Wealth. There's much of it around us. And despite New York Magazine blithely believing we're all too shy about flaunting it, the 9 counties of the Bay Area boast a whopping 61 of the nation's most disgustingly rich neighborhoods.
These include, in San Francisco proper, Sea Cliff, Balboa Terrace, Presidio Heights, Russian Hill (Southeast), and the Inner Richmond. All this according to the Higley 1000, a new ranking by geographer Stephen Higley, in which he analyzed data from the 2006-2010 American Community Survey. He defined contiguous block groups in cities and towns across the country with a mean household income of $200,000 or more. And as Atlantic Cities notes, "It is possible that these mean household incomes are in fact underestimates, as households can only claim up to about $2 million in income on the American Community Survey."
The richest 'hoods around the Bay are, in order:
#13: Hillsborough Heights - Brewer Subdivision ($529,024)
#21: Diablo (near Diablo Country Club, Contra Costa County) ($482,897)
#29: Fruitvale (Saratoga) ($451,448)
#31: Hillsbourough Oaksbridge - Ryan Tract ($439,682)
#33: Paradise Cay (Marin-Tiburon) ($437,226)
#151: Atherton ($340,915)
#155: Los Altos Hills ($338,932)
#173: Menlo Park Central ($333,990)
#198: Skyfarm-Carrolands (Hillsborough) ($328,999)
#220: Orinda View-Orinda Downs ($322,746)
So, yes, much of the local wealth is concentrated on the Peninsula and in Marin, and neighborhoods in S.F. don't even crack the top 200 on this list. But, I do think the income averages have to be inaccurate, because I'm having trouble understanding how amongst all those Sea Cliff mansions you can only scrape together a mean household income of $321,000. Pennies.
When you add up all of neighborhoods in the New York metro area, including Long Island, New Jersey, and Connecticut, there are like 200 of them on this list, with 56 in Connecticut alone. In and around L.A. there are 93.
And the Bay can't boast any 'hoods in the top 10. Only two of them, in fact, are in California: Cameo Shores and Pelican Hill, both in Newport Beach.