According to the Census Bureau’s Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates for 2011, six of the top 10 richest counties in the United States surround Washington, D.C. A look at the top 30 shows 13 of the richest counties fall in that area as well, while counties in Utah, Colorado, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York and other states are also represented.
“The fed’s tentacles do spread beyond Washington,” an April 25 Forbes article said. “New Mexico’s Los Alamos County, home to the National Laboratory with a $2.2 billion budget, places No. 3 on the list with a median household income of $110,000. Wall Street and the rest of New York City’s economy aren’t left out altogether. Two commuting counties in New Jersey, Hunterdon and Somerset, come in at No. 5 and No. 9, respectively.”
While The Wall Street Journal calls Washington’s hold on wealth “a product of Washington’s Gilded Age,” it also argues that the region’s economic resilience is due to an economy that is broadening beyond government spending.