The 2010 Higley 1000

The 2010 Higley 1000

The results of the Higley 1000 for 2010 have finally been tabulated down to the block group level. Many thanks to for doing what the Census Bureau could not accomplish: an easily usable database combined with a detailed and accurate mapping component.


My data is derived from the American Community Survey 2006-2010. My methodology consisted of aggregating contiguous block groups with a mean income over $200,000. Block groups are subdivisions of Census tracts. The whole country is covered by these geographical tracts. A typical Census tract will have 5,000 residents and be made up of 5 block groups of 1,000 residents each. Theoretically, the boundaries should be drawn to group people of similar socio-economic status. The boundaries are meant to stay the same from Census to Census to be able to study the change in neighborhood characteristics over time. A small change in boundaries, particularly if apartments, condominiums are included, can cause a neighborhoods income to plummet. The neighborhood that was number one in 2000, Holmby Hills in the Platinum Triangle had it’s boundaries redrawn to take in smaller homes in Westwood and hundreds of so-so condo high-rises on Wilshere. The redrawn boundaries have caused this neighborhood, now called Westwood-Holmby Hills to fall to number 677th !

The CSA or Combined Statistical Area

The general metro area definition I have used is the Census’ Combined Statistical Areas (or CSA). Therefore “San Francisco” includes the entire San Francisco Bay Area: the suburbs of Oakland, and San Jose are part of San Francisco CSA. One notable exception: I broke the Washington DC-Baltimore CSA into component metro areas. Yes, there no longer is much left of the Maryland countryside between the two cities, but they are so different in character and identity that I broke the CSA in two for statistical purposes. Although the three counties that make up the Miami CSA (Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach) are very dissimilar, I have left them as one metro area.

The new highest income neighborhood  is Mid Country West and Mid Country East in Greenwich, Connecticut. As seen in the map below (Figure One) it is found in the heart of Greenwich, Connecticut’s inland estate area. Some realtors call this area the “Golden Triangle”, although the borders are nebulous. My February  first (2014) perusal of listings for this neighborhood  found 48 homes for sale with an average asking price of $6,666,000. The highest priced estate in the neighborhood was a gorgeous 13,000 square foot home for $20,000,000. This is where you live if you run a Hedge Fund and consider yourself a Master of the Universe.

The low end ($1,100,000) was for a 1,600 square foot, 4 bedroom, one bath clapboard house. What a dump! Location, Location, Location. This house would be free in Detroit and go for $70,000 in vast swathes of America. Lots in Mid Country West start at about $1 million.

Figure 1: the Golden Triangle, Greenwich, Connecticut: America’s Highest Income Neighborhood

View North Central Greenwich Back Country - The Golden Triangle in a larger map

As in the previous Higley 1000, small elite suburbs whether incorporated or unincorporated (known as Census Designated Places) are well represented. The highest ranked village is a tiny place north of Fort Worth called Westlake (with a population under just 1,000). I decided to make 400 residents the minimum number to qualify a neighborhood or village for the Higley 1000. Hunts Point on Seattle’s Gold Coast just missed with 394 residents. The highest mean income for a place regardless of resident population (132) was Fisher Island off the tip of Miami Beach. Although the mean income is listed as $716,554. It is probably wrong (see my article on this fiasco elsewhere in the Higley 1000).

Fisher Island illustrates the huge margins of error in areas with small populations. That is why it is not too important to dwell on the actual ranking in the Higley 1000. Remember the income statistics are self-reported and no one checks with the IRS. Secondly, the way the American Community Survey is structured, the most a household can claim as income is approximately $2 million dollars. The point of my website is to highlight the progress of integrating our “best” neighborhoods. My point of view is that this is that integration is a positive and inevitable result of our country’s changing demographic makeup. Over the years I have received any number of racist comments on my blog in response to my writings. If they are not too inflammatory, I publish them. The ones that are written in a drunken stupor are deleted, lol!

What I will say is that if you take the whole sample of over 2,000,000 people in 1,000 neighborhoods, the margin of error is much smaller… particularly for the racial data. For ease of categorization I have decided to use the term “White” for “Non-Hispanic White” (a very clunky, if accurate term); Black for African-American; Latino for Hispanic, and “Asian” for the multitudes of ethnicities from that continent. Apologies in advance to those that are offended by my terminology!


