News & Politics

According to New Studies, Washington Residents Are the Smartest and the Richest

It's okay to brag. (A little.)

The Washington area is home to lots of smart—and rich—people. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Washington-area parents, rejoice: You now have
evidence for your children that the
more educated you are, the richer you’re likely to become. But
judging by two recent
studies, many of you already knew that. According to the
studies—one conducted by
William Yu of

and the other by—DC

residents are both the most educated and the richest in the

Working for First 5 LA’s Early Childhood Education conference, Yu tracked “city human
capital index” by measuring the average amount of education people in different metropolitan
areas received, according to census statistics. What he found was that though New
York and Philadelphia have had better sports teams for some time, they only rank in
the middle of the pack when it comes to the original kind of schooling. Los Angeles,
Houston, Las Vegas, and Riverside, California, rounded out the bottom of the barrel.

On average, Washingtonians also have more money to
spend than their Northeastern counterparts,
which is also true compared with people in every other section
of the country. According
to the study, the Washington area has a median income of
$86,680, about $2,000 more
than second-place San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California.
The Philadelphia area
didn’t make the list, but Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, New
York, rounded out
the top ten, with a median income of nearly $20,000 less than
DC. Interestingly, the
poorest areas aren’t too far outside Washington’s
backyard—Cumberland, Maryland, ranked
ninth on’s list of the ten most impoverished