Where Does My Zip Code Rank?
But which ZIP codes are simply the best? That was a question the Movoto Real Estate Blog was willing and ready to tackle. And what’s more, we ranked these five-digit locales completely by the numbers, so to speak.
These are the absolute best ZIP codes in the nation:
1. 20004, Washington, DC
2. 77005, Houston, TX
3. 98039, Medina, WA
4. 95497, Sea Ranch, CA
5. 11930, Amagansett, NY
6. 92121, San Diego, CA
7. 60603, Chicago, IL
8. 60602, Chicago, IL
9. 67230, Wichita, KS
10. 64113, Kansas City, MO
You might be a little surprised by some of these, and you might be wondering where your ZIP ranked or how we got our results. And all you have to do to find out our methods is read on to the very next section.
We’ve made many lists and maps before, and in all of them we used math and numbers rather than personal preference to get our results. This Big Deal List was no different. Using the U.S. Census’ American Community Survey, we researched each ZIP code in the U.S., including those that were only a few people in size. The criteria we looked at were:
- Median Household Income (the higher the better)
- Unemployment Rate (the lower the better)
- Average Commute Time (the lower the better)
- Median Rent (the higher, the more desirable an area)
- Median House Worth (the higher, the more desirable an area)
- High School Graduation Rate (the higher, the better)
- Families Below The Poverty Line (the lower, the better)
We omitted any ZIP codes that didn’t report data in any one of these criteria, which left us with a total of 28,061 ZIP codes.
Then, we ranked each ZIP code in each category from one to 28,061, with scores closer to one being better.
Finally, we averaged each areas rankings into one Big Deal Score, and the place with the smallest number for that score was our best ZIP code.
Let’s take a closer look at our top 10 areas, and find out what exactly makes them so special.
1. 20004, Washington, DC: Walk Where The Presidents Walked
Let’s just take a moment to look at all the cool stuff this Washington, D.C. ZIP code contains. There’s Ford’s Theater, part of the Smithsonian, the International Spy Museum, and it’s only a stone’s throw from the White House. What more could you ask for?
Well, as if turns out, you can ask for a whole lot more here and actually get it.
To start, this ZIP code had a median household income of $131,111 and a mere 1.93 percent unemployment rate. The housing costs denoted desirability, and 100 percent of the well-educated populace graduated from high school.
To top it all off, no one that lived here was below the poverty line, meaning that locals were less likely to be stressed about their income or job.
2. 77005, Houston, TX: A Bedroom Community To Envy
Right next to the Houston Zoo, and containing the well-to-do West University Place, this ZIP code was only a little short of our first place spot.
If you thought the household income was high in our No. 1 spot, you’ll be shocked to see how high it was here. Households here made a median yearly income of $153,041, and very few locals were unemployed as well.
The commute times were low, and the housing costs showed just how much people are itching to live here. As an added bonus, only 1.71 percent of locals didn’t graduate from high school, a feat many cities and ZIP codes might strive to accomplish.
3. 98039, Medina, WA: Anyone For A Round Of Golf?
While this place was smaller than some of the others in our top 10, that was simply because so much of this ZIP code was desirable lakefront property.
Sitting right up against Lake Washington, this Medina ZIP code has its own country club, as well as some stats that’ll knock your socks off.
First of all, the unemployment rate was a low 2.6 percent, and the median household income was the highest in our top 10 at $165,625.
Additionally, less than one percent of locals don’t graduate from high school, so these folks are in the know. Let’s hope they know some good bargaining techniques, because the home prices here were some of the most expensive on our list.
4. 95497, Sea Ranch, CA: Just Breathe That Ocean Breeze
If you’ve never heard of this area before, that’s okay, considering Sea Ranch is home to merely 1,305 people. Still, this little spot came up big in a lot of areas.
No families were below the poverty line, less than one percent of folks didn’t graduate from high school, no one is unemployed, and the shortest commute time in our top 10 all made this a pretty fantastic ZIP code.
