Zip Skinny #1: The 100 Richest Zip Codes

Today Very Short List introduced me to the best thing since The Economist put out the 2004 edition of Pocket World In Figures: Zip Skinny.  (If you don’t know about VSL, check it out.  They send 1 mailer a day that notifies you about something awesome.)

From VSL: Mark Nash, an amateur programmer in Dallas, has launched Zipskinny, a website that renders all that data user-friendly. Zipskinny makes the numbers from the 2000 census searchable by ZIP code, so you can easily see how you compare with your neighbors when it comes to marital status, age, income bracket, even education.

What we’re talking about is an endless font of information that I can use for blog posts.  My favorite thing to do so far is verify stereotypes.  For instance, is the famed 90210 really that wealthy?  (The below data come from here.)

It is top heavy.  36.2% of households have a yearly income greater than $200,000.  However, with its median household income of $112,572, 90210 does not crack the top 100 wealthiest zip codes in the US when measured by median household income.  It’s roughly $6,000 away from number 100: 66220 of Shawnee Mission, KS at $118,901.  The data tell us that while an extraordinary 1/3 of 90210’s population (approximately 7,000 people) can be considered very rich, there are a good deal of have-nots who drive down the median income.  In fact, 6.1% live below the poverty line and a full 24.9% or 5,327 peole have yearly household incomes below $50,000.  If 1/3 of your community makes over $200,000 and drives up real estate prices, you can’t hope to make under $50,000 and send your kids to college without some serious scholarship money.   In Shawnee Mission’s 66220 nobody lives below the poverty line.  True, only 15.6% of their households bring in over $200,000 a year, but nobody feels like even though their house is next door to the Joneses’, they live in a completely different world.

So, is Beverly Hills really wealthy?  It depends on what wealthy means.  If a wealthy community implies that there are many very rich and many poor, then yes, Beverly Hills fits the bill.  If it means that everyone does well and only a few people do very well, then a suburb of Kansas City is much wealthier than the heralded 90210.

Up next, how the wealth of Manhattan has yet to exceed the New York Metro Area suburbs.


~ by jaredran on January 17, 2008.

2 Responses to “Zip Skinny #1: The 100 Richest Zip Codes”

  1. Hmm. Looks like you’ll have to go to another site to see Top 100 Wealthiest Zipcodes because Zip Skinny doesn’t appear to have it.

  2. allows you to see the richest places.

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