LACONIA — This week Bloomberg Business released a list of the wealthiest small towns in the United States, on which Laconia placed 21st. But, the city's high ranking is not what it appears at first glance.
The list is drawn from 536 "micropolitan statistical areas" designated by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The OMB defines a micropolitan statistical area as one or more adjacent counties or county equivalents with at least one "urban core area" with a population of at least 10,000 but not more than 50,000 together with "adjacent territory that has a high degree of social and economic integration with the core as measured by commuting ties." In other words, the Laconia micropolitan area consists of the city and eleven towns of Belknap County.
Bloomberg Business applied and scored four criteria to derive its ranking — the median household income, share of households with incomes of $200,000 or more, median home value and the share of homes value at $1-million or more. Each factor was weighed equally and scored on a scale of 0 to 100. The data was drawn from the 2013 American Community Survey prepared by the United States Census Bureau.
In Belknap County, called "Laconia" by Bloomberg, the estimated median household income is $58,654, 3.2 percent of households earn incomes of at least $200,000, the median home value is $219,900 and 2.1 percent of homes are valued at $1-million or more.
In Laconia itself the numbers are significantly lower. The estimated median household income is $47,757, 19 percent below that of the county. In the city 133 of 7,112 households, or 1.9 percent of the total, earn $200,000 or more. The median home value in the city is $187,000, 15 percent less than in the county. And 61 of 7,112 occupied housing units, or 0.9 percent of the total, are valued at $1 million or more.
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