Unsurprisingly, the New York metropolitan area has the largest number of very high-income households. Nearly 12 percent of top-income households live in the New York region, compared to about 7 percent of all households. Second-place Los Angeles is home to about 5 percent of the very rich, compared to about 4 percent of all households.
There are 54 metropolitan areas whose share of very high-income households exceeds their share of all households. These include 18 of the 20 metropolitan areas with the most very high-income households, several others among the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas (including Hartford, Austin, Raleigh, Charlotte, New Haven, Poughkeepsie and Richmond), some smaller university towns (Trenton, which includes Princeton, plus Boulder, Ann Arbor, Santa Cruz, Charlottesville, Durham, Ithaca, and Iowa City), and some other small metropolitan areas (Naples, Florida; Midland, Texas; Sebastian, Florida; Napa, California; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Anchorage, Alaska; Reno, Nevada; Barnstable Town, Massachusetts; Manchester, New Hampshire; Lafayette, Louisiana; Tyler, Texas and Rochester, Minnesota).
Courtesy Brookings Institution
A drill-down to the zip code level shows that the zip code with the largest number of very rich households is 10023 on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, with 7,621 such households. That zip code, plus one other on the Upper West Side, one on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, and the Washington suburb of Potomac, Maryland, each have about 0.2 percent of all the nation’s very high-income households.
Rounding out the 20 zip codes with the most very high-income households are several in Manhattan (on the Upper East and Upper West Sides, Midtown East, and Greenwich Village), the New York suburb of Scarsdale, Chicago’s Lincoln Park, Cupertino in Silicon Valley, the Houston suburb of Sugar Land, part of Houston’s west side, the Chicago suburb of Barrington, Princeton, a suburban area north of San Diego, and the Washington suburb of Bethesda, Maryland. Wall Street itself doesn’t make the list, since few people live there.
There are Occupy movements in nearly all the metropolitan areas where the top 3 percent are concentrated. All of the 20 metropolitan areas with the most top-income households have groups listed in the directory on the Occupy Together Web site. So do all but six of the 54 metropolitan areas where the very rich are disproportionately located. (The missing six are Bridgeport, Connecticut; Naples, Florida; Sebastian, Florida; Lafayette, Louisiana; Midland, Texas; and Tyler, Texas.)
Yet movements in support of Occupy Wall Street also exist in many places other than those where the very rich are concentrated, including such seemingly unlikely locales as Anderson, Indiana, and Texarkana, Texas. Geographically, their reach is greater than that of the very rich.