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It probably comes as no surprise to know that Malibu is one of the richest towns in the country. It’s famously home to a slew of Hollywood celebs, after all. Though a single family owned the entire swathe of land long before the likes of Jennifer Aniston, Ellen DeGeneres and Brad Pitt moved in. In the 1930s, though, they started renting out their property to famous people, according to Curbed LA. Fast-forward to today, and the beachside stretch is packed with mansions and rich residents who make an average of $275,675 a year.

36. Wellesley, Massachusetts

The settlers who discovered Wellesley 350 years ago had a different name for their new home. They loved their town and its surroundings so much that they called the place “Contentment.” The name has changed, of course, but Wellesley remains a beautiful and affluent place to live. It has great schools, picturesque landscapes and sits in very close proximity to Boston. Of course, living this way doesn’t come cheap – the average household income in the area is $277,508.

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35. Bellaire, Texas

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In 1940 Bellaire, Texas, had a mere 1,124 residents, according to the Houston Chronicle. Though that figure was ten times larger within a decade. Yes, this suburb was one of the many across the U.S. to balloon in size after WWII. Thousands of houses have since popped up in the area, which has contributed to the nickname “City of Homes.” Though you’ll need a solid income if you want to buy one. The area’s average is $278,350, after all.

34. Hinsdale, Illinois

Hinsdale sits just outside of Chicago and makes its residents an unbeatable offer: a 22-minute express ride into the Windy City’s downtown area. Still, the village feels worlds away from the urban metropolis next door. Its quaint downtown has earned the title of its National Register Historic District, since many of its original buildings still stand. Want to be part of it? Make sure you have an annual household income of $281,855 – the area’s average.

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33. Southlake, Texas

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Southlake’s population boom didn’t happen just after World War II – like many other towns on this list. Instead, the place got a huge boost when the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport opened nearby in the 1970s. People started flocking to the area in the subsequent decades because of it. And even though growth isn’t as booming as it once was, pockets in Southlake stay padded with an average household income of $282,834.

32. Ladue, Missouri

In 1936 a trio of small Missouri villages – LaDue, McKnight and Deer Creek – merged together and became a singular city. The name Ladue stuck, since it was also the moniker of the city’s main road. It was named after the wealthy entrepreneur to whose house the road led: Peter Albert LaDue. And like him, residents remain pretty afluent to this day – raking in $286,291 per household on average.

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31. Alamo, California

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The Californian town gets its name from the Spanish álamo “poplar.” But the flowering trees aren’t the only symbol of this San Francisco suburb. Nowadays, most people associate Alamo with its high cost of living – the average cost of a house here is a cool $1.89 million. That explains why the average household income reaches $288,541 in this pricey community.

30. McLean, Virginia

Many members of Congress, Pentagon officials, diplomats and high-ranking military members have a home in McLean, Virginia. After all, the unincorporated community sits conveniently close to the nation’s capital and all of the government’s most important outposts. With so many powerful people congregating in one place, it makes sense that average household incomes here add up to $293,323.

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29. Orinda, California

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The average household income of residents in the Californian city of Orinda is a not-too-shabby $293,898. Here, you’ll find a destination ripe for outdoorsy hikers and naturalists. Orinda’s cheerful people – ranked by Forbes as the second-most friendly in the nation – make it stand out, too.

28. Piedmont, California

Piedmont’s history of affluence stretches back to the 1920s, when people knew the Oakland-adjacent locale as the “City of Millionaires.” At that time, it had more seven-figure-earners per square mile than any other American city, according to Piedmont’s official website. That’s not the case anymore, but those historic mansions still stand. Oh, and it continues to cost a lot to live in the area, too. The average household income is a whopping $295,742.

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27. Rye, New York

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The summer heat in Manhattan was too much for many of its rich residents in the 19th and early 20th centuries. So they slipped out of the city and headed to Rye, which sits on the waterfront of Long Island Sound. This space makes up 60 percent of the city’s six square miles of land. If you want a New York house with a view, then head to Rye. Just be sure to bring a briefcase full of cash, as the average household income there is $297,011.

26. Greenville, New York

Architects descended on Greenville, New York, with a goal in mind. They wanted to build colonial-style homes for Manhattanites who wanted to escape the Big Apple for summer. Nowadays, these beautiful abodes – as well as the great schools and quick commutes – draw New Yorkers away towards a comfortable, cushy suburban life. Those who live in the area have an average household income of $297,128, which pushed Greenville up a spot from Bloomberg’s 2019 list.

