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TMFBro (< 20)

Poorest and wealthiest counties in America



November 23, 2009 – Comments (4)

Over on the New York Times Economix blog, there's an interactive map (based on Census Bureau data) that shows the median income of every county in America. From the post:

"The county with the highest poverty rate is Ziebach County, S.D., where 54.4 percent of residents live below the official poverty line. The median income in Ziebach County is $25,592.

"The counties with the lowest poverty rates are Douglas County, Colo.; Los Alamos County, N.M.; Loudon County, Va.; and Falls Church County, Va. In all of these places about 3.1 percent of residents live in poverty, and the median income hovers around $100,000 (in Loudon, it’s $111,582)."

Fool HQ is in Alexandria, Va., close to Loudon and Falls Church. As suburbs of Washington, D.C., the higher incomes have a lot to do with the government, and the industries -- and lobbyists -- that rely on it. I recall hearing once that Fairfax County, Va. (my home county) has the highest concentration of people with graduate degrees in the country, which I suppose also has something to do with the higher incomes.

But before you decide to move here, make sure you check out the cost of living. 

You can do that by using a site like Sperling's Best Places. I compared the cost of living in Dupree, S.D., to the cost of living in Leesburg, Va. (the county seats of Ziebach and Loudon counties, respectively). The verdict: Housing is much more expensive here in Virginia, whereas everything else is pretty close. Utilities are actually higher in Dupree.

Check out the Economix blog to see where you stand compared to your county-mates. 

Robert Brokamp is the senior advisor for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. 








4 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On November 23, 2009 at 1:55 PM, TMFBro (< 20) wrote:

Reading this again, it occurs to me -- in one of those "duh!" moments -- that there is no such thing as Falls Church County. They must be referring to the City of Falls Church, or Fairfax County.

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#2) On November 23, 2009 at 2:24 PM, eldemonio (97.77) wrote:

Cost of living differences can make or break you.  I ended up not accepting an offer in Vienna, VA because of the high cost of living.  Better job, more opportunity, living in a box.

The cost of living calculator linked below is a great tool to give you an idea of what it takes to move to a new city. 

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#3) On November 23, 2009 at 2:35 PM, FleaBagger (27.51) wrote:

Loudoun County. Two u's.

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#4) On November 23, 2009 at 2:38 PM, FleaBagger (27.51) wrote:

Also, I doubt it costs $26,000/yr to live a decent life in Ziebach County, SD. These poverty lines are arbitrary and political.

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