Nielsen The Young and Moneyed Dwell in D.C.

Nielsen The Young and Moneyed Dwell in D.C.

Perhaps it’s the district’s mix of power and possibility, but Washington D.C. is increasingly drawing in the young and the wealthy, according to Nielsen Claritas. A new demographic spotlight finds that 16 of the top 50 counties where the highest concentration of the young and wealthy live are in the Washington D.C. area.

This demographic—those aged 25-34 who are making over $100,000 annually—is also prevalent in the high-density areas of San Francisco, New York City and Chicago.

The study reflects the subtle but significant shift of the demographic to the larger metropolitan areas as well as a slight shift to the East.

“In 1990 you had a lot more concentration of this demographic in the heartland and in Texas, likely driven by the oil economy, and some of the agribusiness,” said Michael Mancini, vice president of data product management for The Nielsen Company. “But now, there’s a densification of young money into the major metros.”

Top 10 Counties: Households Age 25-34, Income $100K+
RANK County Total HH Age 25-34


% Age 25-34


1 Loudoun County, DC 104,327 10,494 10.06
2 Arlington County, DC 92,693 8,172 8.82
3 San Francisco County, CA 332,596 26,026 7.83
4 New York County, NY 768,292 58,448 7.61
5 Douglas County, CO 102,379 7,403 7.23
6 Forsyth County, GA 59,296 4,128 6.96
7 Alexandria City, DC 65,453 4,372 6.68
8 Delaware County, OH 62,451 4,151 6.65
9 Scott County, MN 45,157 2,975 6.59
10 Broomfield County, CO 20,834 1,360 6.53
TOTAL U.S. 115,300,000 2,476,00 2.15
Source: The Nielsen Company

Over the last two decades, the D.C. area has surged in popularity with the young and moneyed. Back in 1990, top-ranked Loudon County was in 24th position. By 2000, it had moved up to fourth place. Arlington, now second, was eighth in 1990 and third in 2000.

Arlington’s reputation as a place for rich young professionals has even inspired a recent mock-rap video on YouTube.

While D.C.’s rise has pushed San Francisco County from the top position it held in 2000, the percentage of young and wealthy households in San Francisco has increased, from 7 percent of the total in 2000 to 7.83 percent in 2009. In 1990, the young and wealthy accounted for only 1.29 percent of San Francisco’s total households.

In fact, there has been a significant increase in the concentration of the young and wealthy across the board in the top counties. While in 2009 Loudon County boasts 10.06 percent of its households are in the young and wealthy demographic, back in 1990, the top county only had 3.22 percent of its population in that bracket, which would not have even landed them in the top-50 this year).

Quick Facts

  • Young and wealthy households make up only 2.15 percent of the total U.S. population.
  • Only 15.9 percent of households are headed by persons aged 25-34, and only 13.48 percent of those in that age group make over $100K.
  • The median household income of that age group is $49,750.