You know the phrase, “Close enough for government work”? Well, proximity to government work has been pretty darn lucrative for some people — the five wealthiest counties in the U.S. are all government towns.
The Washington suburbs of Northern Virginia and Maryland claimed four of those top slots, according to a Census Bureau report released today. Falls Church City, Va., led the pack, with a median household income of $121,250 in 2012. That’s not surprising given its proximity to the giant defense contractors that cluster in nearby Tysons Corner.
Virginia’s Loudoun and Fairfax counties and Maryland’s Howard County — bedroom communities for thousands of government employees, lobbyists and even more contractors — also made the Census list.
Rounding out the top five was Los Alamos County in northern New Mexico — population 18,159 — which ranked third.
It’s nowhere near Capitol Hill, but Los Alamos is as much a company town as Washington. The Los Alamos National Laboratory has a $2.2 billion budget and employs some of the world’s most educated scientists, who toil in top-secret obscurity and had a median income of $112,115 last year.