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Northern NJ Dominates America’s Wealthiest Counties

by: Sue Adler
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Data compiled by the Census Bureau has revealed the wealthiest counties in America, and three of the counties listed in the top ten can be found in the northern part of New Jersey.

Many factors are involved with determining the wealth of a county, as well as the characteristics that help them to achieve this distinction.  Some counties contain Fortune 500 companies, some are popular vacation destinations, and others contain vast amounts of upscale retail space that help to provide jobs and high incomes to residents.  However, the most important factor seems to be the proximity to a major metropolitan center.  Oftentimes, the income of a county is dependent upon the nearest large city, with a majority of residents commuting to jobs there and driving the local economy.

Curious what counties made it to the top of the list?  Read on for a glimpse of the top five.

5.  Hunterdon County, NJ

The average income of Hunterdon County comes in at just over $130,000.  Located in the northwestern part of New Jersey, this county is between Morris County (number 9 on the list) and Somerset County (number 7 on the list).  Hunterdon County boasts a more rural landscape than those counties in Central Jersey, and it’s become a destination for fishing and hunting white tail deer.  Residents of this county commute to both New York City and Philadelphia.

4.  Fairfax County, VA

Residents of Fairfax County earn, on average, approximately $132,000 annually.  Fairfax is located near the nation’s capital, and is home to the CIA and companies such as Capital One, Sallie Mae and Volkswagen.  The county also has three large shopping centers and includes the unincorporated area of Tysons Corner.  Tysons Corner was the 12th largest employment center in 2008 according to the New York Times.

3.  Loudon County, VA

The average pay of residents of this county is just over $134,000.  Loudon County is a historic suburb of Washington, DC.  Loudon is home to several vineyards and is the headquarters for Verizon Business, Telos Corp., MCI and others.

2.  Pitkin County, CO

Living in Pitkin County will bring you home an average annual salary of approximately $134,200.  This is a mountainous county in the center of Colorado with less than 20,000 residents.  The county seat of Pitkin is Aspen, home of the upscale ski resort.  The luxury ski chalets of Aspen makes this the most expensive real estate market in the US, with the average home price coming in at $6 million.

1.  Nantucket, MA

Nantucket County boasts the wealthiest residents, with annual pay averaging at almost $138,000.  The island of Nantucket, located south of Cape Cod off the coast of Massachusetts, is an upscale vacation destination and a summer colony.  The entire island is historic, with many structures dating before the Civil War.  It also boasts a cobblestone Main Street and has the oldest working windmill in the country.  Many celebrities have homes on Nantucket including Tommy Hilfiger, Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, and John Kerry and Teresa Heinz.



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