Carmel named 5th richest community in USA

Kate Corry
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Carmel has a lot of titles to its credit and now you can add another. According to the federal census, it is the fifth richest community in the United States among cities with populations of 65,000 or more. Money Magazine already tapped Carmel as the top place to live as well.

A quick drive around town and you immediately see why - not just gated communities but gated homes, along with the Palladium and the Carmel Arts and Design District. It's all here and it all costs money.

We took a drive through old town Carmel to ask residents about living in one of the richest communities in America. We were stopped in our tracks by four-year-old Kate Corry who was sitting in her front yard clutching, of all things, a chicken.

"This is Lucy, Philamena and Ethel. And Ethel is laying an egg," Kate's mother Laura told me. At that point Kate darted to the backyard to check on the process.

"No egg. No, but Ethel is still in there, trying to lay an egg," an observant Kate announced. At that point I had to ask.

"Why do you have them?"

"Because I like to know where my eggs come from," said Laura.

At this point I was distracted by Kate once again who had decided to explore another tactic to encourage Ethel. She started to sing.

"Please please please will you go back up and lay an egg for me?" she crooned.

While Kate serenaded for supper, I pointed out, "some people would say it is the fifth richest community in America. Everyone must be rich."

"No," Laura calmly replied. "We are average. Just like many people on our street, in this neighborhood and in Carmel."

Carmel schools are regarded as some of the best in the state as well. Only ten percent of its students are on free and reduced lunch compared to a state average of 48%.

"I am where I am and I am comfortable with it," this not-so-typical Carmel housewife declared.

We caught up with Tim Swike while he was out for a stroll on the Monon with daughter Madelyn.

"Most importantly it's a great place to raise a family," he said. It's good he feels that way because he may have more family here soon. Swike's brother and sister-in-law are visiting from Merrellville and they may never go home.

Jackie Swike elaborated with her husband Jeff at her side.

"There is a lot of unemployment where we live. That is the situation we are in. I am looking for a job down here. My brother said I like the family quality of it. I like the Monon. There is just a lot to offer," she said.

With unemployment at 5.2%, it's little wonder why. The state average is 8.2%.

So the old joke is what comes first - the chicken or the egg? The Corrys will tell you it's the chicken.