NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


September 6, 2006

The suburbs around the nation's capital boast an astounding concentration of highly paid people, according to two lists released by the Census Bureau's American Community Survey, says Terrence Jeffrey, editor of Human Events.

One list, which cites the 10 richest counties with populations greater than 250,000, includes five counties around Washington, D.C.:

  • Loudoun County, Va., topped the larger counties with a median household income of $98,483 -- more than twice the national median.
  • Fairfax County, Va., placed second at $94,610.
  • Howard County, Md., placed third at $91,184.
  • Montgomery County, Md., placed sixth at $82,187.
  • Prince William County, Va., placed seventh at $81,904.

The other shows the 10 richest counties with populations between 65,000 and 250,000, and includes 3 counties around the nation's capital:

  • Calvert County, Md., which placed third at $84,388.
  • Arlington County, Va., which placed sixth at $80,433.
  • Stafford County, Va., which placed ninth at $78,675.

Many cite the enormous flow of federal money through contracts for defense and homeland security, as well as on "human resources," including education, training, social services and health programs, for the large incomes, says Jeffrey.  Moreover, you don't have to be a federal contractor or lobbyist to make a lot of money off the taxpayers.  You can work for the government itself: 

  • Only male self-employed owners of their own incorporated businesses had higher median earnings at $58,468, than either male ($54,054) or female ($46,849) federal employees.
  • Male employees of private companies, whose median earnings were $41,038, lagged behind male employees of nonprofits ($42,875) state governments, ($45,698) local governments ($45,788) and the federal government ($54,054).
  • The median earnings of women working for the federal government, $46,849, exceeded by more than $16,000 the median income of women working for private companies ($30,824).

Source: Terence Jeffrey, "Living it up (on tax dollars) in Loudoun,", September 6, 2006; based upon: Bruce H. Webster Jr. and Alemayehu Bishaw, "Income, Earnings and Poverty Data From the 2005 American Community Survey," U.S. Census Bureau, August 2006.

For Census survey:


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