The Richest County in Every State

January 11, 2017 by Mike Sauter

Historic Mill Neck Manor house in Mill Neck, NY Long Island Gold Coast House, Manison wealth richest
Source: Thinkstock
The wealthiest parts of the country are clustered around metropolitan areas in the Northeast, the Mid Atlantic, and the West Coast. Of the 15 wealthiest major U.S. counties based on median annual household income, 12 are within commuting distance of New York City, Washington, D.C., or Baltimore.

Regardless of its location, however, each U.S. state has at least one region where residents tend to be wealthier than the average nationwide. In some states, residents of the wealthiest county are extremely affluent, while in other states incomes are only slightly higher than the U.S. median.

They typical household in Maricopa County — the wealthiest in Arizona — earns $54,229 a year, just slightly higher than the national median household income of $53,889 a year. Meanwhile, Loudon, Virginia’s wealthiest county, has a median household income of $123,453 a year. To highlight how income levels vary geographically, 24/7 Wall St. ranked each county’s annual median household income in every state, identifying each state’s wealthiest county.

Click here to see the richest county in every state.

Click here to see the poorest county in every state.

While there are many differences between the wealthiest counties, including size, proximity to other cities, and the type and availability of natural resources, there are also many similarities. Notably, high income counties almost always have a favorable job market. Fewer workers out of a job means that fewer area residents have to rely on other, usually low-income sources such as government subsidies or part-time work, to earn a living. A healthy economy can also produce lucrative jobs that pay well above the national median. Just three of the 50 counties on this list have a higher unemployment rate than the national figure of 4.6%. All but six of the wealthiest counties have a higher unemployment rate than their respective states.

Educational attainment is one of the best predictors of future income levels. Compared with state measures and nearby poor counties, populations in high-income counties tend to have higher college attainment rates. In a majority of states, the highest income county reports a college attainment rate at least double that of the poorest county. In 20 states, the college attainment rate in the wealthiest county is more than three times the poorest county’s rate.

The wealthiest counties tend to be clustered around their state’s largest metropolitan economies. Within many metropolitan areas, there are densely populated areas of concentrated poverty. At the same time, high-paying jobs tend to be concentrated in major cities, and many metropolitan areas have at least one county that consists primarily of affluent neighborhoods. While the population density nationwide is about 87 people per square mile, the population density in the majority of the wealthiest counties is at least 300 people per square mile.

To identify the richest county in each state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed median annual household incomes for each U.S. county from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS). In order to be considered, counties or county-equivalents had to have a population of at least 10,000 people. We also reviewed in each county the percentage of adults who have completed at least high school and at least college, as well as poverty rates, the percentage of owner-occupied housing units (the homeownership rate), median home values, and the percentage of area adults who identify as American Indian or Alaska Native from the ACS. All ACS data are five-year averages for 2011-2015. Unemployment rates are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and are for November 2016, the most recently available period. Population density came from the Census Bureau’s 2010 decennial census.

These are the poorest counties in each state.

Shelby County, Alabama

1. Shelby, Alabama
> County median household income: $70,187
> State median household income: $43,623
> Poverty rate: 8.3%
> Nov. unemployment: 4.1%

One of the poorest states in the country, median annual household income in Alabama is about $10,000 lower than the nationwide median. Not all parts of Alabama are poor however. In Shelby, the typical household earns over $70,000 a year. With higher incomes, Shelby also has a far lower than typical poverty rate. Some 8.3% of county residents live in poverty, less than half the 18.8% statewide poverty rate, and well below the national 15.5% rate.

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Juneau City and Borough, Alaska

2. Juneau City and Borough, Alaska
> County median household income: $85,746
> State median household income: $72,515
> Poverty rate: 6.6%
> Nov. unemployment: 4.6%

Rather than being divided into counties, Alaska is divided into boroughs. The most affluent of these, Juneau City and Borough, has a median annual household income of more than $85,000 — nearly $33,000 more than the national median. While affluent counties tend to share certain characteristics, Juneau is an outlier in several respects. While most counties on this list have better than average job markets, Juneau’s unemployment rate of 4.6% is equal to the U.S. rate. With a population density of just 12 people per square mile, Juneau is also one of the few wealthy regions on this list with a population density below the U.S. figure of 87.4 people per square mile.

