November 11th, 2013 | by ANDREA DAMEWOOD News | Posted In: PDX News, Multnomah County

Lake Oswego is the Only "Super" Zip Code in the State

lakeoswegozipmapThe Washington Post

Lake Oswego is the Portland metro area's only "super" zip code, according to a fascinating new interactive map compiled by The Washington Post.

The map takes a look at where the country's top zip codes are—places where the median household income is around $120,000 and seven out of 10 people hold college degrees.

Lake Oswego's zip code—97034—is the only such high-ranking location in the state, with a median income of $96,134 and 68 percent of adults are college graduates. (Washington D.C. has the highest concentration of such high income and education clusters, with their share of super zip codes encompassing 63 zip codes that hold 513,617 households across 717 square miles). 

"That compares with $53,962 and 27 percent for the remaining 23,925 zips shown," the Post writes.

Of course, Portland has a racing stripe of affluent and college-educated residents running along the West Hills to West Linn, showing that while our area may not be as rich, it does suffer from the phenomenon  the Post describes: wealthy living in cloistered locations away from the working class.

The map shows that Gresham and surrounding zip codes, for example, have a median household incomes near $40,000 and fewer than 20 percent of adults with college degrees.

The Post story details how segregation of the affluent and working class limits mobility—an ideal America has always embodied. However, it ends on a note of sympathy for the rich.

"Life in the bubble...carries its own burdens, particularly for children growing up knowing that a four-year college degree is the minimum expected of them, and most will need go on to graduate school," the story reads.

“It’s a paradox,” it quotes Anna Mangum, who lives with her two children in a three-story house surrounded by a white picket fence. “People have lush lives, with all the things they have. But the pressure is intense.”

 
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