GOOCHLAND, VA (WWBT) - When it comes to the richest counties in the nation, does Goochland come to mind? It should. Richmond's rural neighbor is one of eight Virginia localities named in a Forbes magazine listing of the 25 richest counties in America.
The Forbes ranking is based on median household income. In Goochland County, that number is $88,552. That means that half of the households earn more than that, and half earn less.
Some Goochland residents are not surprised to learn that their rural county-- with a population just a shade over 20,000-- is the 16th-wealthiest in America.
"I would think driving around, you'd see all the farms and stuff and you'd have to know they're worth some big bucks," said resident Bill Martin, who works in construction.
Thomas Norman has lived in the county for over 50 years. The ranking took him by surprise.
"This is a large country. I didn't think that we'd rank that high," said Norman, sitting at a table at the popular Goochland Restaurant on Route 6.
Norman has watched new wealth flock to the county in recent years.
"A lot of changes- new people moving in, these subdivisions and so forth," he said, adding, "I used to know about everybody in the county, but now I really don't know all of them by no means."
To some in the county, the ranking doesn't add up. They see the same types of income disparity that are evident elsewhere.
"I guess it's somewhat funny, being that not everyone here makes a lot of money, so I guess it just depends on who you are," said Demetra Harris, who identified herself as a school employee.