America’s richest counties surround D.C.

Map courtesy U.S. Census Bureau

The richest counties in America surround the nation’s capital, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau Thursday. Of the top ten richest counties in the U.S., six are located in Virginia and Maryland.

The Washington Post’s Reid Wilson reported on the data, writing, “The Washington area has reigned at the top of the most affluent counties for years, in large part because it has so many residents with college degrees working at professional jobs.” The poverty rates in these counties are also much lower than the national average. Lucinda Dalzell of The Census Bureau explained that the high income and low poverty rates are consistent with other East Coast counties that surround major cities.

However, Northern Virginia stood out among other regions in terms of income level. “Northern Virginia alone accounted for about one-fifth of the nation’s 50 highest-income counties,” said Dalzel. Falls Church, Va., topped the list with a median household income of over $121,000, although it is not technically a county. Wilson points out that the Census Bureau ranks independent cities along with counties in this data even though the counties could be much larger.