Phoenix, Arizona

3. Maricopa, Arizona
> County median household income: $54,229
> State median household income: $50,255
> Poverty rate: 17.0%
> Nov. unemployment: 4.1%

Incomes are not especially high in Arizona. The state’s median household income of $50,255 a year is about $3,500 shy of the nationwide median of $53,889. Even in Arizona’s wealthiest county, Maricopa, the typical household earns $54,229, only a few hundred dollars more than the typical American household. Maricopa’s slightly higher incomes are not enough to eradicate poverty. Across the county, which encompases the city of Phoenix, 17% of residents live in poverty, a slightly higher share than the nationwide 15.5% poverty rate.

Benton County, Arkansas

4. Benton, Arkansas
> County median household income: $56,239
> State median household income: $41,371
> Poverty rate: 12.2%
> Nov. unemployment: 2.6%

Arkansas is one of the poorest states in the country. Nearly one in every four state residents live below the poverty line, and the statewide median household income of $41,371 a year is about $12,500 below the national median. Statewide, median household income is higher than the national median in only two counties, including Benton, the state’s wealthiest. Still, the median household income in Benton is only $2,350 higher than the national median income.

Slightly higher incomes in Benton is due in part to a relatively healthy job market. Only 2.6% of the county’s labor force is out of a job, lower than both the 4.6% national unemployment rate and the 3.5% Arkansas unemployment rate.

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California
Source: Thinkstock

5. Santa Clara, California
> County median household income: $96,310
> State median household income: $61,818
> Poverty rate: 9.5%
> Nov. unemployment: 3.5%

California is the most populous state and one of the wealthiest in the United States. Not surprisingly, California’s wealthiest county also ranks among the wealthiest counties nationwide. The typical Santa Clara household earns $96,310 a year, about $42,000 more than the typical American household and $34,000 more than the typical California household.

Santa Clara encompasses Silicon Valley, home to some the country’s most influential, and highest paying, tech companies. Most high-paying jobs require at least a college education, and about 48% of Santa Clara adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, significantly higher than the 30% of American adults and the 31% of California adults.

Castle Rock, Douglas County, Colorado
Source: Thinkstock

6. Douglas, Colorado
> County median household income: $102,964
> State median household income: $60,629
> Poverty rate: 4.0%
> Nov. unemployment: 2.3%

Douglas is the wealthiest county in Colorado and one of only 11 U.S. counties where the typical household earns over $100,000 a year. With such high incomes, serious financial struggles are rare in Douglas. Only 4% of Douglas’s 300,000 residents live in poverty, the second lowest poverty rate of any county nationwide.

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Higher paying jobs tend to require higher educational attainment. In Douglas, 56.6% of adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, one of the highest shares of any U.S. county and a far greater share than the 29.8% of adults nationwide.

Fairfield County, Connecticut
Source: Thinkstock

7. Fairfield, Connecticut
> County median household income: $84,233
> State median household income: $70,331
> Poverty rate: 9.0%
> Nov. unemployment: 3.6%

Fairfield is the wealthiest county in one of the nation’s wealthiest states. The typical Fairfield household earns $84,233 annually, about $14,000 more than the comparable statewide income, which itself is about $16,000 more than the national median income of 53,889.

The county’s high incomes likely drive up real estate costs in the area. The typical home in Fairfield is worth $416,000, about 54% higher than the typical Connecticut home.

Wilmington, New Castle County, Delaware
Source: Thinkstock

8. New Castle, Delaware
> County median household income: $65,476
> State median household income: $60,509
> Poverty rate: 11.4%
> Nov. unemployment: 3.8%

New Castle is the wealthiest county in Delaware. The typical New Castle household earns $65,476 a year, roughly $5,000 more than the median income across the state. With higher incomes, serious economic hardship is relatively uncommon in New Castle. Only 11.4% of county residents live below the poverty line, a lower rate than the 15.5% national and 12.0% statewide poverty rates.

