Living It Up: 10 Affluent Black Neighborhoods

Building Black Wealth: Even though buying a home has become riskier, these African-American communities are still going strong.

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    Courtesy of Wheatley Heights Civic Association

    Editor’s note: This is part 3 in a five-part series on growing and maintaining wealth. Read part 1 and part 2.

    Owning a home used to be one of the main methods of accumulating wealth in America. Although the housing crisis of 2007-2008 makes accruing wealth more difficult, buying a home does still have its benefits: Homeowners generally do experience lower crime rates and better schools and municipal services (pdf), as well as a sense of community. To that end, here are 10 of the most affluent black neighborhoods in America.

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    Wikipedia Commons

    Fort Washington, Md.

    Median household income: $110,759

    When it was completed in 1809, Fort Washington was the only defensive fort protecting Washington, D.C., and is now the site of a national park. The area is also home to mega-church Ebenezer AME. African Americans in this Prince George’s County community make up 70.6 percent of the city’s residents.

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    Courtesy of Trulia

    Mitchellville, Md.

    Median household income: $109,184

    Mitchellville, also in Prince George’s County, was named after John Mitchell, who owned a plantation that covered much of the area. African Americans make up 85.4 percent of the population. The neighborhood is also home to a much-celebrated African-American swim team, Kingfish Swim Club, which swims at Lake Arbor Community Pool.

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    Wikipedia Commons

    Bowie, Md.  

    Median household income: $105,936

    Bowie, which is also in Prince George’s County, is bordered by Kettering to the southwest. Bowie State University, an HBCU, is located north of the city. African Americans make up 48.7 percent of Bowie’s population.

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    Courtesy of PGCPS

    Friendly, Md.

    Median household income: $97,598

    Friendly—also located in Prince George’s County—had more than 1,200 businesses in 2007, and nearly 80 percent of them were black-owned. In Friendly, 79.6 percent of the residents are black. Random fact: Martin Lawrence attended Friendly High School.

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    Wikipedia Commons

    Ladera Heights, Calif.

    Median household income: $97,568

    Ladera Heights borders two other affluent African-American communities in Southern California: View Park-Windsor Hills and Baldwin Hills. The neighborhood, located in California’s 33rd District, is 73.7 percent black. Democratic Rep. Karen Bass represents the area in Congress.

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    Hillcrest, N.Y.

    Median household income: $96,838

    Hillcrest is located in Rockland County, and 55.8 percent of its residents are black. From the 1950s to the 1970s, the area was a destination for many Jews who were moving from New York City to the suburbs. But the New York Times reported in 2001 that Hillcrest had Rockland County’s highest percentage of African Americans and Asians. Random fact: Rappers Shyne and Saigon have ties to Spring Valley, N.Y., which is the town next to Hillcrest.

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    Kettering, Md.

    Median household income: $89,577

    Kettering is another of the many affluent African-American neighborhoods in Prince George’s County. Democratic Rep. Donna Edwards represents Maryland’s 4th District, which includes most of Prince George’s County. Kettering is 92.1 percent black.

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    Wikipedia Commons

    Elmont, N.Y.

    Median household income: $85,040

    Elmont is located on the south shore of Long Island, and 45.5 percent of its residents are black. Elmont is home to Belmont Park, where the third of the annual Triple Crown races, the Belmont Stakes, is held.

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    Courtesy of Wheatley Heights Civic Association

    Wheatley Heights, N.Y.

    Median household income: $84,258

    Wheatley Heights is located in Suffolk County, and 54.6 percent of its residents are black. Random fact: The ’90s R&B group Soul for Real (“Candy Rain”) is from the area.

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    Olympia Fields, Ill.

    Median household income: $79,762

    Olympia Fields is a village in Cook County, where 69.5 percent of the residents are black. In 1915 a golf course and country club were founded in the area to cater to Chicago’s elite. In 2003 the golf course hosted the U.S. Open. Random fact: R. Kelly sold his Olympia Fields mansion to Rudolph Isley, one of the founding members of the Isley Brothers, in 2013.

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