Rustic Cowan Heights, a panoply of undulating hills, winding roads, horse trails and gracious homes, is Orange County's most affluent neighborhood. With an annual median household income of $120,096, it ranks slightly ahead of the Aliso Viejo/Sulphur Creek (Laguna Niguel) area, where the comparable income figure is $117,260.
Cowan Heights, named for oilman and real estate developer Walter Cowan, who once owned an 800-acre ranch that stretched over what is now a good portion of the community, was also the county's richest neighborhood at the outset of the decade. Since then, however, the median household income has taken a 124% jump to the current figure.
By the 1990s, though, it appears as though Cowan Heights will lose its title as most affluent neighborhood. Current projections show that 5 years from now, the Aliso Viejo/Sulphur Creek area will have overtaken Cowan Heights, as will have the northwestern-most portion of Laguna Hills.
Census Area Tract Population Households Cowan Heights 756.01 10,393 3,073 Aliso Viejo/Laguna Niguel 423.09 11,144 3,067 Big Canyon (Newport Beach) 630.07 3,908 1,440 Corona del Mar 626.17 4,253 1,625 Lemon Heights 756.02 4,677 1,387 Northern Villa Park 758.09 3,874 1,109 Anaheim Hills 219.04 8,211 2,678 Laguna Hills 626.21 4,977 2,088 Huntington Harbour 995.07 8,385 3,275 Newport Center (Newport Beach) 630.08 185 115