With its beautiful weather and booming entertainment business, Southern California is one the most desirable places to live in the U.S. No surprise, then, that it’s home to some of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the country, from Beverly Hills to La Jolla.
Stephen Higley, a professor emeritus of urban social geography at the University of Montevallo, recently ranked the richest neighborhoods in the U.S. based on American Community Survey 2006-2010 data.
He aggregated contiguous block groups (subdivisions of Census tracts) with a mean income over $US200,000. You can read his complete methodology here.
These are the wealthiest neighborhoods in Southern California, from the areas in and around Los Angeles to San Diego.
Mean household income: $US302,335
318th richest neighbourhood in the U.S.
The Pinnacle, The Woods and The Forest are exclusive gated communities in Coto de Caza, Orange County.
The suburb is home to a lot of married couples with kids. Many of the homes are custom-built, with tracts of land still routinely sold for further development.
The Pinnacle-The Woods-The Forest is 84.4% white, 4.8% Asian, 5.3% Latino, 0.7% black
Mean household income: $US302,384
317th richest neighbourhood in the U.S.
Crystal Cove is on the National Register of Historic Places thanks to 48 cottages that were built between 1920 and 1930. They're examples of Southern California coastal development in the early 20th century.
The cottages have been open to the public since restoration, which is a great tourist spot, along with the area's state park.
Crystal Cove is 64.4% white, 21.3% Asian, 5.5% Latino, 1.3% black
Mean household income: $US304,404
300th richest neighbourhood in the U.S.
Located in the Palos Verdes Estates suburb of L.A., Lunada Bay has sprawling views of the Pacific Ocean and a reputation as a surfing hotspot.
Most of the homes in the area are single-family, built between 1940 and 1969. Almost two-thirds of the population is married.
Lunada Bay-Honeymoon Cove is 75.8% white, 13.5% Asian, 5.2% Latino, 0.6% black
Mean household income: $US310,550
268th richest neighbourhood in the U.S.
Lake Sherwood is a rural, unincorporated community south of Thousand Oaks. It includes three gated developments with lake-view homes and a world-renowned golf course.
Hockey great Wayne Gretzky and pop star Britney Spears live in the area.
Lake Sherwood is 86.5% white, 6.6% Asian, 3.4% Latino, 0.3% black
Mean household income: $US310,779
266th richest neighbourhood in the U.S.
Located northeast of downtown Los Angeles, Arcadia sits in the San Gabriel Valley. It's home to the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden.
Upper Rancho is a largely walkable neighbourhood with a mix of single-family homes, townhouses, and condos. The population is pretty evenly split between married people and single people. Chinese, English, and Spanish are frequently used languages.
Upper Rancho is 32.4% white, 52.2% Asian, 9.6% Latino, 1.5% black
Mean household income: $US311,101
263rd richest neighbourhood in the U.S.
Located on Beverly Glen Boulevard and running parallel between Sunset Boulevard and Mulholland Drive, the neighbourhood includes planned developments with tennis courts and pools built in the 1970s and '80s.
Beverly Glen is 82.0% white, 4.9% Asian, 5.2% Latino, 1.2% black
Mean household income: $US313,091
256th richest neighbourhood in the U.S.
Established in 1939, Palos Verdes Estates is the oldest of four cities on the Palos Verdes peninsula. A New York financier bought the land with the hopes of turning the area into a planned, residential community.
The Olmsted brothers, whose father designed New York's Central Park, designed and landscaped Palos Verdes Estates.
Palos Verdes Estates is 62.9% white, 26.7% Asian, 5.3% Latino, 1.3% black
Mean household income: $US315,061
248th richest neighbourhood in the U.S.
Laguna Niguel is distinguished by its open spaces: There are 23 community parks, which account for one-third of the city's space.
Over half the residents in El Niguel Heights were born outside California. Irish, German, and English ancestries are common.
El Niguel Heights is 88.3% white, 1.9% Asian, 4.5% Latino, 0.1% black
Mean household income: $US315,273
247th richest neighbourhood in the U.S.
Atherton Canyon Estates is a relatively modern development in Coto de Caza, Orange County. Most of the homes were built from the end of the 20th century to the present.
