Dramatic Gains for Asians & Hispanics. Dramatic Decline for Non-Hispanic Whites

Dramatic Gains for Asians & Hispanics. Dramatic Decline for Non-Hispanic Whites

Editors Note: The following article was written when I gave up trying to crack the data from the 2010 Census below the Census Tract level. A much more accurate way of looking at the data is at the Block Group data (which I used for the original Higley 1000). Although the information in the article below is perfectly accurate, I’m pleased to announce that I have just finished the Higley 1000 using Block Group data (January 8, 2014). The new Higley 1000 will be appearing in a series of articles from this point in my blog.

There are 5,622,120 fortunate souls living in the 1000 highest income communities or Census Tracts in the United States. 81.2% are White; 9.5% Asian; 5.3%; and 2.2% are African-American. The numbers do not add up to 100% as 1.6% are defined as “Other”. For the curious, “Other” racial groups include people that are of mixed race, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Aleuts, As the table below shows, Whites and Asians are over-represented in the Higley 1000 and Latinos and Blacks are under represented. Although it is not possible to easily compare the 2000 list to the 2010 list due to the difference in the basic geographic units (Census Tracts vs. Block Groups), I can see clear trends and will try to report on the racial makeup of America’s most elite places to the best of my ability. Another major change between 2000 and 2010 is that in 2010 I have used population to measure racial percentages. In 2000 I used households. The different metric means that I have expanded the population of the Higley 1000 dramatically from a population of 1,694,665 in the 2000 Census to 5,622,120 in the 2010 Census. It is important to note that by increasing the size of the sample, it automatically increases the representation of all minorities as they are rapidly moving into the American elite at the expense of Whites and are often found at higher concentrations the lower you go on the list of high income suburbs or neighborhoods. The Elite 100, the top neighborhoods are more White and less everything else than the Higley 1000.

1New York City1,643,93482.0%8.8%5.4%2.2%
2Washington DC558,78074.2%12.7%5.2%4.8%
3Los Angeles544,17976.5%12.0%6.9%1.3%
4San Francisco436,05568.0%21.5%5.2%1.2%
7Dallas-Fort Worth168,26281.9%7.6%6.0%2.4%
12San Diego71,49674.3%11.4%8.3%1.0%
16Minneapolis-St. Paul62,50590.4%5.3%1.6%1.1%
17West Palm Beach58,71086.4%2.3%7.6%2.7%
23St. Louis36,22786.0%5.4%1.8%2.3%
31Las Vegas21,22775.6%9.8%7.2%4.0%
33Kansas City20,02792.8%2.6%2.0%1.2%
34Fort Lauderdale19,75970.2%4.2%20.0%3.9%
35San Antonio19,47971.3%2.6%23.4%0.9%
40Jacksonville, FL15,15893.3%1.2%3.1%1.2%
44Oklahoma City13,05390.2%1.9%2.1%1.4%
45Santa Barbara12,61887.6%2.3%7.3%0.5%
46Wilmington DE11,48988.6%4.2%3.4%2.4%
47Portland OR10,80980.7%10.9%3.1%1.0%
48Salt Lake City10,42991.7%3.1%2.6%0.5%
53Palm Springs7,32289.0%2.2%6.7%0.6%
54Tampa-St. Petersburg6,96485.0%3.4%9.2%1.4%
56Fort Wayne6,29083.0%6.6%2.7%5.2%
57New Orleans6,13083.0%4.2%4.4%6.7%
58Rochester, NY5,41580.5%14.1%2.2%1.4%
59Rochester, MN4,88589.9%5.7%1.9%1.1%
60Greenville SC4,54185.7%6.3%2.7%3.7%
62Springfield, MA4,38790.4%5.9%2.0%0.8%
63Vero Beach4,31697.4%0.6%1.3%0.3%
66Des Moines3,59689.8%6.1%2.3%0.7%
76Columbus, GA2,47685.5%5.8%2.1%5.2%
79Charleston SC1,62696.3%0.3%0.9%2.2%
84Santa Cruz1,04184.8%3.3%8.2%0.5%
All Higley 10005,622,12081.2%9.5%5.3%2.2%

Below is the top 100 places on the list of the Higley 1000. As mentioned above, the basic unit of investigation is either incorporated or unincorporated places with a population greater than 400 as well as all Census Tracts. My webmaster and I are still going through the mechanics of how to list all 1000 neighborhoods without it bogging down your computer as it loads such a long list. The entire list will be coming very soon!

