In every big city in America there is a clear division of wealth and generally speaking, living in any of the 19,355 cities in the United States is an expensive endeavor. So instead of focusing on how expensive it is to live in the big city, we will instead focus our gaze upon some of the most expensive neighborhoods to live in around the country.
The biggest determining factor of what makes some of these neighborhoods centers for wealth aren’t the number of homes over a million dollars, but rather it is the median household income of the area. The reasoning behind this is that a million dollar home can be vacant and doesn’t add wealth to an area unless its occupied or paid for, but a family can be accounted for and adds wealth to an area. The median household income also helps us determine just how well the average family is doing in any given area, and it allows us to get a clearer view of the general wealth in an area as the outliers don’t skew the outcome as much as with other measurement statistics.
So if you're looking to move in the near future and are wanting to move to nice area, consider these U.S. neighborhoods. Although they cost a pretty penny to move to, once settled it is bound to be a nice environment.
11 Bel Air, California
Median household income: $207,938Population: 9,377
Bel Air is Los Angeles’ crown jewel and holds the distinction of having the highest median household income in the “City of Angels.” You don't have to be Will Smith to live like a prince here, but given the cost of living, it would probably wouldn't hurt either. Bel Air was founded in 1932 and ever since its conception it has always been a harbor for wealth. Bel Air has since always been a haven for movie stars, politicians, and businessmen with such notable former residents such as: Ronald Regan, Elon Musk, Alfred Hitchcock, and Elizabeth Taylor. If you want all the glitz and glamour of the old Hollywood lifestyle look no further than the Bel Air.
10 The City of The Village of Indian Hill, Ohio
Median household income: $210,585Population: 5,785
Getting a nod from the Robb Report is never a small feat and when you have the distinction of being called, "the best place to raise a family" from said publication, well, that’s when you start getting some attention. The name may be cumbersome, but it does carry a great deal of weight, metaphorically speaking of course. The village is located about thirteen miles outside of Cincinnati city limits; it was founded in 1904 as a weekend farming getaway for the wealthy, but it wasn’t until the 1920's that it became a true home place for the rich. In 1924, the Carmargo Co. was founded after a group of businessman and friends decided to sub-divide all of the former farmlands into estate plots, and the rest is history. The city sports a diverse cross section of residents who work in industries ranging from finance to entertainment, and that list includes: Peter Frampton, Marvin Lewis, Paul Hackett, Paul Allen , and Mercer Reynolds.
9 Brookville, New York
Median household income: $218,750Population: 3,465
Idyllically nestled in Nassau County, which is ranked by Forbes as one of the wealthiest counties in the nation, is the Village of Brookville New York. The city predates the civil war, but it was officially named Brookville after the civil war, before that it was known as Sucos Wigwam; Brookville officially appeared on maps in 1873. However, it wasn’t until the 1920's that the village truly became a place of prominence for the wealthy. Nowadays, modern day royalty artists and the business elite flock to the small province as Burt Bacharach, Edward Francais Hutton, and Prince Felix of Luxemborg all call Brookville home.
8 Muttontown, New York
Median household income: $221,794Population: 3,497
The eastern neighbor of Brookville and number eight on the list is Muttontown; not to be mistaken for sideburns or a cut of meat that you’d eat at Medieval Times. In actuality Muttontown is a bit more than the two aforementioned items. Historically, the town was indeed known for raising sheep, but it wouldn’t be known as the ritzy place it now is until the 1950's. This New York City neighborhood has become a regular on lists ranking the wealthiest cities in America, it is also another part of New York’s “Gold Coast,” the huge stretch of estates that take up sixteen miles of New York's North Shore. Muttontown has its fair share of celebrities, but some of the more notable people you might see in the area include Alicia Keys, Chad Pennington and Al Trautwig.
7 Hewlett Bay Park, New York
Median household income: $224,375Population: 404
Hewlett Bay Park is another notch on New York’s gold encrusted belt. Hewlett Bay Park is pretty diminutive geographically speaking at least. The neighborhood only takes up about 0.4 square miles and is home to roughly 404 people, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in quality of living. Of the 16 homes for sale on Zillow.com only one was under 1 million dollars, $897,500 to be precise, and the only reason that this particular purchase is so cheap is because it’s an empty lot, for the moment.