The racial makeup of the Higley 1000 continues to evolve to look like the rest of the country. The highest mean income neighborhoods have had large increases in the number of Asians and Latinos at the expense of Whites . Blacks increased their representation in the Higley 1000 (1.0% to 1.7%), however, they continue to lag behind their share of the population and share of high income households.

Between 2000 and 2010 all other groups that don’t fit into the four main categories tripled their presence in the Higley 1000 (from 1% in 2000 to 2.9% in 2010). This rapidly growing segment consists of Native Americans, Pacific Islanders and Aleutian Islanders and most importantly, those that are of mixed race.

The number of people living in the Higley 1000 (2,048,131) consists of .6% of the country’s population in 2010 (308,745,538). Table One shows that the White population dropped from 91.0% in 2000 82.9% to in 2010. Asian-Americans improved to 7.9% of Higley 1000 residents compared to 4.8% in 2000. Latino’s representation jumped from 2.2% to 4.6% in the Higley 1000. Although the Miami-Dade continues to dominate the list of wealthy Latino neighborhoods, there are elite Latino neighborhoods popping up in San Antonio. The Cubans of Miami-Dade are not only doing well, they are being augmented by the continued migration of wealthy families from places as diverse as Honduras, Venezuela, and Argentina. The new islands of Latino wealth in San Antonio and Corpus Christi are of Mexican ethnicity.

As I sifted through thousands of Block Groups to create the highest income 1,000 neighborhoods, there were a number of striking trends that blossomed over the ten years between 2000 and 2010.

– The striking increase in the number of Block Groups found in central cities. Gentrification has finally reached a point where many of our richest urban neighborhoods have squeezed out the last of the poor and middle classes. The real estate has simply become to expensive to not put it to it’s highest rent production potential. The jump in the number of high income Manhattan block groups was remarkable. Whether it was on the fringes of the already well-to-do block groups on the Upper East Side and Upper West Side, or the myriad of Block Groups scattered through Soho, Tribeca, Greenwich Village, Chelsea, Murray Hill, Turtle Bay and right on down to Downtown and Battery City Park. Chicago, San Francisco, and Boston all saw new representation in their urban cores. Similarly, suburban cities such as Los Angeles and Dallas and Houston also saw there “best” neighborhoods and those adjacent rejuvenated through teardown epidemics. It appears as though some elites have reached the limit as to how far into the hinterland they willing to live in America’s largest cities. Another factor that has slowed the march into exurbia has been the neglect of highway system by state and federal governments leading to ever worsening grid-lock and the poor condition of many of the nation’s highways.

-I was surprised to see how many older suburbs, usually well situated in regard to mass transit, moved onto the Higley 1000. Here again, teardowns have had a huge effect on close in suburbs with good housing stock and large lots. Hinsdale, Illinois comes to mind as an already affluent community that has seen the widespread demolition of whole neighborhoods to create “cheek to jaw” McMansions. Preston Hollow, nestled in the heart of Dallas is another good example of an already elite neighborhood that has seen hundreds of teardowns where 3,000 square foot houses are replaced with 8,000 square foot mini-mansions more suited to the lifestyle of the nouveau riche.

– The sudden appearance of what were formerly second home communities on the  2010 Higley 1000 was unexpected. Usually, no matter how posh a place such as Southampton or Kiawah Island, South Carolina are, the local year round service people so greatly outnumbered those that chose to claim the mansions as their “first” home,  meant that the mean income numbers were very low and typical of service communities. The last ten years have seen huge numbers of people deciding to make what were formerly seasonal towns of wealth into permanent homes. This trend is very noticeable in Florida where neighborhoods that still are dominated by seasonal homes have made an appearance of the Higley 1000.

– Block groups that not only are rural but not part of any metro area was another surprise. From Georgia’s Lake Oconee to Nantucket’s Historic District and several California wine country Block Groups, I realize I’m stretching the term “neighborhood”  to include vast expanses of second homes and wineries.