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25. Travilah, Maryland

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The town gets its name from the community’s first-ever postmaster – Travilah Clagett – who took the post in 1883. The one-time rural community now sits within driving distance of Washington, D.C. As a result, Travilah is an attractive place for the capital’s workers to live. Indeed, they get lots of land and nice, big houses in the census-designated place. You just need an average household income of $300,607 to join their ranks.

24. Los Altos, California

The Californian city of Los Altos has close ties to Palo Alto – and we’re not just talking about its location. In 1976 Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak sat in the former’s Los Altos garage and built their first 50 Apple computers. And nearly 30 years later Mark Zuckerberg and his associates moved to the area and expanded Facebook from its first 200,000 members to 2.5 million. Techies certainly continue to chase their dreams in the area, although they’d need an income of $302,068 to fit in with the average resident.

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23. Westport, Connecticut

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If you’re unfamiliar with the geography of Connecticut, let’s start with the state’s most affluent panhandle – known as the Gold Coast. You’ll find multiple towns on this list that fall within this area on the state’s southwestern side. And one of them is Westport, where you’ll find an average annual income of $309,144.

22. Riverside, Connecticut

The Gold Coast town of Riverside has an eyewatering average household income of $309,401. And among its differentiating details are the famous people who have lived there. Television journalist Lara Spencer hails from Riverside, as does the Olympic gold medal-winning ice skater Dorothy Hamill. Plus, current residents include the TV personality Kathie Lee Gifford and formel NFL standout Tiki Barber.

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21. Kentfield, California

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Meat packer Albert Kent left Chicago for sunnier pastures – landing in California in 1872. According to the Marin Real Estate website, he and his wife Adaline went on to donate 23 acres of land to become the area’s community recreation center that’s now home to the College of Marin. And this is precisely why the town now carries his name. To make your way in Kentfield, you’ll need a pretty robust income – the local average is $311,015 per household.

20. Great Falls, Virginia

It costs quite a bit to live in a Washington, D.C., suburb – and Great Falls, Virginia, is no exception. It’s bordered by McLean to the southeast, but it’s slightly more affluent than the popular capital suburb. In Great Falls, it costs about $1.6 million to buy a house, according to Realtor.com. Though this isn’t too difficult for residents who make $311,915 annually on average. But you get access to some gorgeous natural features, should you choose this town over the other. After all, its namesake Great Falls flow on the east side of the census-designated place.

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19. University Park, Texas

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University Park was once a small, rural neighborhood surrounding a then-new Southern Methodist University. Fast-forward a century, and that remote town has become one of the wealthiest locales in the United States. Yep, the average household in this Dallas suburb rakes in $313,255 per year.

18. Palm Beach, Florida

Palm Beach made an impressive, 17-spot jump on this list since 2019. Still, it’s no surprise that this Florida city has lots of rich residents. In 2017 Forbes revealed that no less than 30 billionaires lived in the town’s limits. And their income has to be much higher than the area’s already impressive average: $314,090.

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17. The Village of Indian Hill, Ohio

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Prosperity has always been part of The Village of Indian Hill’s story. Its first residents – who worked as farmers – did great business thanks to the nearby Little Miami Railroad, which made it cost-effective to send goods to Cincinnati. Nowadays, the average Indian Hill household banks $318,319 per year – not bad for a former farming town, right?

16. Old Greenwich, Connecticut

Old Greenwich sits on Connecticut’s Gold Coast, and it’s a neighborhood with an average household income of $321,377 per year. Encompassing this wealthy zone is a more famously rich town – Greenwich – where many hedge funds have their headquarters. With that kind of money coming in, it’s no wonder that the median home price in Old Greenwich is a staggering $1.9 million, according to Realtor.com.

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15. Larchmont, New York

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Larchmont has retained its 15th-place ranking on Bloomberg’s list since they calculated the same figures in 2019. The Westchester County, New York, town started out as a getaway for the Big Apple’s rich once trains made travel to and from Larchmont easier. That easy trek showed Manhattanites that they could live outside of the city and quickly commute in for work. Nowadays, Larchmont has an affluent community of permanent residents who make an average of $324,835 per household annually.

14. Paradise Valley, Arizona

Paradise Valley boasts a host of country clubs, luxury shopping and exorbitantly expensive real estate. Expect to pay about $2.5 million for a house if you want to move into this Phoenix suburb, Realtor.com notes. Although that’s just the median price – some properties go for almost ten times that. Your income will have to fit in with the area’s average, too, at $328,853.

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13. Bronxville, New York

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Bronxville’s place on the Bloomberg list continues to fall – in 2019, it was ninth, and it ranked eighth in the previous two years. That doesn’t mean the people there aren’t making some serious dough, though. They brought in, on average, $330,421 per household in 2020. And it’s unsurprising that you’d need that much cash to live a mere 15 miles from Midtown Manhattan.

