The Richest County in Each State

January 29, 2015 by Thomas C. Frohlich

76800220In his recent State of the Union address, president Barack Obama asked, “will we accept an economy where only a few of us do spectacularly well? Or will we commit ourselves to an economy that generates rising incomes and chances for everyone who makes the effort?”

Wealth in the United States is not equally distributed — not across states, and not within states. Based on data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the richest county in each state.

Residents in the richest county in each state tended to earn more than most Americans. While the income gap between the richest and poorest counties was modest in some states, the gap was quite large in a majority of states. Households in Loudoun County, Virginia, for example, earned $122,238 annually, the highest of any county nationwide, and $94,122 more than the median income in Martinsville County, Virginia’s poorest area.

Click here to see the richest county in each state

Click here to see the poorest county in each state

The nation’s poorest counties tend to be either predominantly rural or urban. The wealthiest counties, on the other hand, are often suburban areas, located just outside a major metropolis. The wealthiest counties in New Jersey, New York, Virginia, and West Virginia, for example, are within commuting distance to New York City and Washington, D.C. The high concentrations of businesses in these cities likely provide higher-paying job opportunities.

As in most wealthy areas, residents of these counties tended to be well educated. In all but seven of the wealthiest counties in each state the college attainment rates were greater than the national rate of 28.8%. In Los Alamos County, New Mexico, nearly 64% of adults had attained at least a bachelor’s degree over the five years through 2013, the highest rate reviewed.

Similarly, nearly all of these counties had healthy job markets. Only three of the wealthiest counties in each state had an unemployment rate higher than the national rate of 7.4% in 2013.

The high incomes in these areas also often revealed extreme income inequality. Only five of the 50 counties reviewed had median annual incomes that were less than $10,000 greater than the comparable state figures. In addition, household incomes in most of these areas were more than double the comparable income in the states’ poorest counties. In eight of the states’ wealthiest counties, the median income was more than three times that of the poorest county in the state.

To identify the richest county in each state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed five-year estimated median annual household incomes from 2009 through 2013 from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS). Other areas like parishes or boroughs, which the Census treats the same as counties, were also reviewed. In order to be considered, counties had to have a population of at least 10,000 people. Five-year estimated educational attainment, poverty, health coverage and homeownership rates also came from the Census Bureau. Annual unemployment rates are for 2013 and came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

These are the richest counties in each state.

1. Shelby County, Alabama
> County median household income: $68,770
> State median household income: $43,253
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 6.1%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 4.4%

Shelby County households had an annual median income of $68,770 over the five years through 2013, the highest compared to all Alabama counties. While Alabama is home to some of the nation’s poorest regions, Shelby residents still tended to have higher incomes than most Americans. A typical Shelby household earned $46,584 more than the median household income in Sumter County, the state’s poorest county, one of the larger such gaps compared with other states.

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2. Juneau City and Borough, Alaska
> County median household income: $81,490
> State median household income: $70,760
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 6.6%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 4.6%

With an annual median household income of nearly $71,000 between 2009 and 2013, Alaska was one of the wealthiest states in the nation. Residents of Juneau City and Borough, the state’s wealthiest region, were even better off. A typical household in the area earned $81,490 over that period. As in most of the states’ wealthiest counties, Juneau City’s unemployment rate of 4.6% in 2013 was relatively low, versus the national rate of 7.4%.

3. Maricopa County, Arizona
> County median household income: $53,596
> State median household income: $49,774
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 4.4%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 6.7%

While the annual median household income in Maricopa of $53,596 over the five years through 2013 was the highest in the state, it was also roughly in line with the comparable national figure of $53,046. Nearly 17% of county residents lived in poverty over that time as well, an exceptionally high poverty rate compared to the other richest counties reviewed. Despite the fact that many residents struggle, the county attracted a number of new residents. The population grew by nearly 70,000 people between the middles of 2012 and 2013, however, the largest nominal increase among each state’s wealthiest county.

