With an average household income of $207,276, San Marino was among 22 California cities — including six in Los Angeles County — listed in America’s 100 Richest Places, compiled annually by Bloomberg.
The list, published late last month, posted San Marino as No. 78 in the country. For California, it placed No. 18 and in L.A. County, it was No. 5. Bloomberg based its rankings on inflation-adjusted average household incomes in 2015 in all cities with populations greater than 2,000 residents.
For this recent ranking, San Marino’s average household income actually fell 1.7%, compared to the 2014 household income of $210,921. This still keeps the city well within the list’s margin, with the No. 1 city (Atherton) averaging $444,374 and the No. 100 city averaging $192,546 (Port Hunt, Virginia).
Other L.A. County cities ranking around San Marino included La Cañada Flintridge (No. 64), Manhattan Beach (71) and Beverly Hills (88).
Mayor Dr. Richard Sun said a handful of factors distinguish San Marino enough to attract high-income families to the San Gabriel Valley community, including the San Marino Unified School District.
“The No. 1 thing, as far as I’m concerned, is that we probably have one of the highest quality educations in the country,” he said.
SMUSD perennially rates among the top-performing public school districts in the state. Superintendent Alex Cherniss pointed out his district is among the smallest unified school districts in the county, which helps to provide unique benefits to parents.
“We’re small enough to meet the needs of all of our students,” Cherniss said. “There are very few school districts in L.A. County that are high achieving from elementary school all the way through high school.”
Sun added that San Marino’s small geographical size (less than 4 square miles) also ensures quick response times for law enforcement and other emergency services and the city has historically had a lower crime rate than other San Gabriel Valley cities. He added that, visually, San Marino’s collection of expansive properties and unique homes also endears it to families who can afford it.
“Our beautiful city, itself, is another reason,” Sun said. “The curb appeal in San Marino is very high. It’s the peoples’ quality, too. The people themselves are well educated. People here are very, very humble and they don’t show off.
“It’s a convenient location, too,” he added. “We’re south of Pasadena and, if there’s no traffic, 20 minutes from downtown L.A.”
Cherniss said the school district’s enrollment data showed there are more and more young families moving to or staying in San Marino.
“We have a lot of new families moving in,” he said. “The largest enrollment numbers are always in the kindergarten or 1st-grade level.”
California cities comprise more than one-fifth, or 20%, of Bloomberg’s list, including Atherton ranking as No. 1 overall. Palos Verdes Estates was the highest-ranked L.A. County city, coming in at No. 38.
For more information, visit bloomberg.com/graphics/2017-hundred-richest-places.