Delaware is a relatively wealthy state, and even in Sussex, the poorest county in the state, the median household income is in line with the $53,889 a year a typical American household earns.

St. Augustine, St. Johns County, Florida
Source: Thinkstock

9. St. Johns, Florida
> County median household income: $66,194
> State median household income: $47,507
> Poverty rate: 9.5%
> Nov. unemployment: 3.8%

St. Johns, the wealthiest county in Florida, is also the only county in the state with a lower than 10% poverty rate. The typical county household earns $66,194 a year, nearly $19,000 more than the typical Florida household. In addition, 9.5% of county residents live in poverty compared to 16.5% of residents statewide.

The higher incomes likely drive up real estate costs in the county. Located along the Atlantic coast just south of Jacksonville, the median area home value is $244,400, far higher than the $159,000 median home value across the state.

Poole's Mill Covered Bridge in Cumming, Forsyth County, Georgia
Source: Thinkstock

10. Forsyth, Georgia
> County median household income: $88,816
> State median household income: $49,620
> Poverty rate: 6.9%
> Nov. unemployment: 4.0%

Income inequality, while prevalent to varying degrees nationwide, is especially pronounced in Georgia. Median household income in Telfair, the poorest county in the state, is only $26,449 a year — one of the lowest of any U.S. county. However, in Forsyth, the state’s wealthiest county, the typical household earns nearly $89,000 a year — one of the highest median incomes of any U.S. county.

Higher paying jobs are often only available to those with college education. In Forsyth, 45.6% of adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, a far higher share than the 28.8% of adults with similar education across the Peach State.

Honolulu Waikiki Beach, Hawaii
Source: Thinkstock

11. Honolulu, Hawaii
> County median household income: $74,460
> State median household income: $69,515
> Poverty rate: 9.7%
> Nov. unemployment: 2.7%

Hawaii’s residents are, on the whole, relatively affluent, with a median household income of $69,515 a year, fifth highest among states. In Honolulu County, home to the state’s capital and the most populous county, incomes are higher but not by much. The typical household in the county earns $74,460 a year. Similarly, less than one in 10 Honolulu residents live in poverty, one of the lowest poverty rates of any U.S. county but only slightly below the state’s poverty rate.

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Chairlift - Sun Valley, Blaine County, Idaho
Source: Thinkstock

12. Blaine, Idaho
> County median household income: $60,088
> State median household income: $47,583
> Poverty rate: 10.4%
> Nov. unemployment: 3.4%

Wealthy areas are often more densely populated that poorer ones. Blaine County, which encompasses large segments of federally protected forests, is an exception. With an average of only eight people per square mile in the county, it ranks among the most sparsely populated counties in Idaho and the nation. Additionally, with a median household income of $60,088 a year, Blaine’s population is the highest earning in the state.

Property is not cheap in Blaine. The typical area home is worth $374,800, more than double the $162,900 median home value across Idaho.

yorkville-kendall-county-illinois
Source: Wikimedia Commons

13. Kendall, Illinois
> County median household income: $84,385
> State median household income: $57,574
> Poverty rate: 5.5%
> Nov. unemployment: 4.8%

The median household income in Kendall is $84,385 a year, higher than every other county in Illinois. And only 5.5% of people in Kendall live in poverty, a far smaller poverty rate than the 15.5% and 14.3% national and statewide rates.

As is often the case in high-income areas, Kendall is one of the more densely populated counties in Illinois. There are an average of 358 people per square mile in the county compared to only 231 people per square mile across the state.

Carmel City Hall, Hamilton County, Indiana
Source: Thinkstock

14. Hamilton, Indiana
> County median household income: $86,222
> State median household income: $49,255
> Poverty rate: 4.7%
> Nov. unemployment: 3.0%

In Hamilton, the wealthiest county in Indiana, the typical household earns $86,222 a year. The county’s 4.7% poverty rate is less than a third of the corresponding poverty rate statewide.
Relatively densely populated, Hamilton is located just outside of Indianapolis, the state’s largest city. Access to a major urban center is likely a source of high-paying jobs for county residents. The unemployment rate is only 3.0% in Hamilton, below the 3.9% statewide unemployment rate.

