The Census Bureau has begun to release demographic and economic data for redrawn congressional districts that became effective this year, yielding valuable insight about the constituencies of the 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Following are the 10 districts with the highest median household income in 2011, according to Census Bureau estimates compiled by Bloomberg’s Frank Bass. The list is dominated by districts near Washington, D.C., New York City and San Jose, all areas with high costs of living.
While these districts are prime territories for political candidates to raise money, it’s less clear how income relates to voting. While Republicans generally do better and Democrats worse as voter income levels rise, there are plenty of areas that are wealthy, Democratic and socially liberal, including parts of Manhattan and some districts on this list, namely Virginia’s 8th.
The 51 districts with a median household income above $70,000 break down are represented by 29 Democrats and 22 Republicans. Democrats hold six of the 10 highest-income districts and 16 of the top 25.
1. Virginia’s 10th ($109,505): Republican Frank Wolf represents suburbs of Washington, including all of fast-growing Loudoun County and part of Fairfax County, including McLean. President Barack Obama lost the district by about one percentage point in the 2012 election.
2. Virginia’s 11th ($100,146): Democrat Gerry Connolly’s district abuts Wolf’s, enveloping parts of Fairfax and Prince William Counties. Connolly’s district became more Democratic-leaning in redistricting as Wolf’s became more Republican-friendly. Obama won 62 percent in Connolly’s district.
3. California’s 18th ($97,001): Democrat Anna Eshoo represents part of San Jose and all of Mountain View, including the corporate headquarters of Google Inc., and Palo Alto, where Stanford University is located. Obama won 68 percent.
4. New York’s 3rd ($95,699): Democrat Steve Israel’s district includes sections of Suffolk and Nassau counties on Long Island, plus a part of Queens.
5. New Jersey’s 7th ($95,189): Republican Leonard Lance’s district cuts across the north-central part of the state, taking in communities like Bridgewater and Summit.
6. New Jersey’s 11th ($93,655): Republican Rodney Frelinghuysen’s constituency includes most of Morris County.
7. California’s 17th ($92,030): Democrat Mike Honda represents Sunnyvale, part of San Jose and the corporate headquarters of Apple Inc. in Cupertino. Obama won 72 percent.
8. Virginia’s 8th ($91,027): Democrat Jim Moran’s district includes close-in suburbs of Washington, including Arlington, Alexandria and part of Fairfax County. Obama won 68 percent.
9. Maryland’s 8th ($90,959): Democrat Chris Van Hollen represents most of Montgomery County near Washington.
10. California’s 45th ($89,383). Republican John Campbell holds a district in central and southern Orange County that includes Irvine and most of Mission Viejo. Republican Mitt Romney won 55 percent of the district vote in 2012.