26. Richland, Montana
> County median household income: $65,084
> State median household income: $47,169
> Poverty rate: 11.4%
> Nov. unemployment: 3.7%
With a median household income of $65,084 a year, Richland is Montana’s wealthiest county. The county, which is on the state’s eastern border with North Dakota, likely owes much of its wealth to revenue from the development of the Bakken shale oil deposits. As of 2013, Richland was the state’s highest oil-producing county.
27. Sarpy, Nebraska
> County median household income: $70,543
> State median household income: $52,997
> Poverty rate: 6.4%
> Nov. unemployment: 2.6%
Wealthy counties tend to be more densely populated than poorer counties, and Sarpy is no exception. In Sarpy, the wealthiest county in Nebraska, there are an average of 665 people per square mile, far more than the 24 people per square mile across the state.
Also like most wealthy counties, Sarpy’s population is well educated. Nearly 37% of adults in the county have at least a bachelor’s degree, versus the 29.3% share of adults in Nebraska with similar education.
28. Elko, Nevada
> County median household income: $71,799
> State median household income: $51,847
> Poverty rate: 11.0%
> Nov. unemployment: 3.8%
Elko, Nevada is the wealthiest county in Nevada, with a median household income of $87,795 — about $34,000 more than that of the nation. Wealthier counties tend to be in more densely populated areas and often located near major metropolitan center. While there are 87.4 Americans on average for every square mile, most of the wealthy counties on this list have a population density of at least 300 people per square mile. Elko County, Nevada’s wealthiest, does not match this trend, with just three residents per square mile.
29. Rockingham, New Hampshire
> County median household income: $81,198
> State median household income: $66,779
> Poverty rate: 5.5%
> Nov. unemployment: 2.6%
New Hampshire’s 8.9% poverty rate is well below the 15.5% national rate. Serious financial hardship is even less common in Rockingham County. The typical Rockingham household earns $81,198 a year, more than any other county in New Hampshire. Also, only 5.5% of Rockingham’s nearly 300,000 residents live in poverty.
As is the case in most relatively wealthy counties, Rockingham residents tend to be well educated. Nearly 39% of area adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, compared to 35% of adults statewide and 30% of American adults.
30. Hunterdon, New Jersey
> County median household income: $105,444
> State median household income: $72,093
> Poverty rate: 4.4%
> Nov. unemployment: 3.0%
With a median household income of $72,093 a year, New Jersey is among the three wealthiest states in the country. Hunterdon County, the state’s wealthiest, is one of only 11 large U.S. counties where the typical household earns six-figures annually.
Much like the wealthiest counties in Connecticut and New York, Hunterdon is within commuting distance of Manhattan, and the region’s high paying jobs. Many high income jobs require a college degree, and nearly half of Hunterdon adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, one of the highest shares in the country.