Dallas County, Iowa
Source: Wikimedia Commons

15. Dallas, Iowa
> County median household income: $76,320
> State median household income: $53,183
> Poverty rate: 6.5%
> Nov. unemployment: 2.2%

The typical household in Dallas County earns $76,320 a year, approximately $23,000 more than the median household income in Iowa as a whole. High-paying occupations often require a college degree, and the Dallas County population is fairly well educated. An estimated 44.2% of county adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, the third largest share of any county in Iowa and among the most of any U.S. county. Nationwide, the college attainment rate is 29.8% of all American adults.

Johnson County, Kansas
Source: Wikimedia Commons

16. Johnson, Kansas
> County median household income: $76,113
> State median household income: $52,205
> Poverty rate: 6.2%
> Nov. unemployment: 3.1%

As is the case in many wealthy counties, Johnson residents have access to a major urban center. Located on the southwestern border of Kansas City, Johnson County’s labor force is within commuting distance of higher paying jobs often found in big cities. Unemployment is also less common in Johnson than it is statewide. Only 3.1% of the county’s workforce is out a job, compared to 3.8% of the state’s labor force.

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Oldham County, Kentucky
Source: Wikimedia Commons

17. Oldham, Kentucky
> County median household income: $85,452
> State median household income: $43,740
> Poverty rate: 6.0%
> Nov. unemployment: 2.7%

Oldham County is the wealthiest in Kentucky and among the wealthiest nationwide. The typical Oldham household earns $85,452 a year, far more than the median income for all U.S. households of $53,889 a year. The county has grown rapidly since the 1970s, when the completed Interstate 71 connected it to the Louisville metro area and spawned new suburban development. The typical house in Oldham County is worth $247,500, the highest median home value in the state.

Ascension Parish, Louisiana
Source: Wikimedia Commons

18. Ascension, Louisiana
> County median household income: $70,551
> State median household income: $45,047
> Poverty rate: 11.8%
> Nov. unemployment: 4.5%

Financial hardship is relatively common in Louisiana. About one in every five residents of the Bayou State live in poverty, one of the highest poverty rates of any U.S. state. Not every corner of the state reports such low incomes, however. In Ascension parish, the typical household earns $70,551 a year, and fewer than 12% of residents live in poverty. Within commuting distance to both New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Ascension residents have access to jobs in both the state’s capital and its largest city.

Cumberland County, Maine
Source: Wikimedia Commons

19. Cumberland, Maine
> County median household income: $60,051
> State median household income: $49,331
> Poverty rate: 11.6%
> Nov. unemployment: 3.1%

Encompassing Portland, Cumberland County is the most populous and wealthiest in Maine. Among the county’s 286,000 residents, the median household income is just over $60,000 a year, nearly $11,000 more than the median income statewide.

Like many other counties on this list, Cumberland is also the most educated county in Maine. Higher educational attainment often translates to the ability to work at higher paying jobs, and in Maine’s wealthiest county, 43% of adults have at least a bachelor’s degree. Statewide, only 29% of adults have earned a bachelor’s degree.

Howard County, Maryland
Source: Thinkstock

20. Howard, Maryland
> County median household income: $110,238
> State median household income: $74,551
> Poverty rate: 5.2%
> Nov. unemployment: 3.0%

Howard’s population is the highest earning of any county in the wealthiest state in the country. The typical Howard household earns $110,238 a year, or about $36,000 more than the median household income in Maryland, which itself is $21,000 higher than the national median household income of $53,889.

Howard County is within commuting distance of both the state capital, Annapolis, and the state’s largest city, Baltimore. Many of the county’s wealthy residents also likely hold high-paying jobs in the nation’s capital, Washington D.C. Only three other U.S. counties, all in Virginia, have a higher median household income than Howard.

21. Norfolk, Massachusetts
> County median household income: $88,262
> State median household income: $68,563
> Poverty rate: 6.6%
> Nov. unemployment: 2.3%

The typical household in Norfolk County earns $88,262 a year, or about $20,000 more than the typical Massachusetts household. Much of Norfolk is within commuting distance of Boston, the state’s capital and largest city. Likely due in part to Boston’s diverse urban job market, only 2.3% of the Norfolk labor force is out of a job, well below the 4.6% national jobless rate.

