Breaking down the top 10 wealthiest zip codes in Northern Nevada
By the numbers
Below is a listing of the 10 wealthiest zip codes in Northern Nevada, broken into three categories: average annual family income; estimated percentage of families that earn more than $100,000; and estimated percentage of families that earn more than $200,000:
Average Family Income
1. 89413: Glenbrook (Douglas Co.) — $261,336
2. 89519: Reno (Washoe) — $174,934
3. 89704: Washoe Valley (Washoe) — $171,222
4. 89511: Reno (Washoe) — $145,132
5. 89451: Incline Village (Washoe) — $145,072
6. 89828: Lamoille (Elko) — $121,927
7. 89703: Carson City (Carson City) — $110,113
8. 89815: Spring Creek (Elko) — $109,001
9. 89521: Reno (Washoe) — $101,473
10. 89423: Minden (Douglas) — $86,544
Estimated % of families earning $100K+
1. 89828: Lamoille — 69.6%
2. 89413: Glenbrook — 68.7%
3. 89519: Reno — 64.1%
4. 89511: Reno — 54.6%
5. 89451: Incline Village — 52.5%
6. 89815: Spring Creek — 50.5%
7. 89704: Washoe Valley — 50%
8. 89521: Reno — 42.9%
9. 89703: Carson City — 34.2%
10. 89423: Minden — 34%
Estimated % of families earning $200K+
1. 89413: Glenbrook — 35.3%
2. 89519: Reno — 26.1%
3. 89704: Washoe Valley — 23%
4. 89511: Reno — 20.5%
5. 89451: Incline Village — 18.4%
6. 89703: Carson City — 10.9%
7. 89815: Spring Creek — 8.3%
8. 89521: Reno — 7.5%
9. 89423: Minden — 3.8%
10. 89828: Lamoille — 0%
All figures courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent statistics.
RENO, Nev. — Highlighted by a thriving mining industry and its proximity to high-taxing California — not to mention being home to the east half of Lake Tahoe — Northern Nevada has plenty of wealth spread throughout the region.
The Northern Nevada Business Weekly took a closer look at that money by breaking down the top 10 wealthiest zip codes in this part of the state. Notably, the majority of the figures used are mined from the U.S. Census Bureau.
A pocket along the east shore of Lake Tahoe, the Glenbrook area (89413) leads Northern Nevada with an average family income of $261,336, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Boasting luxury lakefront communities in Douglas County, the area starts at Glenbrook and descends some 5 miles south to Lakeridge and Skyland.
“It’s always been known as a prosperous area,” Douglas County Manager Larry Werner told the NNBW. “It’s been an area where the more well-to-do folks lived.”
Epitomizing the area’s wealth, a 2.51-acre lakefront property in Glenbrook recently sold for $13 million.
The Glenbrook area is tops in the region in percentage of families earning $200,000 or more (35.3 percent) and is second in percentage of families earning $100,000 or more (68.7 percent).
Werner said Douglas County is seeing “a lot of retired folks” come to that area, and the county as a whole.
“In fact, our resident age is creeping up, which tells us we’re not seeing a lot of young people come in,” Werner said. “Mainly because of the housing costs that are here in Douglas County. There are a lot of retirees that come here from California … and the property costs have raised significantly because of the demand.
“That pretty much closes the market for starter families that want to come into the area.”
The population of the area was 655 at the 2010 census. Six years later, as of 2016, the census estimates the population dropped to 451, a difference of more than 200 residents — or, in a more eye-opening statistic, a 31.15 percent decrease.
Down the hill and north of Lake Tahoe, the city of Reno has three zip codes that rank in the top 10 of Northern Nevada’s wealthiest communities.
Caughlin Ranch area (89519) in west Reno. The zip code’s boundary starts at the Truckee River, just south of Fourth Street, and runs along South McCarran Boulevard down to Lakeside Drive. The 18-hole Lakeridge Golf Course lies in the zip code, as well.
In the Caughlin area, the average family income is $174,934, per the census, with an estimated 64 percent of families exceeding $100,000 and 26 percent surpassing $200,000.
In southwest Reno, the Galena, Saddlehorn and Montreux area (89511) has the fourth-highest average family income at $145,132, per the census. The sprawling region extends westward from I-580 to the Nevada/California state line.
An estimated 54 percent of families residing in this region earn at least $100,000 and about 20 percent make at least $200,000.
Rounding out the Biggest Little City’s wealthiest communities is zip code 89521 in southeast Reno, a region squarely east of the aforementioned Galena area.
Anchored by the Damonte Ranch community, the area extends eastward from I-580 toward a series of mountain peaks — Rocky Peak, Tibbie Peak, and Flowery Range HP. Geiger Grade Road, the thoroughfare connecting Reno and Virginia City, snakes through the region, as well.
As a whole, the region has an average family income of $101,473, with nearly 43 percent of families earning $100,000 or more, according to the census.
