Palo Alto is now unofficially the second richest small city in the country.
The city garnered this determination in a new data listicle released today by Movoto, a national real estate brokerage website.
Movoto analyzed census data and local business listings to peg Palo Alto as the No. 2 of the top 10 "richest small cities in America," following Bethesda, Maryland. Palo Alto ranks high in various 1-percent-centric categories Movoto used in its analysis, from plastic surgeons and luxury car dealers to really expensive fine dining per capita.
Movoto arrived at the determinations by evaluating the 2010 census data for 950 cities with populations between 30,000 and 80,000. The company then ranked these cities from one to 950, with one being best, based on two categories: median household income and median home value. The census listed Palo Alto's annual median household income as $122,482 and its median home value as $1 million.
The average of those two scores was used to determine the top 25 most wealthy small cities, which were further analyzed in nine categories that Movoto "chose to encapsulate a truly rich place," the website reads. The cities were given a score from one to 25 in the nine categories, with one being the best.
The nine sub-criteria, with Palo Alto's rankings in parentheses, were:
- Really expensive fine dining establishments per capita (5)
- Really expensive clothing retailers per capita (2)
- Really expensive jewelry stores per capita (3)
- Luxury car dealers per capita (2)
- Country clubs per capita (9)
- Cosmetic surgeons per capita (1)
- Distance to nearest polo field (19)
- Distance to nearest yacht club (10)
- Distance to nearest private airport (10)
Movoto said it used business listings to gather this data and only considered businesses actually located within city limits. Those rankings were then averaged into an overall score, with the lowest being the richest small city.
Also of note: neighboring Menlo Park came in at No. 5, and six out of the 11 total cities (two tied for 10th place) located in California.