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High-income areas typically have higher property values, and Norfolk is no exception. The median home value in the county is about $400,000, more than double the value of a typical American home.

Livingston County, Michigan
Source: Wikimedia Commons

22. Livingston, Michigan
> County median household income: $75,204
> State median household income: $49,576
> Poverty rate: 5.9%
> Nov. unemployment: 3.9%

Livingston, Michigan’s wealthiest county, is less than an hour away from Detroit, one of the poorest major metropolitan areas in the country. Still, the typical county household earns over $75,000 a year, well above the median household income statewide nationwide of $49,576. Similarly, the county’s poverty rate of 5.9% is significantly lower than both the state’s poverty rate of 16.7% and the rate nationwide of 15.5%. In Detroit’s Wayne County, meanwhile, the median household income is just $41,210 a year, and the poverty rate is 25%.

Scott County, Minnesota
Source: Wikimedia Commons

23. Scott, Minnesota
> County median household income: $87,794
> State median household income: $61,492
> Poverty rate: 5.7%
> Nov. unemployment: 2.6%

Minnesota’s Scott County, located on the outskirts of Minneapolis, is one of the most affluent counties in the nation and the wealthiest in the state. The typical Scott household earns $87,794 a year, or about $35,000 more than the median income nationwide. Areas with healthy economies tend to have wealthier residents. Scott’s unemployment rate of just 2.6% is well below the national unemployment rate of 4.6%.

Madison County, Mississippi
Source: Wikimedia Commons

24. Madison, Mississippi
> County median household income: $64,376
> State median household income: $39,665
> Poverty rate: 13.5%
> Nov. unemployment: 3.9%

The poorest state in the country, Mississippi is the only state with an annual median household income below $40,000. Not every part of Mississippi is poor. In Madison, the typical household earns $64,376 a year, nearly $25,000 more than the typical Mississippi household and about $10,500 more than the typical American household. Higher incomes in the county are likely attributable to higher educational attainment. In Madison, 46.0% of adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, more than double the 20.7% share of Mississippi adults with similar education.

St. Charles County, Missouri
Source: Wikimedia Commons

25. St. Charles, Missouri
> County median household income: $72,415
> State median household income: $48,173
> Poverty rate: 6.3%
> Nov. unemployment: 2.8%

St. Charles is the richest county in Missouri and the only county in the state with a median household income above $70,000 a year. Like many wealthy counties across the United States, St. Charles residents are within commuting distance of a major urban area. Job opportunities in St. Louis could be one reason for the low unemployment rate in St. Charles of 2.8%.

richland-county-montana
Source: Wikimedia Commons

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.

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Sarpy County, Nebraska
Source: Wikimedia Commons

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.

Elko County, Nevada
Source: Wikimedia Commons

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.

Rockingham County, New Hampshire
Source: Wikimedia Commons

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.

Hunterdon County, New Jersey
Source: Wikimedia Commons

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.

Los Alamos County, New Mexico
Source: Wikimedia Commons

31. Los Alamos, New Mexico
> County median household income: $101,934
> State median household income: $44,963
> Poverty rate: 6.1%
> Nov. unemployment: 4.2%

While income inequality is prevalent to varying degrees nationwide, it is especially pronounced in New Mexico. Only in New Mexico and Tennessee there are counties with a median household income that is more than double the statewide median income. In Los Alamos, the typical household earns $101,934 a year, well above the $44,963 annual income of the typical household in the state.

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The Los Alamos National Laboratory provides many of the area’s high-paying jobs. Owned by the Department of Energy, the laboratory employs some 10,500 people and has an annual budget of about $2.45 billion.

Nassau County, New York
Source: Wikimedia Commons

32. Nassau, New York
> County median household income: $99,465
> State median household income: $59,269
> Poverty rate: 6.2%
> Nov. unemployment: 3.7%

Nassau is one of three counties on this list that can likely attribute the counties’ high incomes to their proximity to Manhattan and the city’s high-paying jobs. Located on New York’s Long Island, a short drive or train ride from New York City, the typical household in Nassau county earns $99,465 a year, or about $40,000 more than the median income across New York State.