4. Saline County, Arkansas
> County median household income: $55,348
> State median household income: $40,768
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 1.7%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 6.2%

A typical Arkansas household earned $40,768 annually over the five years through 2013, nearly the lowest figure compared with other states. Households in Saline County, the state’s wealthiest area, had an annual median income of $55,348 over that period, not especially high relative to most of the states’ richest counties. While residents in the wealthiest counties in the vast majority of states were relatively well educated, less than 24% of Saline County residents had at least a bachelor’s degree over the five years reviewed. Only a handful of the wealthiest counties had a lower educational attainment rate than the comparable national figure of 28.8%.

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5. Santa Clara County, California
> County median household income: $91,702
> State median household income: $61,094
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 16.1%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 6.8%

A typical household in Santa Clara County earned nearly $92,000 a year over the five years through 2013, the highest income in the state. Exceptionally wealthy households likely contributed substantially to this figure, as more than 16% of households in the area earned $200,000 or more annually over the five years through 2013, one of the highest such figures nationwide. While the county’s poverty rate of 10.2% over that period was higher than in most other states’ wealthiest counties, it was considerably lower than the national figure of 15.4%.

6. Douglas County, Colorado
> County median household income: $101,591
> State median household income: $58,433
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 13.2%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 5.4%

Douglas County residents are very well educated. Over the five years through 2013, 97.5% had at least a high school diploma, and nearly 56% had at least a bachelor’s degree, both among the highest educational attainment rates nationwide. The area’s poverty rate of less than 4% was also one of the lowest poverty rates. The county’s well educated residents also had high incomes. Douglas County’s households had an annual median income of $101,591 over the five years through 2013, one of the highest. Across the state, however, income was not particularly well distributed. Douglas County’s median income was nearly $68,000 higher than the state’s poorest county’s income, one of the largest such gaps.

7. Fairfield County, Connecticut
> County median household income: $82,283
> State median household income: $69,461
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 17.0%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 7.1%

Windham County, the poorest in Connecticut, had an annual median household income of $59,333 over the five years through 2013 — the only poorest county in a state to have an income greater than the national figure. On the other hand, Fairfield County, the richest in the state, had an annual median household income of $82,283 over that period, not especially high compared with other states’ richest counties. Also unlike many of the other wealthiest counties reviewed, more than 7% of Fairfield County’s workforce was unemployed in 2013, one of the higher unemployment rates. The residents’ wealth is due in large part to the county’s proximity to New York City, where many residents commute to work.

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8. New Castle County, Delaware
> County median household income: $64,537
> State median household income: $59,878
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 6.1%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 6.7%

The income gap between Delaware’s richest and poorest counties was not nearly as great as in many other states. Residents of New Castle County earned $64,537 a year over the five years through 2013, less than $12,000 more than the comparable figure in Sussex County, the state’s poorest region.

9. St. Johns County, Florida
> County median household income: $64,876
> State median household income: $46,956
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 8.4%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 5.6%

St Johns County had an annual median household income of nearly $65,000 over the five years through 2013, the highest in the state. While incomes were not especially high compared to most of the other states’ richest counties, it was roughly double the comparable income in Putnam County, the poorest in Florida.

10. Forsyth County, Georgia
> County median household income: $86,569
> State median household income: $49,179
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 9.8%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 6.0%

Nearly 86% of Forsyth County homes were owned by their occupants, one of the highest homeownership rates nationwide. High incomes in the area likely made homeownership more accessible to many residents. Forsyth households had a median annual income of $86,569 over the five years through 2013, the highest in the state, and among the higher incomes nationwide.

11. Honolulu County, Hawaii
> County median household income: $72,764
> State median household income: $67,402
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 6.6%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 4.3%

Hawaii had one of the highest annual median household incomes in the nation over the five years through 2013, at $67,402, which likely helped residents afford the state’s exceptionally high cost of living. Honolulu County was the state’s wealthiest. A typical household in the county earned $72,764 a year during that time. As for the state as a whole, residents also benefitted from a strong health care system. Less than 6% of Honolulu County residents did not have health insurance over the five years through 2013, less than half the comparable national figure of 14.9%.

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12. Blaine County, Idaho
> County median household income: $64,042
> State median household income: $46,767
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 5.5%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 5.6%

Residents in the vast majority of the wealthiest counties were far more likely to have health insurance than most Americans. However, more than 18% of Blaine County residents did not have health insurance over the five years through 2013, one of the worst rates nationwide. County residents were still far better off than others in the state, as well as most Americans, however. Only 8.3% lived in poverty over that period, for example, much less than the comparable national figure of 15.4%.

