News and notes from Reston (tm).

Monday, November 11, 2013

Reston: Apparently Only Semi-Super

Poors.jpg
Well, well, well. The Washington Post ran a fancy article over the weekend about "Super Zips" -- neighborhoods with high incomes and outsize numbers of college degree holders. Turns out that of Reston's three Zip codes, only two are sufficiently super to make the list. With a paltry median income of only $92,830, poor old 20190 -- which includes our purportedly tony fake downtown gritty urban core -- along with Herndon, Chantilly, and (shudder) Sterling, Just Won't Do, according to Census data. "The 20194," as the kids today certainly don't call it, with its median income of $133,549, does get the Super Zip tag, though it pales in comparison to the Zip code to the north, "Great" Falls, where the median income is nearly $200,000. South Reston's median income of $105,540 also nudges it over the Super Zip threshold, though only 63 percent of its denizens hold college degrees, compared to 66 percent in poor-intensive 20190 and 72 percent in 20194.

Give us some good blockquote, BFFs at the Post:
A Washington Post analysis of the latest census data shows that more than a third of Zip codes in the D.C. metro area rank in the top 5 percent nationally for income and education. But what makes the region truly unusual is that so many of the high-end Zip codes are contiguous. They form a vast land mass that bounds across 717 square miles. It stretches 60 miles from its northern tip in Woodstock, Md., to the southern end in Fairfax Station, and runs 30 miles wide from Haymarket in Prince William County to the heart of the District up to Rock Creek Parkway.

One in four households in the region are in a Super Zip, according to the Post analysis. Since the 2000 Census on which Murray based his analysis, Washington’s Super Zips have grown to encompass 100,000 more residents. Only the New York City area has more Super Zips, but they are a much smaller share of the total of that region’s Zip codes and are more scattered.
Suck on that, Manhattan! Plus, we have better parking for our midscale chain retail.

Not all is sunshine and light, even for the privileged residents of the 20191 and the 20194. For a community that was predicated on the idea that folks from many different backgrounds and income levels would live together, it sure looks like were moving away from that piece of the Reston ideal:
Zip codes are large swaths of territory, and people from many different walks of life live in them. But many Washington neighborhoods are becoming more economically homogenous as longtime homeowners move out and increasing housing prices prevent the less affluent from moving in. The eventual result, in many cases, is a Super Zip. And because the contiguous Super Zips are surrounded by areas that are almost as well-off, it’s possible to live in a Super Zip and rarely encounter others without college degrees or professional jobs.
It's not just Reston where this is happening, but if you consider Reston not just another DC suburb, it's something to think about.

11 comments:

  1. Nothing wrong with living in a super zip, despite the stupid liberal insinuation that we are all "wrong" to do so. Reston zips will become even more super once the silver line is finished. Diversity for its own sake, or for demography's sake, is vastly overrated.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I suspect the Silver Line will boost the average income in the zips near the stations. It will also boost my tax bill.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great. Now my next goal in life is to become "Ultra Low Affluent".

    ReplyDelete
  4. Peasant From Less Sought After South RestonNovember 11, 2013 at 5:33 PM

    What's even more horrifying about this story is that wanna-be Super Zip 20190 is a mathematical anagram for 90210...as in Beverly Hills 90210.

    Obviously, Fountain Drive in Reston Town Center needs to be renamed Rodeo Drive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When they make "A Tribe Apart" the movie, how do they tie in 20191 to 90210?

      Delete
    2. 'Tis a real pleasure to meet a fellow Ratstownian who appreciates that our community is just Bev Hills gone all dyslexic...

      Delete
  5. @11:59 Yes it is much more desirable to be safely ensconced with your fellow 1%ers.

    While you are smugly sitting in your sparsely furnished particleboard McMansion, you can think how fortunate you are that you and your children are not exposed to other viewpoints and perspectives, and how your interactions with other demographics are limited to writing a check to the landscaping company or maid service.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Wow!" Commutarian liberal nonsense at its worst. Would it make you feel better if I went to the town center and hugged everyone I saw? You're making a whole bunch of ridiculous assumptions here, Snarky. Better go off and contemplate the absurdness of your facts and assertions.
      Now it's my turn: Do I detect a touch of envy for my Northern Virginia Fabulousness? Personal attacks on my high-flying Reston 90210 lifestyle will get you nowhere, peon.

      Delete
    2. Chill, my anonymous friends...our essential 20191/90210 kewlness will see us thru.

      Delete
    3. "Landscaping company OR maid service"? How about "landscaping company AND maid service". It's kind of like "bed OR breakfast'.

      Delete
  6. No worries, urban decay and "affordable housing" projects will fix all of this. All one has to do to predict the future of Reston is to venture a few miles east into Arlington/Alexandria.

    ReplyDelete

(If you don't see comments for some reason, click here).