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NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Washington, D.C. has become the favorite area for wealthy young adults, with the nation's highest percentage of 25-34 year-olds making more than $100,000 a year, according to a new analysis.
Sixteen of the top 50 counties in the United States with the highest share of wealthy young people are in the Washington, D.C. area.
Loudoun county, which is part of the Washington metropolitan area, has 10 percent, or 10,327 young adults, making more than six figures -- more than San Francisco and New York in terms of percentage of the population.
"In 1990 you had a lot more concentration of this demographic in the heartland and in Texas, likely driven by the oil economy, and some of the agribusiness," Michael Mancini, of The Nielsen Company, said in a statement.
"But now, there is a densification of young money in major metros." he added.
Arlington County, in Virginia near Washington, D.C. captured the second spot, followed by San Francisco, Manhattan and Douglas County, which is situated between Denver and Colorado Springs in Colorado.
Just under 16 percent of households in the United States are headed by people aged 25-34 years old, whose median income is $49,754. Slightly more over than 13 percent in that age group earn more than $100,000 a year, according to Nielsen.
The overall national median income is $51,287. Highest incomes usually correlate to the highest earning years which are 45-54.
Nielsen compiled the rankings using information from the U.S. Postal service, and data on income, age and household size from Equifax, which compiles credit reporting data.
"It is all based on the percent of the population in the county that matches a demographic," Mancini explained in an interview.
The Washington D.C. area has become increasingly popular with young people during the last two decades, according to Nielsen.
Mancini believes part of the appeal of the Washington area is jobs in both the private and public sector. It also has strong education and healthcare institutions, a moderate climate and easy access to recreational facilities.
"What often happens is that those factors attract the young and educated who then end up staying," he explained.
Forsyth County in Georgia, which is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area, Alexandria City in Virginia, Delaware County north of Columbus, Ohio, Scott County in Minnesota and Broomfield County which is part of the Denver area, rounded out the top 10 counties.
Editing by Paul Casciato