Highest Income Census Tracts in the United States: The Manhattan Story

Highest Income Census Tracts in the United States: The Manhattan Story

The highest income Census Tracts in the United States according to the American Community Survey are quite different than the main list of the Higley 1000 in the previous post. I have changed the metric to mean family income from mean household income. What is the difference? Family income means single person households are dropped from the stats; and more importantly, poorly paid household staff with live-in facilities are no longer counted. Please note that for statistically smoothing reasons, a family cannot realistically claim an income of more than $2 million dollars on the American Community Survey. In spite of the spectacular gains in income among the wealthiest Americans since the Reagan Administration, the Census Bureau has refused to raise the amount of income a family or household can claim. The current rules were promulgated under the Bush administration to downplay the growing inequality in the United States. In fact, many Republican Senators and Congressmen have even tried to gut the American Community Survey so that even these highly smoothed statistics would be unavailable. We can thank the Obama administration for rejecting the discontinuation of American Community Survey.

The change from mean household income to mean family income creates a significant upward change in not only the income statistics, but also which geographic areas are at the top of the list. The fifty highest family income tracts more accurately reflect where the top .1% live than the Higley 1000. Unfortunately, racial statistics are not available for families as they are for households…. at least I haven’t been able to find them on the poorly conceived Census website.

TABLE ONE: The Fifty Highest Income Census Tracts or Suburbs in the United States

RankMean Family IncomeCensus TractState
1$778,705Palm Beach south of Worth AvenueFL
2$636,204Manhattan: Fifth to Park, 70th to 77thNY
3$583,198Jupiter IslandFL
4$574,294Hunting Valley: Cleveland suburbOH
5$570,557Greenwich Country Club areaCT
6$532,045Westlake: Fort Worth suburbTX
7$524,947Bronxville EastNY
8$523,641Westwood: Los AngelesCA
9$514,620Murray Hill-Heathcote: ScarsdaleNY
10$508,434Manhattan: Fifth to Park, 84th to 86thNY
11$504,283Port Royal, NaplesFL
12$503,115Country Club of New Canaan areaCT
13$499,737Manhattan: Fifth to Park, 77th to 84thNY
14$497,397Westchester Country Club: HarrisonNY
15$492,232Stanwich-Conyers Farm: North GreenwichCT
16$492,075Chevy Chase VillageMD
17$485,295Centre Island, Long Island Gold CoastNY
18$473,014River Oaks, HoustonTX
19$456,564Manhattan: TribecaNY
20$456,045Manhatten: Park to Third Av, 91st to 96thNY
21$455,479North DarienCT
22$454,422Manhattan: Lincoln CenterNY
23$451,940Bel Air Estates, Los AngelesCA
24$451,473Manhattan: Fifth to Park, 91st to 96thNY
25$448,295Potomac Manor-Carderock: PotomacMD
26$439,069Por La Mar-S. Ocean Blvd.: Boca RatonFL
27$436,936Silvermine Hill: New CanaanCT
28$436,197Highland Park, inner Dallas suburbTX
29$435,268Round Hill-Quaker Ridge: North GreenwichCT
30$431,642Sands Point: Long Island Gold CoastNY
31$429,491Winnetka: Lake Michigan waterfrontIL
32$428,560Brentwood Heights: Los AngelesCA
33$427,037The Preserve @ Greenwood Vill.: DenverCO
34$426,668Preston Hollow: Dallas neighborhoodTX
35$424,779Cherry Hills Country Club: Denver suburbCO
36$424,345Westover Hills: Fort Worth suburbTX
37$424,114Manhattan: Fifth to Park, 86th to 91stNY
38$423,316Manhattan: Park Avenue, 70th to 77thNY
39$422,487Fox Meadow-Greenacres: ScarsdaleNY
40$419,285Belle Haven-Indian Harbor: GreenwichCT
41$418,737Park to 3rd Av, 77th to 84thNY
42$412,530Noroton-Tokeneke, DarienCT
43$412,497Ridgewood West: Bergen CountyNJ
44$411,787Old Field: Long Island Gold CoastNY
45$410,632Manhattan: Chelsea WaterfrontNY
46$408,886Brentwood Park: Los AngelesCA
47$406,253River Oaks: HoustonTX
48$404,805Old GreenwichCT
49$404,647Glencoe: Lake Michigan waterfrontIL
50$404,281Coldwater Canyon, Los AngelesCA

The Census Tract with the highest mean family income in the United States is the southernmost part of Palm Beach, Florida that is located south of Worth Avenue. The fact that Palm Beach is at the top of the list is reflective of a trend seen throughout the Higley 1000: the transformation of what were previously second home vacation places into primary residences. This trend was evident in the Higley 1000 main list with the sudden appearance of places such as Southampton, NY and Kiawah Island, SC . Ten years ago, second home places were no where to be found on the Higley 1000.

MAP ONE: Palm Beach south of Worth Avenue: The Highest Mean Family Income Census Tract in America


View Palm Beach: South of Worth Avenue in a larger map

Looking at the list, one can’t help but notice the heavy preponderance of New York City metro area tracts, particularly those located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and Fairfield County, Connecticut. Twenty-seven of the top 50 tracts are located in the New York Metro area. The rundown for the 27 New York Metro tracts includes 8 on the Upper East Side, 1 on the Upper West Side, 1 in Tribeca and 1 on the Chelsea waterfront. Trendy Soho and the West Village just missed the top 50.

MAP TWO: Manhattan’s Highest Income Tracts


View Richest Tracts in Manhattan in a larger map

The Connecticut suburbs are well represented with 5 tracts in Greenwich, 2 in New Canaan, and 2 in Darien. Surprisingly, only one New Jersey tract made the top 50, the westernmost part of Ridgewood in Bergen County. The uber wealthy Short Hills area just missed the top 50. Westchester County has 4 tracts in the top 50 with 2 in Scarsdale and one each in Bronxville and Harrison. Long Island is represented by three golf/estate suburbs: Centre Island, Sands Point, and Old Field.

Surprisingly, there are only 5 tracts among the wealthiest from California and they are all located on the west side of Los Angeles. I was very surprised that Atherton and Hillsborough, the perennial wealthiest areas of the Bay Area are not on the list.  Texas is fairly well represented on the list with two small suburbs of Fort Worth (Westlake and Westover Hills); as well as a Dallas area tract in Highland Park and (fittingly) Preston Hollow in the city of Dallas (where George W. Bush has his home). Houston is represented by two adjacent tracts in posh River Oaks.

Aside from the previously mentioned tract in Palm Beach, Florida is represented by Jupiter Island, Port Royal in Naples, and Por La Mar-South Ocean Boulevard in Boca Raton.

Denver, Washington DC, and Chicago are each represented by two tracts and with the exception of the small exclusive suburb of Cleveland, Hunting Valley, the rest of the country is shut out.

Posted in Exclusive Neighborhoods, The US Census on Jun 23rd, 2013, 9:18 am by Stephen Higley   

No comments yet. Be the first.

Leave a reply