City News: January 2004 Archives

Riverside's well-heeled

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An interesting study commissioned by the City of Riverside elevates the city's status in the high-income bracket.

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The data

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2003
Alessandro Heights
Riverside

The 11-page study took data from the 2000 Census and compared Riverside's high-income residents with those of other large Southern California cities (15,000+ households). Of over 100 Southern California cities surveyed, Riverside ranked 8th in the total number of households earning $75,000 or more -- just under those of Anaheim and Irvine, but ahead of loftier places the likes of Newport Beach, Mission Viejo, and Pasadena.

A portion of the report indicates that the average income for 41,000 households in Riverside is $94,000. Excepting the cities of Los Angeles and San Diego, few cities in Southern California can match that statistic.

The goal was to show that even though a large and diverse city such as Riverside may indeed have overall per capita numbers that fall somewhere in the middle, the extrapolation of the city's sheer numbers tell a different story. This lack of extrapolation is the problem with many of today's stats-dominated retail specialists, in which aggregated data can hide and homogenize data within a given city or area. This is especially true with larger, more diverse cities, where sheer numbers get watered down -- even lost -- in the modeling methods, thereby almost always failing to tell the complete story.

Because of these generalized methods (not to mention assumptions), Riverside has struggled somewhat the past 5 years in consistently attracting more of the high-end retailers that tend to swarm to Southern California's newer, master-planned suburban enclaves. Sure, the city has 1 of the 2 Nordstroms in the immediate area and is by no means a retail wasteland, but a few of the other highly sought-after retailers (such as Crate&Barrel) have been dragging their feet in setting up shop.

This report should gently remind them that by sheer numbers alone, Riverside's high-income households are hard to beat.


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This page is a archive of entries in the City News category from January 2004.

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