Skip to comments.EXPLORING AMERICA'S RICHEST ZIP CODES
Posted on 04/04/2005 2:17:10 PM PDT by anniegetyourgun
Population Migrates Inward but Big Money Hugs the Coasts
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- If you want to follow the money, get on a plane. Forty-five of the nations 50 most affluent ZIP codes hug the East and West coasts. Fly-over Land has just three, on the North Shore of Chicago. Atlantas Buckhead is the Souths sole outpost in this rich territory. The sun spot of Paradise Valley, Ariz., rounds out the list.
The nation is moving south and west -- population center point is now southern Missouri -- but the Northeast is still the money belt. Metropolitan New York is home to nearly half -- 24 -- of the ritzy 50 ZIPs. Add in Boston (five), Philadelphias Main Line (two) and suburban Washington (one), and the Northeast corridor accounts for 32 of the most-prized ZIP codes, according to data compiled for Advertising Ages American Demographics by ESRI, a supplier of geographic information-systems software and data.
Elite households The 50 ZIPs are home to 201,799 households and 565,125 residents. This elite group -- just 0.2% of the U.S. population -- last year had an average household income of $294,000, four times the national average ($67,572), and average net worth of $1.2 million, about three times the national figure ($468,970), according to American Demographics analysis of ESRI data. The top 10 ZIPs, from No. 1 Atherton, Calif., to Old Westbury, N.Y., are all on the coasts.
ESRI ranked ZIP codes based on a formula including such demographic variables as average household income and average net worth. Surging home prices on the coasts have boosted the net worth of households in those regions. But coastal communities also pay better; the coasts are home to nine of the 10 ZIPs with highest household income. (The 10th, Kenilworth, Ill., at least is on the coast of Lake Michigan.)
ESRI found six affluent ZIPs in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, which together form the money center of the West. Los Angeles has just four. Its most celebrated address, Beverly Hills 90210, came in a distant No. 35 nationally, reflecting in part that the ZIP is home to both glitzy houses and not-so-ritzy apartments. Beverly Hills ranked second-lowest in median income; some people only act rich.
Watch less prime-time TV Overall, the rich arent much different from one leafy burg to the next. Across cities and regions, they universally spend big money on home improvements (average annual spending: $10,400) and luxury cars. They go to more live theater. They watch far less prime-time TV and read more news magazines. They travel abroad for business and pleasure. They are nearly twice as likely as the average American to shop online and four times as likely to tune their radios to classical music.
But sift through the data, and you will see subtle differences among regions and cities in consumer purchases and activities, according to Market Potential Indexes supplied by ESRI using data from Mediamark Research Inc.
The Northeast accounts for nearly two-thirds of the ritzy ZIPs (32) and more than half of the affluent ZIPs population (about 320,000). The greater New York are -- including the winding roads of Westchester County, Connecticut and northern New Jersey -- is home to 24 top ZIPs and 256,000 residents. Two of the nations hubs of old money, Philadelphia and Boston, account for most of the regions remaining wealthy ZIPs.
Longest commutes Demos for the Northeasts affluent ZIPs track closely with those of the affluent Midwest (represented by the Chicago North Shore enclaves of Kenilworth, Glencoe and Lake Forest). Residents (median age 41 to 42) have the longest commutes (34 minutes) among the ritzy 50. They buy more luxury cars and vote in elections more reliably than their rich peers in other regions. Theyre twice as likely as the average American to take a vacation on a cruise ship.
Bottom line for marketers and media: If it plays in Peoria (or at least Kenilworth), it should play in Westchester.
But theres not a lot of population growth. ESRI projects slow growth for most ritzy ZIPs in the Northeast and Midwest; it expects only two of the 35 will see growth greater than 1% a year through 2009. In the West, four of the 14 rich ZIPs should see greater than 1% growth. Atlantas rich ZIP should grow 1.5% a year.
Residents of the richest ZIPs in the West are a little more Web-centric than their counterparts elsewhere. The West Coasters are more likely to shop at Amazon.com, to purchase airline tickets online and to own a notebook computer. The tech bent isnt surprising given that the rich-ZIP list includes the estates of Silicon Valley (Atherton, home of Google CEO Eric Schmidt) and suburban Seattle (Medina, Wash., home of Bill Gates).
West's rich are older One surprise: The West is the new home for old money -- not old as in inherited, but older as in age. Median age of the rich lists 14 West Coast ZIPs is 46, four to five years above that of affluent ZIPs in other regions. What gives? Dont blame it on Sunbelt retirees. The median age in Los Altos, a pillar of Silicon Valley, is above that of desert oasis Paradise Valley.
Median ages for the rich ZIPs in Northern California and Los Angeles are around the mid-40s. Thats a reminder of how Silicon Valley is getting older (Apple Computers Steve Jobs now qualifies for membership in AARP). In Southern California, the aging residents of Santa Monica 90402 go (OK, drive) to the gym more than their cohorts in any other ritzy 50 ZIP. Theyre heading toward age 50, but rich residents of that seaside town are not about to surrender their youth.
Not one of those zips is in Ohio...
Really does not do much to support the lefts claim that the tax cuts only benefited the rich.
I live in one of these zips, and it has more in common with parallel communities in London than with typical US suburbs.
Yes, but you're rich in so many other ways, RinR!
Good....none in Texas or Nebraska. My two favorite places remain unsullied by Dem voting toads with money.
While the annual income given in the article is high, one can easily find average net worths in excess of this figure outside of these zips. These folks are apparently spending their wealth for today.
I NEVER would have thought the AVERAGE net worth was near a 1/2 Million!....( at least if you took out the top 1%......)Shows what AVERAGES are worth!
But this is the average, including every single household. No matter how rich the area, there are always a few people who are broke living there.
And in these rich areas, you're much more likely to find people with large negative net worths.
Geez! Thought every other person in Ohio has their own Oil Well, or got FREE Natural gas out of the ground....Guess it AIN'T true, huh?...;^)
i threw my tv in the dumpster in early 1994.
don't miss it.
tv is not a viable news medium.
The richest zip codes are in Manhattans Upper east side, where you will also find the most liberal commie loving hypocrites in this country. I should know, I use to deliver to them. I use to deliver to two libs who lived right on 5th ave right next to central park who had the whole commie deal going, the Che pictures, the Marxist literature, the books, the hammer and sickle, meanwhile they were living like the worst "capitalist pigs" you could ever imagine. It`s all about guilt with these people, that`s the only rational explanation I can think of. Same with Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins, they live up there too. They dictate to the masses socialism yet they blow enough cash on themselves to house and feed 1000 families.
This just means that the coasts are far more racist, segregated, and insular than "flyover country" where the rich co-exist in the same neighborhoods and zip codes with the middle class. Rich coasty Democrats like to live an incestuous lifestyle where they interact only with other rich Democrats in a mutual admiration society. Rich heartland Republicans like to live a more diverse cosmopolitan lifestyle embracing all cultures and payscales not just those of the sneering snobbery class.
The average is only one piece of information - on its own, it's not all that helpful. Knowing the shape of the distribution (Gaussian, bimodal, something else altogether...) is very important.
The oil company said the only place they could put the drilling rig was right on top of my gold mine so I don't get free oil.
The natural gas isn't all that useful either because it's not from the ground and I don't want to be plumbed directly into my furnace.
I assume they are 10021 and 10028. However the really off the wall commie lw moonbats live on the UWS, the lower east side and Chelsea.
True enough....that's the idea of "averages."
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