By now it's become obvious that the wealthy aren't immune to the recession. In October, The Wall Street Journal reported foreclosures were growing in the upper echelons of the housing market. Earlier this month, the Mortgage Bankers Association said that a rising percentage of mortgages taken out by prime borrowers face foreclosure.
But this month, the Census Bureau disclosed its 2008 data on poverty and income levels in each of the more than 3,100 counties in the United States. South Dakota's Buffalo County was reported to be the poorest in the country, with a median household income of just $19,182. The county's population was small -- just over 2,000 -- but the overall disparity between the poorest and the richest counties across the country was considerable.
We took a look at the fifteen counties with the highest median household incomes -- all of which were above $89,000 -- to see where wealth may still be flourishing during the recession. Many of the communities achieved high median household incomes even in heavily-populated counties -- nearly two-thirds of the localities on this list have a quarter of a million people or more. And we noticed the emergence of some geographical patterns: among the fifteen most affluent communities, nearly half were located in Virginia and Maryland and were located in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area, and almost a third encircled the urban core of New York City. But there were still a few outliers.
See if your county made the cut: