The 10 Richest Small Cities in America
Life + Money

The 10 Richest Small Cities in America

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These cities are on the small side, with fewer than 80,000 residents, but they’re home to some of the wealthiest people in the country and are big providers of the amenities that the rich enjoy.

Bethesda, Md., a suburb of D.C., won the top spot as the richest small city in America, according to Movoto, a real estate brokerage company.

Bethesda residents – who include everyone from CNN’s Wolf Blitzer to the NBA’s Drew Gooden, a top basketball player with the Washington Wizards – have easy access to a polo field and to private jet facilities. They can also shop at some of the most expensive clothing retailers in the nation.


California is also the place to be for the one percent who like small city living, as six of the top cities were located there, including Palo Alto and Foster City in Silicon Valley and Redondo Beach near Los Angeles.

Back in the D.C., metro area, McLean, Va., topped the charts with the highest median household income at $179,066. The city also ranked first in super expensive clothing and jewelry stores.

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To find out the 10 richest small cities in America, Movoto started with a list of 950 cities with populations between 30,000 and 80,000, ranking them based on median household income and median home value. It then threw in nine additional categories to compose its final list.

Here are the categories used to rank the 10 richest small cities:

  • High-end fine dining establishments per capita
  • Designer clothing retailers per capita
  • Luxe jewelry stores per capita
  • Luxury car dealers per capita
  • Country clubs per capita
  • Cosmetic surgeons per capita
  • Distance to nearest polo field
  • Distance to nearest yacht club
  • Distance to nearest private airport

Movoto’s list of the richest small cities in America actually includes 11 small cities, since there’s a two-way tie for 10th place.

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