Alexandria is America’s Third Wealthiest City

by Lee Hernly, Editor

While many Alexandrians probably don’t feel very rich these days — with a chilled economy and a massive stock market meltdown crimping our style — new Census Bureau data indicates that we are indeed rich. Very rich.

Yes, the city has it all––a very rich way of life which includes great schools, incredible history, terrific restaurants and a quality of life which many say can’t be beat. But it’s also the nation’s third wealthiest city, according to a new study by American City Business Journals Inc., publisher of 42 metropolitan business newspapers nationwide.

American City ranked 261 U.S. cities by the wealth of their residents using seven categories including per capita income, households with incomes of at least $200,000 and median home value. All of the cities have at least 100,000 people.

The wealthiest city on the list was Arlington, our neighbor to the north. Alexandria placed third in the survey, which among attributes cited are highly-educated residents (one-third of adults hold graduate degrees), employed in high-paying government, law or lobbying jobs in the nation’s capital or in Northern Virginia’s high-tech industry.

While California is home to five of the top 10––Thousand Oaks (2nd), Irvine, (6th), San Francisco (7th), Huntington Beach (9th), and Sunnyvale (10th), others cited by American City were the Chicago suburb of Naperville, Ill.; Stamford, Ct. and Scottsdale, Ariz.

Among the category leaders, the cities with the highest per capita income were Arlington ($53,543), Alexandria ($52,530) and Scottsdale ($48,293). The cities with the most households with incomes of at least $200,000 are Naperville (15%), Arlington (13.5%) and Thousand Oaks (12.8%). The top three in median home value are San Francisco ($806,700), Huntington Beach ($767,400) and Berkeley, Calif. ($752,500).

Cities on the list were ranked by an overall wealth score. Arlington’s score was 14.97, and only 107 cities had a positive wealth score. California has 56 cities with positive scores, or 52% of the total.

The survey’s data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2006 American Community Survey. The entire list is found at www.bizjournals.com/specials/pages/190.html.

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