Here is a thumbnail description of the ten highest income neighborhoods or incorporated towns:

1. Westlake, Texas (mean household income $526,590, 2010 American Community Survey).  Westlake s a classic McMansion nouveau riche suburb. It is relatively small in area and has a large amount of vacant land. As it is on the fast growing northern periphery of the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area and directly in the line of growth, Westlake will soon be as chock-a-block full of gigantic homes as neighboring Southlake (#362; $219,006) and Colleyville (#721; $189,259).

In many ways, Westlake is just overspill from Southlake’s and Colleyville’s build out. Southlake (population 26,575) & Colleyville (22.807) are two of the larger communities in the Higley 1000.  The largest number of homes in Westlake are in the  gated golf club community of the Vaquero Club. In the “upscale” sections of Vaquero homes can range in the upper 7 figures. Right-wing extremist and polemicist Glenn Beck is renting an 8,000 square foot house in the development for $20,000/ month.

The “downscale” section of Vaquero features million dollar houses crammed into zero lot-line lots. The architecture is Reagan nee Dynasty vulgar and similar to any of the countless other suburbs of the new rich that can be found outside of any American city. Because of the paucity of homes outside of the  gated Vaquero Club there is little to see in Westlake. There are a couple of garden variety small upscale subdivisions (Kensington Estates and Fair Oaks) but they are also gated. Westlake is home to the acclaimed Westlake Academy, a KG-12 school with an enrollment of 520. Westlake is also the site of a $300 million dollar “Leadership School”, Deloitte University.

Westlake, when  Westover Hills (#12; $385,047) just won’t do.

Map #1: Westlake, Texas

View Westlake, Texas in a larger map

2. Hunting Valley, Ohio: ($507,214). Hunting Valley has long been a favorite of wealthy Clevelanders. It is characterized by huge parcels of land and a glacial build-out over the last 100 years.  Hunting Valley is the wealthiest of a galaxy of tony exurban suburbs that have replaced Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights as the most exclusive neighborhoods for Cleveland’s elite. Just to the west of Hunting Valley is Pepper Pike (#548; $201,562): to the north, is the lovely suburb of Gates Mills (#535, $202,514) and to the south the similar villages of Moreland Hills (#378, $216,135) and tiny Bentleyville (#137: $277,323). There is little to see when driving the few roads of Hunting Valley as the stately homes are hidden on very large tracts of land.

As Shaker Heights has slowly declined from it’s once unchallenged position at the apex of Cleveland society, the former equestrian only villages of Kirtland Hills (#901, $179,146) and Waite Hill (#583; $198,612) have also found new popularity. Although the northern estate section of Shaker Heights has retained it’s cachet (#74, $311,062), southern neighborhoods of Shaker Heights have seen residential collapse as once beautiful neighborhoods are filled with abandoned foreclosures available for as little as $50,000.

3. Jupiter Island, Florida: ($493,705). Jupiter Island is located just across the Palm Beach County line in Martin County, Florida. It has long served as Florida’s most elite Social Register, WASP retreat when Palm Beach (#293; $231,000) was filled with people that, well, you know…… just aren’t our kind. Besides, any place like Palm Beach that would be home to the likes of Donald Trump, Ann Coulter, and (heaven forbid) Rush Limbaugh, has obviously been taken over by the barbarians.

There was a time when lots and membership to the Jupiter Island Club were strictly controlled (e.g. restricted) and as the village is located on a barrier island, the huge waterfront lots tended to stay in families for long periods of time. However, those days are long gone and now anyone with cash is free to build a 35,000 square foot “home”. The days of antisemitism and racial discrimination are thankfully no longer an issue in one our country’s most exclusive places.

