If you live in Southern Virginia and consider yourself rich, you may be a rarity.
A study shows Danville is the least wealthy area in the country, but it doesn't factor cost of living. Click here to read a copy of the report.
In the entire country, Danville is ranked at the bottom of the list, while areas outside New York City are at the top.
Our area is low because the middle class is considered high-scale living here. Most jobs are in the manufacturing fields where pay is about minimum wage, and high paying jobs aren't common.
Like most people in Danville, ministry leader Joshua Hearne earns a modest living. His house also serves as a shelter and church for Grace and Main Fellowship, a ministry for the homeless and people living in poverty.
"This is the best thing I've ever done and I don't know if I could do anything else,” Hearne said.
He's happy with the income he earns.
The ministry gets help and donations from all walks of life, including Danville's wealthiest.
Researchers from the U.S. Census Bureau say barely more than one percent of people in Danville bring home an income of $191,500 or more. This number is based on the top five percent of household incomes from 2007-2011 and the number of homes in each county. It's one of two metropolitan areas in the country with the least concentration of rich people.
Both are rural; Danville, Virginia, and ironically Danville, Illinois.
At the other end of the spectrum are the suburbs of New York City with nearly 18 percent of rich households, proving that more wealthy people live near high populated areas.
Still, some believe a person's wallet doesn't measure the true definition of wealth.
“Some of us may be materially poor, while others are socially poor, or emotionally poor, or spiritually poor,” Hearne said.
The study only included areas where people make more than what researchers consider wealthy.