Some of the wealthiest towns in the country are suburbs of America's largest cities. Studies show that more than 80% of the workers of the 25 small wealthiest towns, commute outside of their place of residence for work. For example, Scarsdale, New York, is about a 30-minute ride along the Metro-North Railroad to Grand Central Station. Most residents of this suburb in Westchester County that sits about an hour outside of downtown Manhattan, commute to their high-paying jobs in the nearby metropolis.
According to the township's website, the town was once the estate of the 31st mayor of New York City, Caleb Healthcoate. Today, stars like Liza Minelli call Scarsdale home. This year Scarsdale surprised everybody once again when it was ranked as the richest town in the U.S., boasting a median household income of $242,782, a median home value of $1.23 million, and a 2.3 percent poverty rate.
The financial news and opinion company 24/7 Wall St. determined the richest and poorest towns in the U.S. based on household income data from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey. According to the report, the average American household earns approximately $54,000 annually. That means that half of the people living in Scarsdale make more than that amount and half make less. Scarsdale is the only Hudson Valley municipality selected among 25 locations ranked nationally.
Educational attainment is one of the main determinants of area wealth. Compared to workers without a college education, those American with a bachelor's degree earn approximately $23,000 more a year, while those with a graduate degree earn almost $40,000 more a year. In 23 of the 25 richest US towns, more than 70% of adults have a bachelor's degree. In 20 of the 25 poorest towns, college attainment rate is less than 15% of adults. Around 87% of Scarsdale adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
And at the other end of the spectrum is Centreville, Illinois, clocking in at the last place as the nation’s poorest town with a median household income of $16,553, a median home value of $49,600, a 47.8 percent poverty rate and only 10.9 percent of adults with a college degree. The typical household in Scarsdale earns roughly 15 times the income of the typical household in Centreville, Illinois, America's poorest town.