Last week, I started looking into the Washington, DC Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which consists of the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia and parts of Maryland. Given the growth in the federal budget over the last few years, I wasn’t surprised to see that the DC MSA was “the most educated and affluent metropolitan area in the United States,” according to Wikipedia.
The District of Columbia itself has made great strides in recent years, including greatly reducing the rate of violent crime. You may recall that it was known as America’s murder capital during the crack-filled 1990s. However, the city’s unemployment rate is actually fairly high, at 11.1%.
Maryland and Virginia, on the other hand, are very prosperous. Both are among the most economically successful states in the country.
Maryland’s Doing Pretty Well…
Maryland, DC’s (mostly) northeastern neighbor, has seen fairly consistent population increases and has a well-below-average unemployment rate of 7.2%. It actually has the highest median household income of any state, although this can be deceiving – the cost of living is also very high there. (The second highest median household income is in New Jersey, which is not currently an economic paradise.)