Six-figure zip codes
Here are the communities with the largest proportion of residents earning $100,000 or more.
November 18, 2004: 10:22 AM EST
By Les Christie, CNN/Money staff writer

Click to see list

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - You've driven through some of these places, the bucolic, leafy suburbs where every house is huge, every driveway circles to the entry portico, and every yard is kept manicured more neatly than your Aunt Tilly's parlor.

You think, "Boy this must be one wealthy part of town."

But is it where they really make the big bucks? See if it makes the list of highest earning zip codes, judged by the percentage of households with incomes above $100,000.

No. 1 is zip code 60043 in Kenilworth, Illinois.

According to real estate information provider OnBoard LLC, which created this list based on statistics collected from government and commercial sources earlier this year, nearly 83 percent of Kenilworth households will earn $100,000 in 2004.

The town just north of Chicago scored several points higher than the runner up, zip code 22039 in the Washington suburb of Fairfax Station, Virginia. More than 79 percent of Fairfax Station households will break the $100,000 barrier this year.

In third place was zip code 22066, also in Fairfax County, the town of Great Falls, where 78.66 percent of households earned $100,000 or more.

The only zip from the U.S. heartland to make the top 30 was 66221 in Overland Park, Kansas, outside of Kansas City, which finished 10th at 74.5.

Surprisingly missing

Neither 90210, the zip Hollywood made famous, nor any zip code in the posh Los Angeles-area neighborhoods of Brentwood, Bel Air, or Santa Monica made the list, perhaps because these communities are far less homogenous than those that did.

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OnBoard's director of content services, Peter Goldey, points out that, "Many high income neighborhoods fall out of the top rankings because they share postal delivery with more moderate income communities."

Zip code 10021 on the Upper East Side of New York is a case in point. It possibly has more millionaires than anywhere else in the area, if not the country. It borders Central Park and includes stratospherically priced residential streets such as Fifth, Madison, and Park Avenues. The average apartment sells for more than $1 million.

But it shares the neighborhood with many rental units (most zips in the top thirty had an overwhelmingly homeowner population) and a large number of less affluent residents.

According to Goldey, "Million dollar buildings are side by side with rent stabilized properties housing lower income tenants." 10021 is not just old money and investment bankers.

The top performers are very homogenous. Few have any substantial minority population. All were in the suburbs.

Thirteen of the top thirty, led by Short Hills, New Jersey (76.7 percent), Purchase, New York (75.73), and Bedford, New York (74.82), were in the New York metropolitan area.

Four of the top thirty were within commuting distance of the nation's capital and five were in or near San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

77094 (72.49) was the sole zip to make the list whose boundaries fall within the borders of a major city. But 77094 is at the far western edge of Houston, a city that has grown to nearly 600 square miles (almost twice the size of New York City) by, in part, annexing adjacent suburbs.

In most other places, this neighborhood would be way out in a separate township.

Just because household income is high in these places, it doesn't mean the residents are better off; in many of these zip codes living expensives are very high.

To find out how much a six-figure salary stretches in these locations, see our cost-of-living calculator.  Top of page

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