4. Diablo, California: ($492,897). Diablo is a gated single family home development built around the de rigeuer country club of the same name. Located in Contra Costa County next to the large affluent suburbs of Danville and Alamo (#441; $209,993). Diablo is unincorporated (or a Census Designated Place (CDP)). Services are supplied by the HOA or Contra Costa County. Diablo is a 1980s version of Westlake, Texas, albeit in a much better location (almost San Francisco!). The fact that Diablo is on the list has something to do with the whimsey of just what  sub-division gets recognized as its own separate community. Diablo (according to Wikipedia) was identified as a separate place as early as 1916 with establishment of a Post Office. Diablo means Devil in Spanish. Living in Satan’s lair will set you back between 1 and 3 million dollars. There is currently a house listed for $10 million on a double lot as of June of 2013)

5. Snapper Creek, Florida: ($481,124). Snapper Creek Lakes and Hammock Lakes are sometimes referred to as Snapper-Hammock. These two exclusive subdivisions were annexed to Coral Gables in 1996.. Snapper Creek Lakes and Hammock Lakes are established neighborhoods with some of the world’s largest ranch homes as well as some massive teardowns. As is typical of South Florida, the homes of the neighborhood are built around artificial canals and lakes that provided tens of thousands of waterfront homes to both the elite and the financially comfortable upper-middle class of South Florida.  What makes Snapper Creek so unusual among the wealthiest neighborhoods is the fact that it is 32.3% Latino. This is actually a lower percentage than Coral Gables as a whole (52.5%). Just to the east of Snapper-Hammock are two neighborhoods that represent Old Miami: Coconut Grove (#459: $208,076; 30.7% Latino) and nouveau riche Miami: Coco Plum (#125; $284,911; 49.9% Latino). Coco Plum is the name of I have given to the large oceanfront Census Tract of Coral Gables that is made up of a series of gated communities. I thought the name Tahiti-Coco Plum-Gable Estates-Journey’s End-Hammock Oaks and Gables-by-the-Sea might be a bit too long, lol!

When these neighborhoods are described as “Latino”, they are mainly Cuban. However there are large numbers of wealthy homeowners from Central and South America found throughout these neighborhoods.

6. Chevy Chase Village, Maryland: ($466,049). The name Chevy Chase is applied to a bewildering assortment of villages and neighborhoods located in northwest Washington DC and across the border in Montgomery County, Maryland. Chevy Chase Village is the most exclusive of a the very exclusive Chevy Chase club (the Town of Chevy Chase (#112, $289,628), Chevy Chase, Section Three (#146, $272,285), Chevy Chase, Section Five(#117; $288,468), Chevy Chase View (#249; $238,644), North Chevy Chase (#633, $194,332), and the Washington DC neighborhoods of Upper Chevy Chase-Hawthorne (#340; $222,145) and Lower Chevy Chase (#875; $180,671).

Oh yes, there is also a sprawling unincorporated area also known as Chevy Chase (#376; $216,777) and Martin’s Additions (of Chevy Chase) (#172 $259.991).

Nothing like beating a good name to death! It is interesting to note that all of the Chevy Chases together have a population of 26,582. Chevy Chase Village runs along the border of the District of Columbia and is home to about 726 of DC’s loveliest multi-million dollar single family homes.

Map #2 The Chevy Chases of Washington DC

View The Chevy Chase's of Washington DC in a larger map

7. Potomac Manor-Cardorock, Maryland : ($426,634). This is the name I have given to a collection of subdivisions in the large unincorporated suburb of Potomac, Maryland. This sprawling Census Tract runs along the Potomac River and is noteworthy for it’s large lots and even larger homes. Potomac was the next logical step away from the District past Bethesda. In turn, Travilah (even further up the Potomac River) has developed as Potomac buildable lots become harder to come by. Although Potomac Manor is just one of the sub-divisions in this area. I was struck by the ghastly architecture that reminded me of Saudi Arabia or Oral Roberts University on acid.