Metro Area Changes from 2000 to 2010

The New York City Metro Area continues to dominate the list of the Higley 1000. In 2010, 234 of the neighborhoods are found throughout the CSA area encompassing wide swathes of New Jersey, all of Long Island, plus the usual elite neighborhoods of Westchester County and Fairfield County in Connecticut. This is roughly similar to the number of neighborhoods in the New York City area ten years ago (219).

The number of neighborhoods in Washington DC vaulted from 68 in 2000 to 102 in 2010. These gains came particularly at the expense of declining Midwestern cities (Chicago being the exception). Cleveland and Detroit particularly saw there standings fall from 2000 to 2010.

Table Two lists the Metro Areas with the largest numbers of neighborhoods. Notice the particularly large numbers of Asians in Santa Clara County’s  Higley 1000 neighborhoods (27.9%). Santa Clara County is the heart of Silicon Valley, although the boundaries of Silicon Valley are nebulous at best. The large number of Latinos found in Miami-Dade County’s Higley 1000 neighborhoods (41.8%) are approximately 2/3 Cuban and 1/3 from a large variety of other Latin American countries. The growth of the Latino population in the wealthiest neighborhoods of Miami-Dade has begun to spill over into Broward County, but Palm Beach County’s large array of Higley 1000 neighborhoods remains non-Hispanic White for the most part. Palm Beach County’s Latino Higley 1000 neighborhoods are only 4.9% Latino.

TABLE ONE: The Higley 1000 by Metro Area and Race

Metro Area   Number
Higley 1000
PopulationWhite %Asian %Latino %Black %
United States (2010)308,745,53872.4%4.8%16.3%12.6%
Higley 1000 Total (2010)10002,048,13182.9%7.9%4.6%1.7%
Higley 1000 Total (2000)10001,940,457*91.0%4.8%2.2%1.0%
New York CityTOTAL:234664,77183.8%7.8%4.3%1.8%
New Jersey57163,88783.0%12.5%3.7%2.0%
Essex County1336,89378.9%11.0%3.5%4.2%
Bergen County927,79981.8%10.2%4.3%1.7%
Morris County627,18789.5%4.7%3.3%0.9%
Somerset County1025,36672.6%17.2%4.1%1.7%
New York City19143,37180.4%8.8%5.4%2.0%
Long Island4787,75183.4%8.8%3.9%2.2%
Los AngelesTOTAL:91199,38677.6%10.0%6.3%1.4%
Los Angeles County55140,62777.1%10.2%6.1%1.5%
Orange County3350,91078.9%9.5%6.6%0.7%
Washington DCTOTAL:102192,48077.8%11.0%4.7%2.9%
District of Columbia1222,69880.8%4.8%5.9%4.4%
San FranciscoTOTAL:61127,27170.0%19.8%4.5%0.8%
Santa Clara County1949,33861.5%27.9%4.6%0.9%
San Mateo County1536,38276.4%14.6%4.1%0.5%
Fort Worth
Palm Beach1919,68892.0%1.9%4.9%0.9%
Minneapolis-St. Paul1419,95292.8%2.6%1.8%0.8%
San Diego1017,60177.8%5.2%6.3%0.7%
St. Louis1117,09390.0%4.4%2.0%1.9%
San Antonio511,75171.9%2.5%21.0%0.8%
Las Vegas711,36179.7%8.7%5.8%1.8%
* estimated

The Elite 100

The following list is the highest income neighborhoods and their racial make up. The 100 highest income neighborhoods are Whiter (85.6%), and have fewer Asians, Latinos, and Blacks. The only Elite 100 place with a significant Black population (Brookville, New York on Long Island) is a statistical anomaly due to the presence of Long Island University’s Post campus. Nineteen of the Elite 100 neighborhoods are more than 10% Asian. All of the neighborhoods that have over 10% of their population listed as Latino are in the Miami area. The large percentage of Latinos in Southampton Beach are live-in caretakers for the huge seasonal homes that dominate the village. The proof for this supposition is that the median income for Latino’s is 1/3 the income of Whites, Asians, and Blacks. The relatively large number of Latinos found around the Burning Tree Country Club in Greenwich, CT (12.9%) is interesting… the income stats show that the Latino incomes are roughly the same as other ethnic groups around the Burning Tree Country Club…. evidently this subset of Latinos have found the keys to the kingdom that is Greenwich.