As is the case in many high income counties, serious financial hardship is scarce in Nassau. Some 6.2% of of the county’s nearly 1.4 million residents live in poverty, a far smaller share than the state’s 15.7% poverty rate.

Raleigh (Wake County), North Carolina
Source: Thinkstock

33. Wake, North Carolina
> County median household income: $67,309
> State median household income: $46,868
> Poverty rate: 11.3%
> Nov. unemployment: 4.0%

In close proximity to some of the best universities in the world, such as North Carolina State University, Duke University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Wake County residents have substantial access to higher education. An estimated 49.0% of adults in the county have at least a bachelor’s degree, the second highest college attainment rate in the state. The county is also home to much of the Research Triangle Park — one of the largest office parks in the world and a source of many high-paying jobs. Additionally, just 4.0% of the county’s workforce is unemployed, one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state. Good schools and job opportunities are likely among the reasons Wake County is the wealthiest in the state.

Williams County, North Dakota
Source: Wikimedia Commons

34. Williams, North Dakota
> County median household income: $88,013
> State median household income: $57,181
> Poverty rate: 10.1%
> Nov. unemployment: 3.4%

With a median household income of $88,013 a year, Williams residents earn the highest incomes of any county in North Dakota. For a majority of counties on this list, high-paying jobs are usually the result of high educational attainment. Williams is an exception, however. Only 21.0% of adults in Williams have at least a bachelor’s degree, a smaller share than the 27.7% of adults statewide and the 29.8% of adults across the United States. A majority of high-paying jobs in Williams are likely tied to oil and gas extraction. Williams is one of the top oil-producing counties in North Dakota’s lucrative Bakken shale region.

Delaware County, Ohio
Source: Wikimedia Commons

35. Delaware, Ohio
> County median household income: $91,955
> State median household income: $49,429
> Poverty rate: 4.5%
> Nov. unemployment: 3.2%

The typical Delaware County household earns $91,955 a year, the most of any county in Ohio and among the most nationwide. The high incomes in the county are likely tied to the area’s relatively strong job market and high levels of education among members of the labor force. Just 3.2% of the county’s labor force is unemployed, versus the 4.6% national unemployment rate. An estimated 51.8% of area adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, nearly twice the college attainment rate for Ohio.

El Reno (Canadian County), Oklahoma
Source: Wikimedia Commons

36. Canadian, Oklahoma
> County median household income: $64,505
> State median household income: $46,879
> Poverty rate: 7.3%
> Nov. unemployment: 3.9%

Oklahoma is not an especially wealthy state. The median household income even in its highest earning county falls the below the median income of eight states. Still, the typical household in Canadian County is doing far better financially than Oklahoma as a whole. The typical county household earns $64,505 a year, roughly $18,000 more than the typical Oklahoma household and more than double the median income in the state’s poorest county, Choctaw.

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Washington County, Oregon
Source: Wikimedia Commons

37. Washington, Oregon
> County median household income: $66,754
> State median household income: $51,243
> Poverty rate: 11.8%
> Nov. unemployment: 3.8%

The typical household in Washington County, Oregon earns over $66,000 a year, well above the $51,243 the typical household in the state earns a year. Like many counties on this list, high incomes in Washington are likely due to higher educational attainment and the resulting high-paying jobs. Nearly 41% of adults in the county have at least a bachelor’s degree, about 10 percentage points higher than the comparable statewide share.

Like many counties on this list, Washington is located near a major city. Situated just west of Portland, many county residents likely commute to the state’s largest city for work.

Chester County, Pennsylvania
Source: Wikimedia Commons

38. Chester, Pennsylvania
> County median household income: $85,976
> State median household income: $53,599
> Poverty rate: 7.1%
> Nov. unemployment: 3.5%

The typical Chester household makes at least $5,000 more annually than the typical household in any other county in Pennsylvania. Like many counties on this list Cheser is in close proximity to a major urban center. Philadelphia County, the poorest in the state and home to the city of the same name, is within commuting distance of Chester.

