Census Bureau: 5 of 10 Wealthiest U.S. Counties Surround Washington, D.C.

By Pete Winn | December 13, 2012 | 1:07pm EST

Loudoun County (Va.) Courthouse in Leesburg, Va. (Photo: Loudoun County)

(CNSNews.com) – Five of the Top 10 wealthiest counties in the United States are in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area--within commuting distance for the thousands of federal government workers, lobbyists, lawyers, defense contractors, think-tank experts and political operatives who work in and around the nation’s capital.

The five counties have median household incomes that are roughly double the national median of $50,502.

Loudoun County, Va., which lies to the north and west of the District of Columbia, topped the list in 2011, with a median family income of $119,525, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE), released Wednesday.

It was followed closely by Fairfax County, Va., which had a median income of $105,000.

Howard County, Md., which is located between Washington and Baltimore, and includes the city of Columbia, Md., was fourth-highest at $99,000.

Arlington County, Va., which lies directly across the Potomac River from the District of Columbia, was fifth on the list, at $98,000.

Montgomery County, Md., which stands at the top of the diamond-shaped District of Columbia, fell to eighth on the list.

Four of the remaining five Top 10 counties are in the New York City metropolitan area.

Only one county in the Top 10 lies outside of the Eastern Seaboard: Douglas County, Colo., is situated between Denver and Colorado Springs.

Here’s the Top 10 Counties with the Highest Median Family Incomes:

1. Loudoun County, Va. ------$119,525

2. Fairfax County, Va. --------$105,000

3. Hunterdon, County, N.J.----$99,216

4. Howard County, Md. -------$99,000

5. Arlington County, Va. ------$98,000

6. Douglas County, Colo.----- $95,973

7. Somerset County, N.J. ------$95,915

8. Montgomery County, Md. --$92,288

9. Morris County N.J. ----------$91,420

10. Nassau County, N.Y.-------$91,162

SAIPE combines the latest data from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey with aggregate data from federal tax filings, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participation, statistics from the 2000 and 2010 censuses and annual population estimates.

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