TABLE TWO: The Elite 100: 2010

1The Golden Triangle$614,242Greenwich, CT87.3%7.4%2.5%1.9%
2Bradley Manor-Longwood$599,440Bethesda, MD80.0%8.4%5.0%3.3%
3Potomac Manors$599,331Potomac ,MD78.1%17.7%5.7%1.3%
4Old Cutler-Hammock Oaks$596,851Coral Gbls, FL47.9%1.4%47.7%1.5%
5Carderock-The Palisades$595,669Potomac, MD73.6%16.1%5.6%3.0%
6East Lake Shore Drive$593,454Chicago93.5%1.3%2.3%2.5%
7Swinks Mill-Dominion Res$562,596McLean, VA59.8%16.8%3.5%2.2%
8Cameo Shores-Hghlds$554,721Newport Bch79.8%8.8%3.2%0.2%
9Pelican Hill-Pelican Crest$549,659Newport Bch67.3%23.0%4.3%0.4%
10Greenhaven$540,403Rye, NY88.5%4.3%4.8%0.9%
11Gable Estates-Tahiti$531,447Coral Gables42.9%3.7%51.6%0.2%
12Westlake$526,590Westlake, TX82.8%9.4%4.8%2.5%
13Hills Hghts-Brewer Sub$519,024Hillsborough70.5%12.8%2.1%0.4%
14Murray Hill-Heathcote$516,671Scarsdale83.8%8.6%3.6%2.0%
15Greenway Park$511,549Dallas94.6%1.5%3.2%0.0%
16Round Hill-North Greenwich$510,848Greenwich97.5%0.0%2.4%0.1%
17Hunting Valley$507,214Cleveland94.3%1.1%2.7%0.6%
18Beverly Park-Beverly Crest$502,440Los Angeles80.5%6.5%4.8%3.3%
19McLean Ctry Ests-Glendale$498,944McLean81.0%10.7%4.8%0.7%
20Jupiter Island$493,705Martin Cty88.5%2.6%6.9%2.0%
21Diablo$492,897Contra Costa89.4%4.7%3.4%0.0%
22Snapper-Hammock$481,124Coral Gables65.0%1.6%32.3%0.2%
23Everglades Club$467,715Palm Bch89.9%0.8%6.3%1.4%
24Chevy Chase Village$466,049Chevy Ch Vill93.4%1.6%2.8%0.5%
26Chastain Park$460,280Buckhead95.1%1.8%1.8%0.6%
27Northfield Central$459,275North Shore92.9%2.5%2.5%0.2%
28Sterling Ridge$454,965Harrison91.7%2.6%2.6%1.4%
29Fruitvale$451,448Saratoga, CA67.2%25.6%2.7%0.5%
30Corona del Mar Beach$441,627Newport Bch86.4%3.8%5.8%0.3%
31Hillsborough Oaksbridge$439,682Hillsborough76.2%16.6%3.1%0.8%
32CC of New Canaan$438,343New Canaan92.8%2.9%2.0%0.5%
33Paradise Cay$437,226Tiburon80.8%8.9%5.7%0.7%
34Westchester Country Club$433,383Harrison90.8%4.6%2.7%0.9%
35North Darien$431,428Fairfield Cty92.4%2.9%3.0%0.6%
36Coleytown$426,556Westport, CT91.7%3.1%2.7%0.9%
37Burr Ridge Club$426,442Chicago85.5%9.0%2.8%1.4%
38Canoe Hill-Brushy Ridge$426,143New Canaan93.1%2.6%2.5%0.3%
39Douglass Hill$416,717Arlington, VA93.3%2.2%2.3%0.3%
40Port Royal$415,286Naples, FL96.1%1.2%1.9%0.1%
42Clapboard Hill-Marvin R$409,895New Canaan90.3%2.9%2.6%1.3%
43North Castle$408,545Westchester88.0%4.6%4.4%1.3%
44La Jolla Farms-Torrey Pines$408,266San Diego79.6%8.5%5.4%1.0%
45Southampton Beach$407,601Hamptons80.9%2.4%11.6%0.6%
46Rumson Central$406,932Monmouth95.2%1.5%2.1%0.3%
47Sands Point$404,670Long Island84.7%8.2%4.7%0.7%
48Cong Forest Ests$404,394Potomac81.9%7.3%5.3%2.6%
49West Englewood$403,360Teaneck90.1%1.5%3.1%4.2%
50Preserve at Greenwood Vill$401,592Denver91.3%2.5%3.6%0.1%
51Foxcroft-Morrocroft Farms$401,529Charlotte94.2%2.6%1.1%1.0%