8. Port Royal, Naples, Florida ($415,286).  Port Royal is Naples, Florida’s most exclusive neighborhood. It is built on a series of peninsuli that jut out between the Gulf of Mexico and Naples Bay. The home are large lavishly landscaped single family homes. Port Royal is at the apex of gulf neighborhoods and is surrounded for miles by lovely lesser neighborhoods and countless golf courses. Naples is home to a Census Tract that is almost exclusively high-rises. I call the tract Gulf Shore Boulevarde North (#250: $238,576). It is a rarity to find high-rise tracts with high mean incomes outside of New York City. The planned community of Pelican Bay (#839: $182,680) is a pleasing planned community with a commodious mixture of high rises on the water and single family homes. The final neighborhood in the Naples area in the Higley 1000 is the Grey Oaks Country Club ( #879; $180.390). Grey Oaks is a very typical upscale gated golfing community

9. Sands Point, New York ($404,670): Is it West Egg or East Egg? With the recent release of the latest version of The Great Gatsby, I’m sure that the faux controversy as to exactly where  the estates of Jay Gatsby and  Tom & Daisy Buchanan were located. It is a fact that the Fitzgeralds were habitues of the party scene on the North Shore of Long Island. Sands Point is noteworthy among a bevy of golf/estate villages by it’s relatively long waterfront on Long Island Sound. The lots are large and the homes are immense and gracious. Sands Point has remained at the apex of elite suburbs for 100 years. It is definitely worth a drive through as it was built before the advent of gated communities and access is easy. If one would like to take a day trip to Sands Point, be sure to take a detour through the lovely village of Plandome (#20; $369,328). Plandome has large gracious homes with gorgeous architecture in a traditional suburban setting.

10. Brookville, New York ($400,113): Brookville is just a bit to the east of Sands Point and shares it’s history as a golf/estate village that was incorporated in the early 20th Century so that the Plutocrats could shelter there wealth from the hordes of upper-middle and lower-middle class  New Yorkers that were escaping from the city in the great outward suburban migration. I wrote a synopsis of the history of the 150 square miles of the North Shore estate villages that encompassed 600 lavish estates that came into existence towards the end of the Gilded Age. If you’d like to read the article I wrote in 2008 about this fascinating piece of elite real estate, type “The Gold Coast of Long Island” into the search vehicle on the home page and you can click onto the article. It is illustrated with many maps of the area. The multitude of small villages has remained near the top of the Higley 1000 in the 2010 list.

Adjacent to Brookville one can wander the roads of Upper Brookville (#149; $269,627); Old Brookville  (#79, $245,726); Matinecock (#79; $309,598) ; and Muttontown (#24; $361,732). My personal favorite in this neck of the woods is Old Westbury (#35; $342,550). The golf/estate villages tend to run into each other as one drives through the ungated streets. Some of the mansions from the early 20th Century live on as museums and some are still in use… however the the landscape is generally million dollar plus homes that have been built on  sub-divided 2-5 acre lots that have been carved out of the estates.

