I was a little surprised to learn that my home county, Howard County, MD, was the third richest county by median income based on 2008 data released by the American Community Survey. I always knew Howard County was one of the more affluent areas in Maryland but I figured that it wouldn’t stand a chance being compared to the suburbs around New York City, which pepper the rest of the top ten.
Another bit of data that I found both surprising and disconcerting was the percentage of those over 25 with at least a Bachelor’s degree in the richest counties. Arlington County, VA (#9) had a staggering 71% while three others counties (two in Virginia and Howard County, MD) had over 60%. Eleven counties had over 50%. While I knew that college degrees had a significant impact on one’s earning power, and I also know drawing causation out of so little data is dangerous, but this only confirms the suspicions that an advanced degree is almost necessary to get those high paying jobs.
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