Georgia has experienced absolutely staggering growth over the last 30 years. From a population of 6,478,216 in 1990, Georgia’s population has surged by 65.4%, reaching 10,711,908 in 2020. And where many other major cities saw a dip in population due, as of 2022, it reached approximately 10.9 million. This surge in population has been accompanied by another surge — a surge in wealth.
In recent studies, we’ve analyzed and examined the richest cities in Southern states, like Mississippi, Florida, and Texas. Now, we’re taking a look at the richest cities in Georgia. So, read on and find out what the richest city in Georgia is, as well as the top 50 wealthiest cities in the state.
What Is the Richest City in Georgia?
In order to define a “richest city in Georgia,” we sourced data from the Census Bureau’s 2021 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates (which is the newest data available), including median household income, mean household income, median home value, and median property taxes paid, analyzing and scoring each one of these factors, putting together a list of the top 50 richest cities in Georgia.
First, some important notes about Census data. The Census Bureau measures median household incomes up to $250,000, with households earning more being denoted as “$250,000+”. The Census also does this with median home value, which goes up to $2 million and anything above that being expressed as “$2,000,000+”. Thirdly, the same parameters apply to measuring median property taxes paid, which go up to $10,000 and any amount above that is denoted as “$10,000+”.
Hence why mean household income was particularly useful in our analysis because, unlike median household income, the Census Bureau provides mean (or average) household income with exact values for every city in Georgia. All four of these metrics were scored, added up, and then ranked by the cities’ combined scores.
Below you’ll find a table detailing the top 50 richest cities in Georgia and their respective dollar figures for each metric:
Based on this four-factor metric of median household income, average household income, median home value, and median property taxes paid, the richest city in Georgia is Druid Hills, which is partly a neighborhood of Atlanta, but categorized by a Census-Designated Place (CDP), so it is treated as a city proper. With 3,660 total households, Druid Hills is interesting because it began as a planned community, which was home to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the main campus of Emory University, one of the best colleges in Georgia. These were later annexed and incorporated into the city of Atlanta proper.
Druid Hills has a median household income of $137,576, which is the fifth highest in Georgia. Its mean household income is $209,785, which is good enough to be the No. 1 highest in the state. Meanwhile, the median home value in Druid Hills was $698,000, the highest in Georgia; and its median property taxes paid — $7,098 a year — was the second highest in the study,
The No. 2 richest city in Georgia is more than double the size of Druid Hills but is also in DeKalb County: Decatur. Having a total of 8,906 households, Decatur is a sizeable town, home to around 25,000 people. Decatur’s median household income is $123,617, with an average household income of $170,591. The median home value in Decatur is $583,900, which is the second highest in Georgia behind only Druid Hills. Lastly, the median property taxes paid in Decatur per year is $7,451, which is the No. 1 highest amount in the state.
No. 3 Milton is much larger than the No. 1 and No. 2 richest cities in Georgia. Milton is located roughly 30 miles north of Atlanta, having a total of 14,867 total households. Milton has the seventh highest median household income, at $136,020. More impressive, Milton’s average household income is $194,710, which is the third highest in the state. With a reported median home value of $561,000, Milton ranks fourth-highest in this category. The median property taxes paid were also quite high in Milton, at $5,931 per year.
The No. 4 richest city in Georgia is Berkeley Lake, a city of only 984 households located in Gwinnett County, a northern suburb of Atlanta. The median household income is $138,182, making Berkeley Lake’s median income the fourth highest in the state, while its mean household income of $175,315 is the seventh highest. In terms of employment, the main industries in Berkeley Lake are an interesting mix of Professional, Scientific, & Technical Services, accounting for 19.5% of the workforce; followed by Educational Services, accounting for 11.3%; and in third, Construction, accounting for 10% of the workforce, according to DataUSA.
The No. 5 richest city in Georgia — Dutch Island — is a private, gated community in Chatham County, not far from Savannah. This explains Dutch Island’s relatively small size of 466 total households. In Dutch Island, the median household income is $155,556 and its average household income of $188,774 is the fourth highest in Georgia. Home values in Dutch Island are lower than in No. 1 Druid Hills or No. 2 Decatur, with the median home value in Dutch Island being $523,100, which is still the ninth highest in the study.
Bottom Line on the Richest Cities in Georgia
Of the top 10 richest cities in Georgia, the city with the largest one is No. 10 Sandy Springs, which is home to 49,941 households. In Sandy Springs, the median household income of $86,932 might not seem high, but its mean household income of $145,216 is quite high for the state. The city in Georgia that posted the No. 1 highest median household income was No. 16 overall, Mineral Bluff, which had a median income of $173,132. This small town of just 144 households is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains and, unusually, had a higher median household income than its mean household income ($173,132 versus $129,172).