12. Rumson, New Jersey

Some say that Rumson in New Jersey got its name from an exchange made by early settlers to obtain the land from Native Americans. Supposedly, they traded rum for their new property. You’ll need more than a bit of booze to move into this Monmouth County borough now, though. The average household income is a cool $337,696.

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11. West University Place, Texas

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People refer to West University Place, Texas, as “The Neighborhood City.” Why? Well, it’s a bedroom community for rich families just outside of Houston. Of course, it’s not like other heavily residential areas in the country. In West University Place – where every street’s named after a famous education institution or poet – the average household brings in $352,418 each year.

10. Darien, Connecticut

Darien is the wealthiest of all the towns on Connecticut’s Gold Coast. But this town stands apart from the rest not just for its $352,839 average household income. Darien differs from the rest because it has the youngest population of any town in the state – aside from university cities. Unlike college students, though, these young, wealthy residents can afford houses with a median price tag of $1.5 million, according to Realtor.com.

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9. Winnetka, Illinois

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Illinois’ second-richest town is Winnetka, where the average household brings in a whopping $353,700 per year. And they’ll need that much cash to afford living in the area’s famous homes and estates designed by a fleet of famed architects. For millions of dollars, you might buy an abode from the likes of David Adler, George Washington Maher, Walter Burley Griffin, Robert Seyfarth and Howard Van Doren Shaw. Or, you could move into the mansion from Home Alone – that’s in Winnetka, too.

8. Glencoe, Illinois

Glencoe residents like setting their kids up for success in the future. They fall into the New Trier High School District – meaning they get one of the best public educations that the nation has to offer. Of course, this all comes with some pretty steep price tags. Realtor.com notes that it costs about $1.3 million to buy a house here. But the locals can do that with ease – they make $358,543 a year, after all.

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7. Highland Park, Texas

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Highland Park has a long history, but most people know it as the shooting location for the popular 1980s TV show Dallas. Indeed, the eponymous city does border Highland Park on its east, west and southern sides. The real-life town may also be just as glamorous as what you once saw on TV. Realtor.com claims that homes cost more than $1.5 million here, and the average household rakes in $365,025 per year.

6. Short Hills, New Jersey

Want to get out of New York City? Just build your household income to $388,760 per year, and you can afford to live in the lush unincorporated community of Short Hills, New Jersey. This town – popular with Big Apple workers willing to commute – became so pricey because of its transit links. Property values apparently skyrocketed in 1996 when Short Hills got a direct line to Penn Station. Nowadays, the median home price in the area is $1.5 million, according to Realtor.com.

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5. Los Altos Hills, California

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Los Altos Hills, California, has a long-standing reputation of having rich residents. It’s been on the Forbes list of the country’s most expensive zip codes. And now, it comes in fifth on Bloomberg’s ranking of the country’s richest towns. This is understandable, of course, given its affluent residents make $405,073 per year on average.

4. Cherry Hills Village, Colorado

There’s a reason why the Denver suburb of Cherry Hills Village attracts high earners – its palatial properties come with equally as huge price tags. According to the Real Deal website, you’d need at least $1.5 million to buy a base-level abode, but something grander would require $5 to $7 million. If you have an average household income of $406,314, though, you could make it work.

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3. Hillsborough, California

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William Davis Merry Howard – the son of a Hillsborough, New Hampshire-based shipping magnate – bought the land that would become Hillsborough, California, in 1846. It has, in fact, always been a town for the wealthy. And this makes sense given its close proximity to one of the nation’s most expensive cities: San Francisco. Those who live in Hillsborough have an average household income of $430,681.

2. Scarsdale, New York

The richest town on the East Coast is Scarsdale, New York, where the average annual income is $452,041. The charming town filled with Tudor-style buildings draws city dwellers away from New York City. That may also be because it offers them a quick, half-hour commute into Grand Central Station. Of course, to make the trade-off, they just need to be able to afford the pricey homes in the area. As of February 2020 the average cost for a single-family abode in Scarsdale was $1.4 million, Sotheby’s International Realty notes.

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1. Atherton, California

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Atherton’s reputation as an affluent town is nothing new – it regularly ranks as the country’s most expensive zip code. In 2020 it came in first place on Bloomberg’s list of America’s richest towns, too. Incredibly, it has an average household income of more than a half-million dollars – $525,324 to be exact. Its residents make their money in tech, according to Altos Research CEO Michael Simonsen. He told Forbes in 2017, “Atherton is the epicenter of Silicon Valley money and it only has ultra-high-end properties.” We bet it’ll continue to thrive – and probably top this list again – in 2021.

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