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The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn., metropolitan area, near New York City, had the highest percentage of households with high income in the nation at 17.9 percent, according to a report released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. At the other end of the spectrum are two metro areas named Danville -- in Virginia and Illinois -- each with 1.1 percent of households having high income.
The report defines high income as being in the top 5 percent of national income distribution, which is an annual household income of at least $191,469.
This information comes from The Geographic Concentration of High-Income Households, an American Community Survey brief, which contains findings from the 2007-2011 five-year survey estimates.
"This report addresses one aspect of the growing interest in income distribution by examining the geographic spread of high-income households," said David Johnson, chief of the Census Bureau's Social, Economic and Housing Statistics Division.
The report examines where these high-income households are located and which areas have the highest concentrations of such households. Thematic maps are provided showing the number and percentage of high-income households per county, while tables rank the top and bottom metropolitan statistical areas in terms of percentage of households in the top 5 percent of income. A table is also provided showing the percentage of such households in the 50 most populous metro areas.
According to the brief, coastal areas had large proportions of counties with high concentrations of high-income households, particularly the New England, Middle Atlantic and Pacific divisions. Conversely, the East South Central division, comprised of Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee, tended to have low concentrations of such households.
The 50 most populous metro areas contained 52 percent of all U.S. households and 72 percent of high-income households. Within metro areas, 4.9 percent of households in central cities were among the top 5 percent, compared with 6.1 percent of those in the suburbs. Of households outside metro areas, 1.9 percent of households were in the top 5 percent.
The American Community Survey provides a wide range of important statistics about people and housing for every community across the nation. The results are used by everyone from retailers and homebuilders to town and city planners. The survey is the only source of local estimates for most of the 40 topics it covers, such as education, occupation, language, ancestry and housing costs for even the smallest communities. Ever since Thomas Jefferson directed the first census in 1790, the census has collected detailed characteristics about our nation's people, and questions about our economy were added under President Madison in 1810.