Many of the high-paying jobs in Chester are held by college graduates. Nearly 50% of all adults in the county have at least a bachelor’s degree, compared to approximately 29% of Pennsylvania adults and 30% of American adults with similar education.

Washington County, Rhode Island
Source: Wikimedia Commons

39. Washington, Rhode Island
> County median household income: $72,807
> State median household income: $56,852
> Poverty rate: 9.9%
> Nov. unemployment: 4.1%

Washington County’s population reports the highest income level of Rhode Island’s five counties. The typical county household earns $72,807 annually, about $14,000 more than the typical statewide household.

The area contains high-end real estate on the coast of Block Island Sound, along the southern edge of Washington County. The median home value of $311,600 in Washington County is well above the statewide median home value of $238,000.

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, Beaufort County
Source: Thinkstock

40. Beaufort, South Carolina
> County median household income: $57,048
> State median household income: $45,483
> Poverty rate: 12.8%
> Nov. unemployment: 3.8%

Beaufort County is located in coastal South Carolina, between Charleston and Savannah, Georgia. With a number of private islands, beaches, and waterways, Beaufort County is home to some of the most expensive properties in the state. The typical house in the county is worth $274,700, nearly twice the median home value of $139,900 for South Carolina as a whole. Beaufort residents do not just own the most expensive homes in South Carolina, but also earn the highest incomes. The typical county household earns $57,048 a year, roughly $12,000 more than the typical South Carolina household earns.

Lincoln County, South Dakota
Source: Wikimedia Commons

41. Lincoln, South Dakota
> County median household income: $76,094
> State median household income: $50,957
> Poverty rate: 4.4%
> Nov. unemployment: 2.0%

The typical Lincoln County household earns $76,094 a year, roughly $25,000 more than the median household income of $50,957 for South Dakota as a whole. One reason for the high earnings in the county is likely the area’s strong job market. Just 2.0% of the county’s workforce is unemployed, nearly the lowest unemployment rate of any county in the nation. Lincoln County also has a fairly qualified labor force. More than two in five county adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, far more than the college attainment rate statewide.

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Williamson County, Tennessee
Source: Wikimedia Commons

42. Williamson, Tennessee
> County median household income: $96,565
> State median household income: $45,219
> Poverty rate: 5.1%
> Nov. unemployment: 3.4%

Located less than 30 miles from Nashville, Williamson County is home to some of the wealthiest suburban communities in Tennessee. The typical county home is worth $348,600, more than twice the median home value of $142,100 across the state. For many county residents, the proximity to Nashville may provide access to the high-paying jobs that tend to be concentrated in major metropolitan areas. Roughly one-third of resident county workers are employed in Davidson County, where Nashville is located. The typical Williamson household earns $96,565 a year, far more than the $45,219 median household income statewide.

Water fountain in Oyster Creek Park, Sugar Land, Fort Bend County, Texas, USA
Source: Thinkstock

43. Fort Bend, Texas
> County median household income: $89,152
> State median household income: $53,207
> Poverty rate: 8.2%
> Nov. unemployment: 4.8%

Located just outside of Houston, Fort Bend County is one of many suburban counties in close proximity to major metropolitan areas among the wealthiest in the country. According to the county’s economic development department, Fort Bend has more planned communities than any other county in the state. The typical household in Fort Bend County earns $89,152 a year, roughly $36,000 more than the typical household in Texas.

Summit County, Utah
Source: Wikimedia Commons

44. Summit, Utah
> County median household income: $91,773
> State median household income: $60,727
> Poverty rate: 7.8%
> Nov. unemployment: 2.9%

With the third highest average elevation of any county, Summit County is a mountainous region with an economy that benefits heavily from skiing and recreation spending. Summit is home to some of the wealthiest vacation towns in Utah. The typical home in the metro area is worth $497,300, more than twice the $215,900 median home value for Utah as a whole and among the highest of any county nationwide. County residents also have the highest incomes in the state. The typical Summit County household earns $91,773 a year, roughly $31,000 more than the $60,727 the typical Utah household earns.