6 Atherton, California
Median household income: $228,393Population: 2,513
There’s a reason they call it "The Golden State" aside from the obvious historic reason. Atherton is California’s blooming bastion of affluence, and it is located just North of San Jose. As of 2013 Forbes ranked it as the most expensive zip code in the United States, and for good reason too, especially when you consider the median home price is just over $900,000. Sports heroes and Software execs are known to rub elbows in Atherton and some of the more notable “Athertonites” include Jerry Rice, Cheryl Burke, Meg Whitman, Drew Fuller, and Sheryl Sandberg.
5 Kenilworth, Illinois
Median household income: $229,792Population: 5,987
Kenilworth is the most exclusive neighborhood in the Midwest bar none. Much can be said about the the history of Kenilworth as the foundation for which the neighborhood rests upon is a bit on the exclusionary side. Joseph Sears purchased much of the land that makes up Kenilworth for $150,000 in 1889 and from the onset there was never any doubt in anyone mind that Sears wanted to make this community for the elite. However, he took that notion a step in the extreme direction and essentially outlawed anyone not white or Jewish from purchasing a house there. Much has changed since then thankfully, just don’t expect much in terms of diversity or you’ll be disappointed. Judy Reyes, Christoher George Kennedy, and Liesel Anne Pritzker all currently reside in Kenilworth.
4 Cherry Hills Village, Colorado
Median household income: $231,794Population: 17,166
Cherry Hills Village Colorado is known for its picturesque mansions its gorgeous wooded lots and of course its award winning golf course which has hosted two PGA championships and numerous other golf events. The legendary Arnold Palmer is said to have invented his signature drink at the Cherry Hills Country Club when a bartender that took his job far too seriously refused to mix tea and lemonade. Stories aside, Cherry Hills Village has everything a person of leisure would look for in a home; you are literally minutes from downtown Denver, an exclusive golf course, and some truly magnificent homes, and on a clear day you can see the Rocky mountains in all of their splendor. Life is truly sweet in Cherry Hills.
3 Scarsdale, New York
Median household income: $232,422Population: 13,165
Scarsdale, New York, is the birthplace of the crash diet “The Scarsdale Medical Diet,” which eventually turned into a melodrama of sorts when the author of the book was murdered by his angry lover. Of course Scarsdale is more than an episode of Murder, She Wrote, which is why it’s on this list. Scarsdale is known for its excellent schools making it a perfect place to start a family. It is also has the honor of being the most diverse place to live on this list; in recent years it has become a relative hot spot for Japanese expatriates working in the U.S. There were and still are far too many celebrities to list living in and from Scarsdale. The neighborhood has been mentioned on shows like Friends, Entourage, Taxi, and Seinfeld.
2 Short Hills, New Jersey
Median household income: $235,799Population: 6,914
Short Hills New Jersey has a big small town sort of feel to it. The area has become a commuter city over time as it is located 20 miles from NYC and very few local businesses in the area could support a family who wants to live in this overwhelmingly affluent area. You will pay for quiet suburbs, and the “small town” feel, as the median house price for the area is $1.75 million. The town’s name is actually an accurate depiction of the area’s topography, and the Native American’s in the area had a similar name for the region. You never know who you might run into as Anne Hathaway, Patti Stanger, and Peter Van Sant all live in Short Hills.
1 Chevy Chase Section 5, Maryland
Median household income: $250,000+ (allegedly $399,000)Population: 658
The Chevy Chase area of Maryland is an area full of DC professionals and it shows; section five being the smallest section but also the wealthiest. The sharp incline of income is almost staggering as it has risen 63% since 2000. The area is amongst the healthiest, and most secure places to live in the nation and not much is known about the area as the residents mostly keep to themselves, and maintain a level of privacy that is impressive in this day and age. There are almost no commercial areas within the neighborhood and the way most residents use to describe the area is community-centric; a place to start and raise a family.