Like a great river, the government industrial complex continues to roll along.
Want to live the good life? Move to Washington, D.C. Or, specifically, to its suburbs.
Six of America’s 10 wealthiest counties lie within a stone’s throw of the Beltway. Plenty of lucrative jobs are available in tech contracting and other professional services, while other big sources of employment are local school systems and major federal agencies like the Department of Defense.
None of them are in California or Texas, no so Silicon Valley or oil money here. None are in New York, either, although Wall Street money does show up in a couple of wealthy New Jersey counties that make the list, Hunterdon and Somerset.
The most notable change from last year’s list: Falls Church has passed fellow Virginia county Loudoun to take the title of America’s Richest County. Falls Church, where more than half of the houses occupied by families are valued between half a million and a million dollars, boasts an annual median household income of $121,250. Loudoun is some $2,600 per year behind. Loudoun, sitting 45 miles northwest of the White House, dates back to the pre-Revolutionary War era. It’s now a bustling county of 350,000 people and over 80,000 families, where the biggest employer is the public school system.
We rank the nation’s wealthiest counties by median household income data from the Census Bureau’s Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates for 2012, the last full year for which data is available. Other D.C.-area counties raking in the money: Fairfax, Arlington and Stafford counties in Virginia and Howard County in Maryland, the home base of Johns Hopkins’ applied physics lab. All of those counties boast median household income of at least $95,000 annually.
Washington isn’t the only area that benefits from government spending. Coming in at No. 3, with a median household income of more than $112,000 annually, is Los Alamos, N.M., home to the famous Los Alamos National Laboratory. The $2.2 billion government research facility employs 9,000 people and supports a local ecosystem of restaurants and stores.
Source: Forbes Business