1Westlake$526,590Fort Worth99282.8%9.4%4.8%2.5%
2Hunting Valley$507,214Cleveland70594.3%1.1%2.7%0.6%
3Jupiter Island$493,705Palm Beach81788.5%2.6%6.9%2.0%
4Diablo$492,897San Francisco1,15889.4%4.7%3.4%0.0%
5Snapper Creek$481,124Miami83465.0%1.6%32.3%0.2%
6Chevy Chase Village$466,049DC1,95393.4%1.6%2.8%0.5%
7Potomac Manors-Carderock$426,634DC5,33077.1%14.5%4.2%2.1%
8Port Royal$415,286Naples1,73096.1%1.2%1.9%0.1%
9Sands Point$404,670NYC2,67584.7%8.2%4.7%0.7%
11Oyster Bay Cove$385,230NYC2,19786.9%8.5%2.2%1.5%
12Westover Hills$385,047Fort Worth68295.6%1.8%1.2%0.1%
13Hidden Hills$383,731Los Angeles1,85687.4%2.1%6.6%1.9%
14Hunters Creek Village$382,168Houston4,36786.7%6.0%4.5%1.1%
15Belle Haven-Indian Harbor$380,036NYC1,73386.6%4.4%6.7%1.0%
16North Greenwich$379,501NYC21,59686.2%5.6%5.5%1.0%
17Old Field$378,848NYC91887.0%6.3%2.8%0.9%
18Rolling Hills$373,524Los Angeles1,86074.1%16.2%5.5%1.5%
19Manalapan$371,069Palm Beach40689.9%1.2%4.7%3.9%
21Rancho Santa Fe$369,026San Diego3,11757.4%2.8%5.6%0.3%
22Old Greenwich$364,743NYC5,26387.6%4.4%4.7%0.8%
23Centre Island$361,754NYC41088.3%3.7%7.3%0.0%
25Hewlett Bay Park$361,626NYC40488.1%5.7%5.4%0.0%
27Orchid$355,712Vero Beach41598.6%0.0%1.4%0.0%
28Diable Grande-Henry Coe St Park$355,693San Francisco1,14459.7%4.5%30.1%0.9%
29Bel Air Estates$355,007Los Angeles8,26180.8%8.2%5.1%1.7%
30Munsey Park$352,510NYC2,69388.4%6.4%3.2%0.4%
31Newport Coast$351,753Los Angeles7,24671.7%18.7%4.7%0.5%
32Pound Ridge-Scotts Corner$345,550NYC5,10490.4%1.9%4.6%1.3%
33Windsor Farms-Wilton$343,803Richmond2,37897.2%0.3%0.4%0.8%
35Old Westbury$342,550NYC4,67163.2%12.3%6.8%15.2%
37Atherton$340,915San Francisco6,91478.2%13.2%3.9%1.0%
39Los Altos Hills$338,932San Francisco7,92266.1%26.6%2.7%0.5%
40Piney Point Village$338,560Houston3,12581.3%11.0%4.5%1.5%
41Old Preston Hollow$338,351Dallas2,46289.3%3.0%5.3%0.8%
42Washington Crossing$338,016Philadelphia1,25193.7%1.6%2.6%0.8%
43Addison Reserve Country Club$336,886Palm Beach1,78694.0%1.1%3.4%0.6%
44McLean Hamlet-The Reserve$336,039DC4,59275.1%16.4%3.7%1.7%
47Spring Valley-Palisades$333,852DC7,17580.9%6.2%6.1%3.5%
49Cherry Hills Village$333,620Denver5,98792.1%2.3%3.2%0.7%
50Short Hills$332,693NYC13,16579.4%15.4%2.4%0.9%
51The Village of Indian Hill$331,732Cincinnati5,78590.9%5.7%1.6%0.7%
52River Oaks$331,641Houston8,02886.0%4.4%6.9%1.9%
53Highland Park$330,032Dallas8,56491.6%2.8%4.0%0.4%
54North Key Largo-Ocean Reef Club$329,530Miami1,24490.8%1.2%5.5%2.1%
55Potomac Village-Falconhurst$328,371DC4,57972.0%16.2%4.7%4.5%
56Upper Laurel Canyon$328,332Los Angeles3,49986.4%3.6%5.0%1.8%
57Hillsborough$327,784San Francisco10,82564.2%28.0%3.4%0.4%
59Beverly Hills North (90210)$327,173Los Angeles9,01684.6%4.6%5.4%1.2%
60Lloyd Harbor$326,295NYC3,66092.3%2.2%3.3%0.9%
62Greenfield Hill$325,032NYC4,44393.2%2.0%2.4%1.0%
63Upper East Side$323,188NYC37,34687.8%4.7%4.9%1.0%
65Benedict Canyon-Beverly Park$318,246Los Angeles4,36283.4%6.2%4.3%2.0%
66Powers Ferry$317,999Atlanta4,97790.0%2.6%2.9%3.2%
69Chestnut Hill-Buttonwood Village$316,998Boston4,44179.5%12.0%3.9%2.5%
70Linden Park-Lindenwood$316,730Omaha2,19276.1%5.8%4.9%10.3%
72Woodside$316,019San Francisco5,28786.1%6.3%4.6%0.4%
73Mill Neck$314,149NYC99785.2%6.1%5.7%1.2%
74Shaker Heights NW Estate Sect.$311,062Cleveland2,47884.7%4.0%1.5%7.6%
76Brentwood$310,575Los Angeles17,01983.2%6.6%5.2%1.4%
77Bunker Hill Village$310,572Houston3,63382.6%9.7%5.6%0.3%
78Lake Sherwood$310,550Los Angeles1,52786.5%6.6%3.4%0.3%
80Lost Tree CC-Seminole Landing$308,413Palm Beach1,09895.9%0.8%2.0%0.7%
81Southport North$307,906NYC2,84193.3%2.4%2.3%0.8%
83Laurel Hollow$306,297NYC1,95287.5%7.6%2.3%1.5%
84Preston Royal$304,679Dallas1,98790.5%3.5%4.3%0.8%
86Plandome Manor$302,943NYC87289.1%6.1%2.5%0.1%
87Bradley Manor-Green Tree Manor$302,799DC2,67776.5%10.8%6.6%2.7%
88Castle Pines$302,583Denver3,61492.0%3.1%2.4%1.1%
89Roslyn Harbor$302,140NYC1,05179.7%11.8%5.3%1.4%
90Lido Island$301,711Los Angeles1,62692.1%2.0%4.6%0.2%
91Mission Hills$301,687Kansas City3,49895.3%1.4%1.8%0.2%
92Central Menlo Park$300,220San Francisco5,49884.9%7.1%3.9%0.2%
94Hewlett Neck$299,344NYC44591.5%2.0%2.0%3.8%
95Bent Tree-Oakdale$298,930Dallas2,29482.7%8.8%4.3%2.9%
96Preston Hollow$296,693Dallas7,00187.1%4.1%5.8%1.0%
97Portola Valley$296,255San Francisco4,35388.2%5.6%4.0%0.3%
98Bradley Hills-Greenwich Forest$295,946DC3,85887.2%4.4%5.1%1.6%
99Gulf Stream$295,901Palm Beach78694.1%0.6%4.3%0.3%