Stretched between Reno and Carson City, centered on Washoe Lake, Washoe Valley (89704) boasts the third-highest average family income in Northern Nevada at $171,222.
Brian Bonnenfant, project manager of the center of regional studies at the University of Nevada, Reno, said the zip code is “pretty dichotomous” in terms of wealth.
“On the east side of Washoe Lake, there’s lesser income, less nice homes,” he said. “And the west side is where all the money’s at. Those guys are up and hidden in the trees. That’s where a lot of the tax dodgers from California like setting up shop.”
In separating the zip code by halves, Bonnenfant, using the census, found that the average family income is nearly doubled on Washoe Valley’s west side ($203,000), compared to $103,000 on the east side. Additionally, he said 82 percent of homes west of Washoe Lake are family-owned, compared to 72 percent east of the lake.
According to the census, roughly half of Washoe Valley families earn $100,000 or more and nearly a quarter of the area’s families earn $200,000 or more.
Washoe Valley has an estimated population of 4,315 as of 2016, per the census.
Back up at Lake Tahoe, Incline Village (89451) has an average family income of $145,072, according to the census.
However, the resort community on the lake’s North Shore, has a fair share of residents well above that mark. In fact, about a quarter of Incline’s tax returns are from people who make more than $200,000 per year, said Steven Pinkerton, Incline Village General Improvement District (IVGID) general manager.
The average income for these residents is $827,849, according to the IRS’s Statistics of Income division.
Incline Village has its share of millionaires, as well.
According to the IRS, there are 2,310 people statewide who use a PO Box. Their adjusted gross income? A cool $2 million. Though it doesn’t specify where in the state they live, one can safely assume a percentage resides in Incline Village, which has hosted huge estates of billionaires like Larry Ellison, Oracle co-founder; David Duffield, PeopleSoft co-founder; and Michael Milken, a former financier and philanthropist, among other corporate CEOs, celebrities and philanthropists.
Pinkerton guesstimated at least as many as 20 percent of the PO boxers are situated in Incline, pointing to the fact that “so many of our residents don’t have residential mail service.”
He added: “There’s probably a lot of folks who have very high incomes who, for tax purposes, live here for six months and a day.”
With roughly 8,576 residents, Incline Village is only about 2 percent of Washoe County’s population. The Tahoe Basin community, however, accounts for about 10 percent of the county’s assessed value, Pinkerton said.
With the county valued at roughly $16.8 billion, Incline Village accounts for $1.68 billion, according to the Nevada Department of Taxation’s 2018-2019 projections.
Further, “statewide, there is $122 billion in value,” Pinkerton said. “If you do the math, we’re about 1.3 percent of the statewide assessed value, even though we’re probably about 0.25 percent of the population.”
All told, Incline Village, by itself, has a higher assessed value than 11 of the 18 counties in the Silver State, Pinkerton added.
LAMOILE AND SPRING CREEK
In the northeastern corners of the Silver State, Lamoille (89828) and Spring Creek (89815), tucked in central Elko County, are two of the region’s wealthiest communities.
According to the census, the average family income is $121,927 in Lamoille and $109,001 in Spring Creek.
“A major component is that mining is our major industry in the Elko area,” said Elko County Manager Rob Stokes. “Because the mining industry tends to pay a little bit better than other segments of the economy, that’s probably why the average income range is higher out there.”
With population of approximately 447, Lamoille arguably has the most concentrated wealth in Northern Nevada. An estimated 69.6 percent of families earn $100,000 or more.
Interestingly, per the census, all of the wealthiest communities in the region have a percentage of families earning $200,000 or more, except for Lamoille. There, all families earn between $50,000 and $150,000, according to the census.
In Spring Creek, which has a population of roughly 14,060, more than 50 percent of families earn $100,000 or more and 8.3 percent earn $200,000 or more. Stokes said the residential lots in Spring Creek range from one to five acres.
CARSON CITY & MINDEN
Zip code 89703, which spans the west side of Carson City, from Carson Street to Tahoe’s east shore, has an average family income of $110,113, according to the census.
More than 34 percent of families make at least $100,000 and more than 10 percent earn at least $200,000. The population of this region is estimated at 10,232 as of 2016, according to the census.
“Being the state capital,” said Carson City Manager Nick Marano, “Carson City tends to be higher in terms of legal, computer science, engineering, architecture — the professional fields you typically see directly or indirectly with a great deal of business from the state government. I think a lot of those folks tend to live in that zip code.”
Not to mention, the influx of uprooting Californians planting in the Carson-Tahoe area.
“There’s an increasing number of former California residents, more often than not from the Bay Area, and their choosing to either retire here or relocate their business here,” Marano said.
Meanwhile, zip code 89423, which encompasses Minden and extends northward to southern Carson City, sees an average family income of $85,544, per the census, rounding out the top 10 wealthiest zip codes in Northern Nevada.
In addition, an estimated 34 percent of families earn $100,000 or more while 3.8 percent bring in $200,000 or more. The estimated population for the area is 10,565, according to the census.