The richest city in Texas has been revealed — and its identity will shock many. For it isn’t one of the storied, old-money enclaves of Houston or Dallas. Neither River Oaks nor Preston Hollow topped the rankings. Instead, it’s more of a new-money town — one as well-known for its elementary school as anything else.
It is West University Place’s time — and everyone else had better get out of the way of the Little League-loving, mighty-checkbook moms running the place. West U, as it’s more commonly known, is now the Richest Town in Texas, according to an exhaustive analysis from 24/7 Wall Street, a respected finance site. West U’s median household income clocks in at $207,429.
Since West U loves to win at anything (some of its Little League disputes are the stuff of Texas legend), it’s celebrating this win. And why not? The city loves to paint itself as a haven for self-made wealth. As opposed to the long-term, stuffy money of nearby River Oaks for example. How much truth there is to this can be put up for debate. West U did incorporate back in 1924 when the City of Houston balked at extending power lines that “far out.” (Yes, it was a very different time in Houston, one in which West U was considered the hinterlands and near farm country.) This city of 15,223 has its fair share of inherited wealth as well.
West U’s minuscule 2.2 percent poverty rate is one of the lowest in the country — even compared to other richest cities in these rankings. Its $200,000-plus median household income is more than four times the Texas state median income of $53,035.
The richest cities in New York and New Jersey — two of the most expensive states to live in — beat Texas’ No. 1 in median income, but not by an overwhelming margin. Short Hills — a hoity-toity New Jersey enclave with one of the most exclusive malls in the country — checks in with a $235,216 median income. Scarsdale — New York’s richest city — boasts a $241,215 median income.
West U finds itself in very good, rich company. Not that this town needs a fancy new ranking to attract residents. West University Elementary alone is a lure that’s been driving parents to move into the community for more than a decade. (Even though River Oaks Elementary, and nearby Bellaire’s Horn Elementary, both finished ahead of West U in the new public elementary school rankings.)
Being Texas’ Richest City has a way of obscuring any other slights, though. To be fair, River Oaks could demand a recount. The neighborhood wasn’t counted because River Oaks is technically a part of Houston rather than an official separate city.
West U wins. What’s better than being independently wealthy?