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One of the six counties of the metropolitain Detroit area of southeastern Michigan, it lies to the north and northwest of the city of Detroit. The vast majority of Oakland County is some of the most sprawling, anonymous suburbia in the world. There are also a few older towns and a few ghetto enclaves. It has one of the highest per-capita incomes of any county in America, and the most millionaires per capita. The population is currently about 1,100,100.

The southwestern and central portions of the county are the most sprawling, with town after town of upper middle class subdivisions, malls, and office parks. Some of these large communities are Southfield, Farmington Hills, Novi, Bloomfield Township, West Bloomfield Township, and Troy. Many of these municipalities have more occupied office space then the entire city of Detroit. The towns of Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, and Beverly Hills are older and home to more genteel wealth.

The southeastern portion is home to older, smaller, and more working class towns, such as Ferndale, Royal Oak, Clawson, Pleasant Ridge, and Madison Heights. Royal Oak Township, Oak Park, and parts of Southfield are ghettoized.

Farther north, the working class county seat of Pontiac is surrounded by Auburn Hills, home to Chrysler and the Detroit Pistons, and Waterford Township. The western edge of the county is home to many lakes, with the sprawl of the southwest encroaching. The northern third of the county is not yet suburbanized, and contains forests and farmland, as well as the Pine Knob outdoor theatre.

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