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You only need to make $61,000 to live in West Virginia's top spot, but you'll need 11 times that to live in one Cali code

2 minute read

Maybe you think of Bel-Air or Manhattan, but the most expensive ZIP code in the country isn’t even in either of these cities. It’s in Atherton.

Atherton, California’s 94027 is the most expensive ZIP code in the entire country and it has less than 7,500 residents. Most expensive is relative, though: A new report from GoBankingRates shows the huge disparity from state to state. The site figured out the most expensive ZIP code in each, and in West Virginia’s 25314, you only need to make $61,100 a year.

But while a median household income of $61,000 might get you by in Charleston, West Virginia, it would only get you about one-tenth of a home in Atherton. Check out the map below for the most expensive ZIP codes near you…

The Bay Area is already home to some pricey, posh homes, but this specific neighborhood has homes that average $6 million. GoBankingRates says mortgage payments average around $26,000 a month. If you’re looking for a house here, you’ll need to make roughly $670,000 a year to pay for all your living expenses plus have enough money for other things, including savings.

Wealth varies widely in each state — and each ZIP code

The most expensive state overall is Hawaii. In the GoBankingRates study, they are above and beyond the top spot, with the highest cost of living in the entire country.

“Annual groceries, utilities, and transportation costs all top the charts,” GoBankingRates says. “Thus, the cost to live in the state’s most expensive ZIP code is high as well, and requires an income of more than $200,000.”

Median home values in the 96821 area of Honolulu go for more than $1.3 million. Considering the city of Honolulu has a median home value of half that, this part of the city is astronomical.

Some of the priciest ZIP codes cost pennies compared to others. While West Virginia is home to the lowest most-expensive ZIP code, other places around the country have relatively modest mortgage costs too.

In Iowa, for example, residents living in the wealthiest ZIP code of 50323 make around $75,000 annually and pay some of the lowest monthly mortgages in the country. Up in the northeast, Massachusetts requires a lot more out of its residents — like more than $200,000 annually. Mortgage costs are near $76,000 a year in the 02493 part of Weston — more than a year’s salary for the relatively rich Iowa residents.

Montana residents, like those in Iowa, only need a modest income compared to some of their coastal counterparts. The most expensive ZIP code, 59106, is part of Billings and requires a $75,000 annual income. In Florida’s 33921 — which is on an actual island off the coast of Cape Coral — home values hover around $1 million. Residents here need to make $177,000 every year — a full figure above those living in Montana’s most expensive ZIP code.

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About the Author

Dori Zinn

Dori Zinn

Zinn is a freelance journalist based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Published by, LLC Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: The Most Expensive ZIP Codes in Every State - AMP.