You probably won’t be surprised to know that the housing prices here were very high, which makes sense considering the area’s distinctive architecture known as “Sea Ranch Style.”
Still, for what you get, it’s worth it. Even if you can’t afford to live here, perhaps you can at least afford to pay a trip to the Sea Ranch Lodge so you can enjoy the amazing ocean views.
5. 11930, Amagansett, NY: For When You Just Want To Take A Stroll In The Park
Located between Napeague Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, this Amagansett ZIP code is on a small strip of land, but still has big things in store.
Short commute times, low unemployment, and very little poverty are only a few perks of living here, capped off by a median household income of $78,542.
The high cost of housing and rent here definitely speak to the area’s desirability and the affluence of locals.
But for those who can’t afford to join the South Fork Country Club, you can always enjoy any of the four lovely parks included in this desirable area, such as Napeague State Park, Atlantic Double Dunes Preserve, or Dennistown Bell Park.
6. 92121, San Diego, CA: You Might Have Flashbacks To “Top Gun”
Located right next to the University of California San Diego and containing part of famous Marine Corps Air Station Miramar (once nicknamed Fightertown USA), this ZIP code shows that San Diego has a lot of culture and history to go around.
What it also had was some great numbers, in the way of a short 17 minute average commute, unemployment rates of less than four percent, and a median household income of more than $96,000.
If you need more than that, this place also had a huge number of locals graduating from high school, over 97 percent, and less than 1.5 percent of families below the poverty line.
7. 60603, Chicago, IL: High Earnings Surrounded By High Art
This was definitely the smallest ZIP code on our winners list at merely 623 people, but it was also the first of two worthy Chicago locales in our top 10.
Why was it so worthy? To start with, this place had no families below the poverty line, everyone graduated from high school, and the unemployment rate was very low.
A definite standout was also the $107,056 median household income, which is probably there to help locals afford their highly desirable rent and home prices.
As an added perk, this place is also home to The Art Institute of Chicago, and is right next to the Chicago Symphony Center, Grant Park, and the Chicago Architecture Foundation for all you culture lovers out there.
8. 60602, Chicago, IL: Grab A Bite To Eat And Fall In Love With Local Flavor
Very close to our No. 7 spot, this ZIP code is home to a plethora of fine hotels and restaurants, including Atwood and the Rosebud Theater District. It was also home to very low unemployment, and a 100 percent high school graduation rate.
If you want more than that here, that’s not a problem, as the area had very high median household income but a slightly more affordable housing price for all you bargain hunters out there.
As a final perk, no families here reported that they were below the poverty line, so locals here don’t have to worry so much about paying their bills every month.
9. 67230, Wichita, KS: A Fine Wine Goes Well With Fine Company
Despite the fact that the Kansas Turnpike runs through it, this place was still pretty fantastic.
It’s home to Crestview Country Club as well as part of Terradyne Country Club and the Sierra Hills Golf Club, for those who can afford them at least. It’s no wonder, then, that the unemployment and poverty here were so low.
We should mention that this ZIP code was by far the best deal for your money, considering that median home price was only $276,000 and the median household income was still a whopping $115,690.
10. 64113, Kansas City, MO: Roads Worth Taking Your Time On
Although it’s last on our list, Kansas City is hardly last in our hearts. Even driving through this area is lovely, given that many roads skirt beautiful parks, trees, and ponds, making the short average commute time a pleasure rather than a chore.
This ZIP code had a high school graduation rate of 99.53 percent and an unemployment rate under three percent. The median household income was a staggering $119,676, and poverty was nearly nonexistent.
Top all that off with great restaurants like Charlie Hooper’s and Bella Napoli, and this is one wonderful place to call home.
Home Is Where The Heart Is
We know that no matter what ZIP code you call home, there’s a lot of pride that comes with it. Still, maybe you’d like to find a place that better suits you, and if you’ve found one of these ZIP codes calling your name, fear not. We help people buy houses, after all, so we can help you get there.