52Brookville$400,113Long island71.7%10.1%6.3%10.7%
53The Hill Section$399,820Man Beach82.2%7.8%5.2%1.0%
54Kingswood-Randall Mill$399,775Buckhead91.0%3.7%2.2%2.0%
55Winnetka Lakefront$398,688Chicago92.9%3.0%2.0%0.3%
56Babson Park$398,325Wellesley70.7%13.3%7.4%3.4%
57Larchmont Manor$397,279Westchester92.2%2.4%3.1%0.5%
58The Heights and West End$396,574Bergen Cty86.4%7.3%3.3%0.5%
59Beverly Hills 90210$395,734Beverly Hills82.3%4.9%6.4%1.3%
60Skokie Country Club$395,206Glencoe, IL94.5%2.2%1.4%0.2%
61Near West End-Lock Green$393,629Richmond96.9%0.4%0.4%1.1%
62DC Ranch$391,068Scottsdale89.9%3.5%3.2%0.5%
63Pine Hill$390,583New Canaan92.8%2.7%2.4%0.2%
64W Lake Oaks-Bee Crk Terr$388,436Austin86.8%2.8%5.3%0.6%
65Stanwich Club-Conyers Fm$388,282Greenwich86.4%7.8%3.6%1.2%
66Fox Meadow-Greenacres$387,493Scarsdale86.9%11.9%2.5%1.9%
67Harbor Island-Linda Island$385,666Newport Bch89.7%3.7%4.1%0.1%
68Oyster Bay Cove$385,230Long Island86.9%8.5%2.2%1.5%
69Westover Hills$385,047Ft. Worth95.6%1.8%1.2%0.1%
70Hidden Hills$383,731Los Angeles87.4%2.1%6.6%1.9%
71Linden Park-Lindenwood$383,356Omaha86.7%8.3%1.0%2.2%
72Town & Country South$382,173St. Louis81.9%12.2%2.6%2.6%
73Hunters Creek Village$382,168Houston86.7%6.0%4.5%1.1%
74Sunny Ridge-Highfield$382,054Harrison90.7%2.2%4.2%0.5%
75Talmadge Hill$381,648New Canaan93.9%3.2%1.5%0.3%
77Cherry Hills Country Club$380,379Denver91.6%1.1%3.3%1.0%
78Belle Haven-Indian Harbor$380,036Greenwich86.6%4.4%6.7%1.0%
80Old Field$378,848Long Island87.0%6.3%2.8%0.9%
81Windmill Ranch Estates$378,797Ft. Lauder.68.1%7.2%15.6%5.8%
82Smith Ridge-Rusco Ridge$377,274New Canaan93.1%4.4%0.9%0.7%
83Ingleside-Old Dom Gardens$376,004McLean71.2%18.8%5.0%1.3%
84Chestnut Hill$375,837Brookline, MA76.1%14.0%4.7%2.5%
85Murdoch Woods$375,748Westchester83.2%10.2%3.9%1.0%
86Park Hill$375,692Denver86.2%2.2%3.4%4.4%
87The Burning Tree Club$373,904Bethesda77.6%11.1%5.2%2.5%
88Woodside Ests-Peacock Sta$373,813McLean69.9%20.3%3.6%2.8%
89Rolling Hills$373,524Palos Verd P.74.1%16.2%5.5%1.5%
90Lenox Hill$373,107Manhattan87.8%4.0%4.8%1.1%
91Hills of Summ-Corta Bella$372,730Las Vegas81.9%7.7%5.5%1.7%
92Ward Ests-Sunset Hill W$372,684Kansas City94.8%1.1%1.3%0.3%
93Burning Tree CC$372,675Greenwich81.6%5.6%12.9%0.0%
94Manalapan$371,069Palm Beach89.9%1.2%4.7%3.9%
95Alapocas$370,420Wilm, DE93.1%2.1%1.2%2.2%
96Plandome$369,328Long Island92.8%3.6%2.2%0.8%
97Rancho Santa Fe$369,026San Diego Cty89.4%2.8%5.6%0.3%
98River Oaks$368,191Houston87.0%3.6%5.9%1.6%
99St. Louis Country Club$367,750Ladue, MO96.6%1.9%1.2%0.1%
100Ancala North$367,026Scottsdale87.1%4.3%5.2%0.9%
Posted in Exclusive Neighborhoods, General, Racial Diversity, The US Census on Feb 17th, 2014, 12:29 pm by Stephen Higley   

