Autumn on Lake Audobon

Autumn on Lake Audobon
Autumn on Lake Audubon, Photo by Alison Kamat

Friday, March 14, 2014

Only one Reston neighborhood makes the top 1,000 wealthiest in the US...and that's a good thing!

Yes, folks, we have a winner:  Brandermill-Hunters End. The neighborhood is located northwest of the intersection of Wiehle and Baron Cameron avenues out to Rt. 7. 

Brandermill-Hunters End ranks #665 among the top 1,000 wealthiest neighborhoods in the country and #15 among the 28 qualifying wealthiest neighborhoods in the Washington, DC's Virginia suburbs according to The 2010 Higley 1000. (The metro WDC area has a total of 68 wealthy neighborhoods on the list.)


Brandermill-Hunters End Neighborhood, Reston, VA
While it is unclear why one would put together such a compilation (despite its value to those who are marketing condos in Boca or Bentleys in Bethesda), the methodology for making these rankings is impeccably thorough:  
My data is derived from the American Community Survey 2006-2010. My methodology consisted of aggregating contiguous block groups with a mean income over $200,000. Block groups are subdivisions of Census tracts. The whole country is covered by these geographical tracts. A typical Census tract will have 5,000 residents and be made up of 5 block groups of 1,000 residents each. Theoretically, the boundaries should be drawn to group people of similar socio-economic status. The boundaries are meant to stay the same from Census to Census to be able to study the change in neighborhood characteristics over time. A small change in boundaries, particularly if apartments, condominiums are included, can cause a neighborhoods income to plummet.
. . . and we wouldn't want any of those pesky apartments, condos, or even townhomes to sully such a ranking.  Still, one needs only to look at the million dollar-plus condos being planned and built in Tysons and Reston Town Center to see that, yes, you can be wealthy and live in a condo.  

On a broader basis, Dr. Stephen Higley, Professor Emeritus of Urban Geography, University of Montevallo, Montevallo, Alabama, analyzes the ethnic and racial composition of these neighborhoods nationally and by neighborhood.  The results are about what you'd expect:  The wealthiest neighborhoods are far more Non-Hispanic White than the nation generally. This is reflected in the chart below which shows the percentage of minorities in different categories (although the title is misleading).


Barchart showing summary by Race over all subgroups.

FWIW, the Brandermill-Hunters End neighborhood has a mean household income of $212,304 (which isn't really too "mean" at all!) and was 1.6% Black, 6.8% Asian, 3.5% Hispanic and 88.1% Non-Hispanic White in this 2010 review.  

Being an emeritus professor, Dr. Higley has chosen to move from Alabama to Arizona--and he doesn't mince words about his reasons. 
After a 17 year run, I recently retired and moved to Tucson, Arizona. I am now a happy homeowner in the Dorado Country Club in East Tucson. Free at Last!, Free at Last! I managed to get out of Alabama before I died, lol!
Montevallo was so atypical of Alabama: intellectual and liberal in it’s heart as a result of the University’s presence. I miss my good friends from Alabama but I am so happy to leave behind a state that at it’s heart is still a racist, heartless hotbed of anti-intellectual hypocrites. What a dump.
There you go.  BTW, the Dorado Country Club is NOT on Dr. Higley's list. Maybe he should have moved to Reston!  

All kidding aside, the fact that there is one--and only one--of the nation's wealthiest neighborhoods in Reston speaks, in part, to the great value this community places on one its original planning principles:  Providing housing for all incomes and all ages.  The diversity of Reston--wealth, race, ethnicity, religious, age, and more--is one of its greatest assets.  

1 comment:

  1. Trying and failing desperately to refrain from pointing out that the anti anti-intellectual Dr. Higley, as quoted, doesn't know his its from his it's.

    ReplyDelete

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