Atherton Canyon Estates-Weatherly is 79.9% white, 7.9% Asian, 6.5% Latino, 1.5% black
Mean household income: $US321,933
226th richest neighbourhood in the U.S.
Brentwood Heights began developing as a residential area in the 1880s. Most of the neighbourhood's homes were built between 1970 and 1999.
Brentwood Heights is 80.4% white, 7.3% Asian, 5.4% Latino, 1.0% black
Mean household income: $US323,929
217th richest neighbourhood in the U.S.
Coldwater Canyon runs into the Santa Monica Mountains. A short section of Mulholland Drive in the neighbourhood connects Beverly Hills with Studio City in the San Fernando Valley.
The Hollywood Hills and Los Angeles Country Club in West Hollywood are nearby.
Coldwater Canyon is 81.8% white, 4.6% Asian, 6.4% Latino, 2.0% black
Mean household income: $US324,289
216th richest neighbourhood in the U.S.
After Brentwood was established as a township in 1881, the area quickly advanced economically, becoming the largest shipping point for grains between New Orleans and San Francisco.
Brentwood Park includes mostly recently constructed houses, and the neighbourhood is considered good for young families.
Brentwood Park is 86.2% white, 4.4% Asian, 4.0% Latino, 0.7% black
Mean household income: $US332,037
180th richest neighbourhood in the U.S.
Laurel Canyon Boulevard is a main North-South thoroughfare between West Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley.
Most homes in the neighbourhood date from 1940 to 1969. More than half the population is married, and the most common resident ancestries are Iranian, Russian, and Italian.
Upper Laurel Canyon is 87.9% white, 2.7% Asian, 3.7% Latino, 2.2% black
Mean household income: $US334,872
171st richest neighbourhood in the U.S.
Ashley Falls and Carmel Canyon are part of Carmel Valley, a master-planned coastal community in northwestern San Diego. The wealthy community is home to commercial offices, residential units, hotels, retail stores, and restaurants.
Ashley Falls-Carmel Canyon is 0.1% Black, 11.8% Asian, 7.1% Latino and 74.5% Non-Hispanic White.
Source: Higley 1000
Mean household income: $US351,264
132nd richest neighbourhood in the U.S.
A suburban town in San Bernardino County, east of Los Angeles, Rancho Cucamonga has an older legacy than many surrounding towns. President Abraham Lincoln signed off on the creation of a post office in the area in 1864.
Since then, Rancho Cucamonga has grown into an incredibly diverse neighbourhood. English, Spanish, and Chinese are all frequently used here.
Haven View Estates-Deer Creek is 46.8% white, 14.9% Asian, 20.0% Latino, 8.8% black
Mean household income: $US355,007
125th richest neighbourhood in the U.S.
Bel Air crosses famous Sunset Boulevard on L.A.'s west side. There are several private high schools, which have served as the backdrop for television shows.
Ronald Reagan and Jennifer Lopez are among those who have called it their neighbourhood home.
Bel Air Estates is 80.8% white, 8.2% Asian, 5.1% Latino, 1.7% black
Mean household income: $US369,026
97th richest neighbourhood in the U.S.
Rancho Santa Fe is primarily residential, with a few blocks of shopping and restaurants. It's known for a neighbourhood called the Covenant, which has a golf club, a tennis club, and 50 miles of horse-riding trails.
It's home to Microsoft's Bill Gates and money-management entrepreneur Charles Brandes.
Rancho Santa Fe is 0.3% Black, 2.8% Asian, 5.6% Latino and 89.4% Non-Hispanic White.
Mean household income: $US373,524
89th richest neighbourhood in the U.S.
Rolling Hills is an exclusive, gated community in the Palos Verdes Hills.
It feels like a ranch town -- it has no stoplights and there are large spaces between the houses. It borders Rolling Hills Estates to the north and Rancho Palos Verdes on all other sides.
Rolling Hills is 74.1% white, 16.2% Asian, 5.5% Latino, 1.5% black
Mean household income: $US383,731
70th richest neighbourhood in the U.S.
Sitting in the foothills of the San Fernando Valley, Hidden Hills is a gated development that was built in 1950. A ton of celebrities live in nearby Calabasas, including members of the Kardashian clan.
