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Howard County: Still Wealthy

Analysis of the latest Census data shows more of the same: Howard County and the DC Metro area are still the wealthiest part of the nation.

Have you heard this one before? Howard County is one of the wealthiest in the nation, according to Forbes.

In its latest installment of  “America’s Richest Counties,” Howard comes in at No. 5, just ahead of Hunterdon County, NJ, median household income $100,980, and just behind Los Alamos, NM, median income $103,643.

Howard County, with a median household income of $103,273, actually has more in common with Los Alamos than Hunterdon County, despite their distance. Both counties count high numbers of government workers as residents, where as Hunterdon is a commuter area for New York City workers, according to Forbes.

The wealthiest county in the United States is Loudoun County, VA.

In 2010, when Newsweek ranked wealthy counties, , after Loudoun and Fairfax Counties. Those rankings were based on median household income data from the 2009 Census.

Earlier this year, MainStreetConnect did its own ranking using Census data from 2010; again, again after Loudoun and Fairfax.

The difference in rankings may be due to the fact that Forbes used median household incomes from 2006 – 2010. Using those numbers, Loudoun is still the undisputed wealthiest county in the country, and Fairfax is No. 3, but Falls Church, VA, and Los Alamos were able to eke Howard out of the top three.

Despite being named one of the wealthiest areas to live in the country, commenters were not entirely optimistic. 

“I have lived in NOVA [Northern Virginia] and benefited from the government spending because I have worked for government contractors … What happens when the government finally stops spending?” asked Chad Hensley on Forbes.com. “This is THE bubble that no one is talking about. It will bring NOVA to a standstill.” 

Find the entire list on Forbes.com.

What do you think about ranking areas by income? What does it mean to you? Tell us in the comments.

bill bissenas May 02, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Howard County is a federal dependency. It would be a very different place without money borrowed from China and others. And should the federal government ever contract, HoCo will be hit hard. Indeed a fool's paradise.
Elizabeth May 02, 2012 at 03:00 PM
If Howard County is so rich, then why don't we get some more higher-end stores in Columbia Mall like Tysons. I'd like a Bloomingdales and a Neiman Marcus.

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