Atherton is a wealthy incorporated town in San Mateo County, California, United States. Its population was 6,914 as of 2010. In 1990 and 2019, Atherton was ranked as having the highest per capita income among U.S. towns with a population between 2,500 and 9,999, and it is regularly ranked as the most expensive ZIP Code in the United States.
Atherton is located at 37°27′31″N 122°12′00″W / 37.458615°N 122.200099°W / 37.458615; -122.200099.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 5.0 square miles (13 km), of which, 5.0 square miles (13 km) of it is land and 0.03 square miles (0.078 km) of it (0.63%) is water.
Atherton lies two miles (3.2 km) southeast of Redwood City, and 18 miles (29 km) northwest of San Jose. The town is considered to be part of the San Francisco metropolitan area.
The town has a Caltrain station with service only on weekends.
In September 2010, Forbes magazine placed Atherton’s ZIP code of 94027 at #2 on its annual list of America’s most expensive zip codes. In October 2013, 94027 moved to #1 on the list, where it remained through at least 2018, save for 2016 when it appeared at #3. In context, Beverly Hills was placed at #14 in 2015. Atherton had topped the list in earlier decades; a 20-year retrospective showed Atherton also at #1 in 1998. Atherton is one of the wealthiest cities in the United States.
As of the census of 2000, there were 7,194 people, 2,413 households, and 1,984 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,467.6 people per square mile (566.9/km²). There were 2,505 housing units at an average density of 511.0 per square mile (197.4/km²).
There were 2,413 households out of which 33.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 75.6% were married couples living together, 4.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.8% were non-families. 12.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.85 and the average family size was 3.06.
In the town the population was spread out with 23.7% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 18.7% from 25 to 44, 30.3% from 45 to 64, and 20.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.6 males. For every 100 women age 18 and over, there were 90.2 men.
The median income for a household in the town was in excess of $200,000, as is the median income for a family. Males had a median income of over $100,000 versus $68,393 for females. The per capita income for the town was $112,408. About 0.8% of families and 1.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.6% of those under age 18 and 3.3% of those age 65 or over.
Unlike most of San Mateo County, 55% of Atherton voters are registered Republicans, and 27.8% are registered Democrats.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Atherton had a population of 6,914. The population density was 1,369.5 people per square mile (528.8/km²). The racial makeup of Atherton was 5,565 (80.5%) White, 75 (1.1%) African American, 7 (0.1%) Native American, 911 (13.2%) Asian, 45 (0.7%) Pacific Islander, 95 (1.4%) from other races, and 216 (3.1%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 268 persons (3.9%).
The census reported that 6,529 people (94.4% of the population) lived in households, 385 (5.6%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 0 (0%) were institutionalized.
There were 2,330 households, out of which 787 (33.8%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 1,755 (75.3%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 109 (4.7%) had a female householder with no husband present, 48 (2.1%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 34 (1.5%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 15 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 321 households (13.8%) were made up of individuals and 178 (7.6%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.80. There were 1,912 families (82.1% of all households); the average family size was 3.03.
The population was spread out with 1,543 people (22.3%) under the age of 18, 579 people (8.4%) aged 18 to 24, 966 people (14.0%) aged 25 to 44, 2,264 people (32.7%) aged 45 to 64, and 1,562 people (22.6%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 48.2 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.6 males. For every 100 women age 18 and over, there were 95.3 men.
The median income for a household in the town was in excess of $250,000, the highest of any place in the United States. The per capita income for the town was $128,816. About 2.9% of families and 5.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.6% of those under age 18 and 5.4% of those age 65 or over.
There were 2,530 housing units at an average density of 501.1 per square mile (193.5/km²), of which 2,116 (90.8%) were owner-occupied, and 214 (9.2%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.6%; the rental vacancy rate was 3.9%. 5,921 people (85.6% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 608 people (8.8%) lived in rental housing units.
Forbes ranked Atherton as second on its list of America’s Most Expensive ZIP Codes in 2010, listing median house price as over $2,000,000.
Atherton California neighborhoods include: Atherton Fair Oaks, Lindenwood, Lloyden Park, MPVillas, Victoria Manor, West Atherton, West of Alameda Atherton