Burlington (Chittenden County), Vermont
Source: Thinkstock

45. Chittenden, Vermont
> County median household income: $65,350
> State median household income: $55,176
> Poverty rate: 11.4%
> Nov. unemployment: 2.2%

As is generally the case in other states, Vermont’s richest county, Chittenden, is its most densely populated county, with approximately 146 people per square mile. While certainly no metropolis, Burlington, Vermont’s largest city, is entirely encompassed by Chittenden County. The University of Vermont and its affiliated medical center operate in the area, and the relatively high-paying jobs at the institution help explain Chittenden’s state-leading median annual household income of $65,350. The typical Vermont household earns $55,176 a year, slightly higher than the national median household income of $53,889 a year.

Loudoun County, Virginia
Source: Wikimedia Commons

46. Loudoun, Virginia
> County median household income: $123,453
> State median household income: $65,015
> Poverty rate: 4.0%
> Nov. unemployment: 3.2%

Among U.S. counties with at least 10,000 people, the three wealthiest are all in northern Virginia, which is part of the D.C. metropolitan area. The most affluent of these, and therefore the wealthiest in Virginia and the United States, is Loudoun, which has a median annual household income of $123,453. Highly educated populations tend to report high incomes, and 58.2% of Loudoun County’s adults have a bachelor’s degree, the 10th highest of all large U.S. counties.

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Seattle (King County), Washington
Source: Thinkstock

47. King, Washington
> County median household income: $75,302
> State median household income: $61,062
> Poverty rate: 11.2%
> Nov. unemployment: 3.9%

King County, which encompasses Seattle and Bellevue, is Washington’s wealthiest area. The typical county household earns more than $75,000 annually, well above the state median household income of $61,062 a year, which itself is one of the higher income levels among U.S. states. As is the case in most states, the median household income in Washington’s richest county is more than double the $36,631 median annual income in the state’s poorest county, Whitman.

Jefferson County, West Virginia
Source: Wikimedia Commons

48. Jefferson, West Virginia
> County median household income: $66,677
> State median household income: $41,751
> Poverty rate: 11.6%
> Nov. unemployment: 2.8%

The typical Jefferson County household earns $66,677 a year, far more than West Virginia’s $41,751 median household income. The college attainment rate of 28.4%, while in line with the national percentage, also makes the county one of the most educated labor forces in the state.

Some of the largest employers in Jefferson include PNGI Charles Town Gaming, the Jefferson County Board of Education, and Shepherd University. Due to the county’s proximity to Washington D.C., the federal government is another large employer. Jefferson County is home to U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilities, and the Department of the Interior (National Park Service) is the eighth largest employer in the county.

Waukesha County, Wisconsin
Source: Wikimedia Commons

49. Waukesha, Wisconsin
> County median household income: $76,545
> State median household income: $53,357
> Poverty rate: 5.3%
> Nov. unemployment: 3.2%

Located just west of Milwaukee, a major metropolitan area, Waukesha is home to some of the wealthiest suburban communities in Wisconsin. The typical household earns $76,545 a year, roughly $23,000 more than the median household income of $53,357 in the state. The county also has one of the most educated labor forces in Wisconsin. An estimated 41.2% of area adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, compared to 27.8% of adults statewide. Some of the main universities in Waukesha County are Carroll University, Ottawa University, and the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha, and major employers in the area include Kohl’s, Quad/Graphics, ProHealth Care, and GE Healthcare.

Fremont Lake, Sublette County, Wyoming with Wind River Mountains
Source: Thinkstock

50. Sublette, Wyoming
> County median household income: $81,772
> State median household income: $58,840
> Poverty rate: 8.1%
> Nov. unemployment: 5.2%

Sublette residents report higher incomes than any other county in Wyoming and the vast majority of areas nationwide. Compared with the nearly 2,500 U.S. counties considered, Sublette’s median household income of $81,772 a year is firmly in the top 100. Additionally, Sublette’s poverty rate of 8.1% is close to half the national rate.

While the likelihood of residents owning their homes is similar in both Sublette and Wyoming’s poorest county, Goshen, homes in Sublette are considerably more valuable. The typical home is worth $275,600, close to $100,000 higher than the nationwide median home value.