By Prashant Gopal
Despite the fact that U.S. households' net worth plunged by $11 trillion in 2008, the U.S. is still the wealthiest country in the world—but, as always, some parts of the U.S. are wealthier than others. While many people might think that the greatest pockets of wealth reside in elite areas such as Manhattan's Upper East Side; Greenwich, Conn.; or Bel Air in Los Angeles, these places are so large that they include both residents who are extremely rich and those of more modest means. In fact, with few exceptions, most of the places that have the highest income and net worth in the country are unfamiliar to nearly anyone who doesn't actually live there. And that's just how the people who live there like it. So where are these places? Read on to find out.
Editor's Note: The places were ranked based on their average household net worth and average household net income in third quarter 2008 and were selected from a list of more than 20,000 U.S. Census places. Both factors were weighted equally. Average net worth is an estimate based on total assets minus total liabilities and includes home value. The 2008 data were developed by Gadberry Group using source data from Acxiom, and were measured against 2000 Census data. The selected places do not correspond to city boundaries but are assembled from Census block groups and might include neighborhoods just outside the cities. The ranking was created specifically for BusinessWeek by Gadberry Group, a Little Rock-based location intelligence firm. Source: Gadberry Group