DC Suburbs Make Up 7 of the 10 Richest Counties in America

A 2011 survey finds Washington-area counties are rolling in dough.

By: Mallory Yu

According to the results of the 2011 American Community Survey, DC suburbs now make up seven of the ten richest counties in America. Loudoun, Fairfax, and Arlington are first, second, and third respectively, and Maryland’s Howard and Montgomery counties also made the list.

Interpreting these statistics might not be so simple, however. County-level median income simply reveals a lack of lower-income families, possibly due to exclusionary zoning. And figuring out the “why” behind the area’s affluence is even more complicated. An ever-changing economy attracting more college graduates to move to and settle here for work is one possible explanation, according to New York Times writer David Leonhardt. What this means for the economy on a larger scale is probably best left to the experts.