The 83 metro areas that had neighborhoods or suburbs in the 2010 Higley 1000 showed some dramatic changes as well as some surprisingly large changes. At the top of the list, New York City continues to dominate with 228 places. Washington DC saw a dramatic increase from 5th to 2nd place, even outpacing twice as large Los Angeles. This may be reflective of the fact that Washington DC suffered little during the latest Bush Recession. As might be expected Detroit and Cleveland dropped in the metro rankings and fast growing places such as Phoenix and Las Vegas saw large increases that reflect the economic changes in the United States over the last 10 years.

The extraordinary increase in Asians moving into the Higley 1000 neighborhoods is changing the face of many American neighborhoods. A full 21.1% of the residents in San Francisco’s 75 places are Asian-Americans. Surprisingly 14.2% of Houston’s 26 Higley 1000 neighborhoods are also Asian-American. The Miami area’s elite suburbs are now 44.7% Latino and although there is still a heavy presence of Cubans, the real growth in Miami has been from other Latino countries in Central and South America. African-American’s have shown real progress over the last 10 years in moving into the Higley 1000 places, but progress is disconcertingly slow. The Washington DC area has the highest population of affluent Blacks (4.7%).  Pierremont in Shreveport, Louisiana has an abnormally high proportion of African-Americans (19.2%). It is lovely older neighborhood that one would typically associate with “old money”.

Two estate village suburbs on Long Island’s Gold Coast (Brookville and Old Westbury) have relatively high percentages of Blacks due to the presence of two small state universities withing their respective boundaries ( C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University and the State University of New York College at Old Westbury). It was not necessary to name these small colleges, but the ludicrously long names were fun to include in this article.  On a more serious note, college students are counted where they are living on April 1, 2010 (the official day when everyone is counted).


Posted in Exclusive Neighborhoods, Racial Diversity, The US Census on Apr 21st, 2013, 9:56 am by Stephen Higley   

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