61 Responses to “The 2010 Higley 1000”

  1. April 15th, 2014 | 9:42 pm

    […] to compile a list of the top 1,000 richest neighborhoods in the county. Higley explains his complete methodology on his website. […]

  2. Derrick
    April 17th, 2014 | 11:53 am

    “The idea behind my site is to look at racial integration… getting bogged down as to rank with such large margins of error is a fools errand.”

    Thanks for pointing that out Stephen. After reviewing Table One that is exactly what I zeroed in on, racial diversity. As a Black Male it is interesting to how small of a percentage Blacks contribute to the make up of the metro areas listed and more importantly the make up in higher income neighborhoods.

  3. April 18th, 2014 | 1:31 am

    […] to compile a list of the top 1,000 richest neighborhoods in the county. Higley explains his complete methodology on his website. […]

  4. Jim
    July 22nd, 2014 | 8:40 pm

    I would like to state that two “micro” communities in MI are as special as anywhere in America. First is Lake Twp. In Grosse Pointe Shores where the Edsel and Eleanor Ford estate (30,000+ sq. ft.), the William Clay Ford estate (25,000 sq. ft.) and the Art VanElslander estate (28,000 sq. ft.) hold guard along with other gracious estates between Ford Cove and the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club on Lake St. Clair. Also, Provencal Rd., on the northern border of the CC of Detroit, has an array of unique estates running from 8,000 to 15,000 sq. ft. It is one of the prettiest, serene and private drives to be found in the country.

  5. September 27th, 2014 | 11:39 am

    Your survey and report include the wealthiest mean incomes. I believe Red Mountain in Aspen, Co. would be included if you could include investment income from real estate, stocks etc. Hard to get those statistics.
    At 1200 dollars per sq. foot average housing sales there are very wealthy people living there Aspen could rank in the top twenty. It would be interesting to know the racial breakdown also.

  6. September 29th, 2014 | 8:52 am

    […] He aggregated contiguous block groups (subdivisions of Census tracts) with a mean income over $200,000. You can read his complete methodology here. […]

  7. AMarie
    April 12th, 2015 | 5:33 am

    Too funny. I wonder what percentage of visitors to this site are looking for information about racial makeup of wealthy communities, and how many are here because they’re looking for one more list to confirm that they are, in fact, the most awesome. Based on the comments, I’m guessing lots of the latter. (Hey! What about me?)

  8. November 3rd, 2015 | 1:00 pm

    […] Board is fining Beverly Hills just $61,000, which is a drop in the bucket for a city that holds a mean household income of around […]

  9. Stephen Higley
    May 17th, 2016 | 2:09 pm

    Indian Hill is 10 times as large s Hunting Valley. Still, the mean income of Hunting Valley is much higher than the Village of Indian Hill.

  10. December 23rd, 2016 | 12:01 pm

    Appreciating the hard work you put into your blog and detailed information you
    provide. It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t
    the same out of date rehashed material. Excellent read!
    I’ve saved your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to
    my Google account.

  11. December 12th, 2017 | 6:16 pm

    […] part of his studies, Higley ranks the top 1,000 wealthiest neighborhoods in the country by aggregating contiguous block groups presented in the U.S. Census American […]

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