It's surrounded by a nature reserve and the Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve, a park with miles of equestrian, hiking, and mountain-biking trails.
Hidden Hills is 87.4% white, 2.1% Asian, 6.6% Latino, 1.9% black
Mean household income: $US385,666
67th richest neighbourhood in the U.S.
Linda Island was the last of the islands surrounding Newport Beach to be incorporated into the city, in 1954. It's developed in the shape of a horseshoe, with each house having its own private dock.
Harbor Island sits in an artificial harbor created by dredging an estuary off Newport Beach in the 1900s. Now, it's an exclusive gated community.
Harbor Island-Linda Island is 89.7% white, 3.7% Asian, 4.1% Latino, 0.1% black
Mean household income: $US395,734
59th richest neighbourhood in the U.S.
Beverly Hills is one of the best-known zip codes in the U.S. -- 90210.
Rodeo, Canon, Crescent, Carmelita, Elevado, and Lomitas were among the first streets built in the area, and when the Beverly Hills Hotel was constructed, in 1912, it became a mecca for luxury living.
Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, silent-film actors who were one of Hollywood's first super-couples, were the first movie stars to call Beverly Hills home.
Beverly Hills is 82.3% white, 4.9% Asian, 6.4% Latino, 1.3% black
Mean household income: $US399,820
53rd richest neighbourhood in the U.S.
In 1901, two men each owned half the land that would become Manhattan Beach. John Merrill and George Peck flipped a coin to decide on a name for the city, and Merrill won, naming it after his New York City roots.
The neighbourhood has great schools and sweeping views. Manhattan Beach is a popular area for pro athletes.
The Hill Section is 82.2% white, 7.8% Asian, 5.2% Latino, 1.0% black
Mean household income: $US408,266
44th richest neighbourhood in the U.S.
Torrey-Pines is an affluent, residential area in the northern coastal section of San Diego's La Jolla neighbourhood. It's near the University of California at San Diego and is home to Torrey Pines Golf Course, which hosts the annual Farmers Insurance Open, a PGA Tour tournament.
Downtown La Jolla is known for its jewelry stores, boutiques, upmarket restaurants, and hotels.
La Jolla Farms-Torrey Pines is 1.0% Black, 8.5% Asian, 5.4% Latino and 79.6% Non-Hispanic White.
Mean household income: $US441,627
30th richest neighbourhood in the U.S.
Corona del Mar sits on a steep hillside that winds down to several beaches. The area was settled in the early 20th century and includes closely spaced single-family homes built along the Pacific Coast Highway.
The newer part of town consists of ranch-style homes with ocean views. The cult hit TV show 'Arrested Development' was set here.
Corona del Mar Beach is 86.4% white, 3.8% Asian, 5.8% Latino, 0.3% black
Mean household income: $US502,440
18th richest neighbourhood in the U.S.
Beverly Park and Beverly Crest are both gated communities in the hills of L.A.'s west side.
Elite private school Harvard-Westlake is within the boundaries of Beverly Crest.
Beverly Park is a popular neighbourhood for wealthy celebrities and businessmen thanks to its seclusion and security. Home Ownership Association fees cover a constant patrol of the area by armed guards.
Beverly Park and Beverly Crest are 80.5% white, 6.5% Asian, 4.8% Latino, 3.3% black
Mean household income: $US549,659
9th richest neighbourhood in the U.S.
The Pelican Crest and Pelican Hill communities sit on the Pacific Coast of Southern California within the Newport Beach area. Many homes in these gated communities are built with 180-degree views of the ocean.
Each neighbourhood has about 100 homes, and the area is near the John Wayne Orange County Airport.
Pelican Hill-Pelican Crest is 77.0% white, 23.0% Asian, 4.3% Latino, 0.4% black
Mean household income: $US554,721
8th richest neighbourhood in the U.S.
Located across from each other, Cameo Shores and Cameo Highlands each have about 150 homes. The communities share access to private, gated beaches and Roxbury Park.
Many of the homes have terraces and ocean views.
Cameo Shores-Cameo Highlands is 79.8% white, 8.8% Asian, 3.2% Latino, 0.2% black
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.