13. Kendall County, Illinois
> County median household income: $81,765
> State median household income: $56,797
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 5.0%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 8.3%

Kendall County had an annual median household income of nearly $82,000 over the five years through 2013. Many Kendall County residents likely found higher-paying jobs in nearby Chicago, where numerous businesses and institutions are located. While higher incomes are often the result of good job opportunities, 8.3% of the county’s workforce was unemployed in 2013. The county was one of only three wealthiest counties reviewed where the unemployment rate exceeded the national rate of 7.4% that year.

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14. Hamilton County, Indiana
> County median household income: $82,468
> State median household income: $48,248
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 10.0%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 5.3%

More than 55% of Hamilton County adults had at least a bachelor’s degree over the five year period through 2013, and 96.3% had a high school diploma or higher, both among the highest rates nationwide. High educational attainment rates likely helped residents earn the highest incomes in the state. Hamilton households had an annual median income of $82,468 during those years, more than double the comparable income in Fayette, the state’s poorest county.

15. Dallas County, Iowa
> County median household income: $73,847
> State median household income: $51,843
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 7.4%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 3.7%

A typical household in Iowa’s richest county, Dallas, earned $73,847 a year over the five years through 2013, more than $22,000 higher than the comparable figure for the state. This was not an especially large income gap compared to other states. As in most wealthy areas, Dallas residents were well educated. Nearly 44% had at least a bachelor’s degree on average over the five years through 2013, and more than 94% had a high school diploma or higher, both among the higher rates in the country. With an unemployment rate of less than 4% residents also had access to a relatively strong job market.

16. Johnson County, Kansas
> County median household income: $74,717
> State median household income: $51,332
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 8.2%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 4.7%

Many residents of Johnson County commute to nearby Kansas City, where the concentration of businesses likely offers more employment opportunities and higher wages. The annual median household income in Johnson was nearly $75,000 over the five years through 2013, and less than 5% of the county’s workforce was unemployed in 2013, one of the lower unemployment rates nationwide.

17. Oldham County, Kentucky
> County median household income: $83,391
> State median household income: $43,036
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 10.4%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 6.5%

Kentucky had an annual median household income of $43,036 over the five years through 2013, one of the lowest incomes compared to other states. Households in Oldham County, the state’s richest county, earned far more than that, with an annual median income of $83,391 over that period. In addition, more than one in 10 county households earned at least $200,000 a year, one of the highest rates even among other wealthiest counties. The median income among Oldham households was also roughly four times higher than the comparable figure in McCreary, Kentucky’s poorest county — one of the largest income gaps reviewed.

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18. Ascension Parish, Louisiana
> County median household income: $69,070
> State median household income: $44,874
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 3.5%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 5.3%

While Ascension Parish was the wealthiest area in Louisiana, with an annual median household income of nearly $70,000 over the five years through 2013, residents fared worse than most Americans in other measures. For example, less than 25% of residents had at least a bachelor’s degree over that period, versus the comparable national rate of nearly 29%. Ascension’s poverty rate of 12.3% did not exceed the national figure, but it was still considerably worse than in most of the other states’ wealthiest counties.

19. Cumberland County, Maine
> County median household income: $57,461
> State median household income: $48,453
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 5.1%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 5.3%

While Cumberland households were the wealthiest in Maine, the annual median income of $57,461 over the five years through 2013 was not especially high compared to the nation. Perhaps as a result, however, income was relatively well distributed in the state. Cumberland households earned less than $21,000 more than the five-year median income in Piscataquis County, the state’s poorest area — nearly the smallest such income gap nationwide.

20. Howard County, Maryland
> County median household income: $109,865
> State median household income: $73,538
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 18.1%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 4.9%

Maryland had an annual median income of $73,538 over the five years through 2013, the highest of any state and higher even than the income in many of the richest counties in other states. In Howard County, located just outside Baltimore, residents were exceptionally wealthy. A typical household earned nearly $110,000 annually over that period, $71,418 higher than in the state’s poorest county. Howard residents were also very well educated — 60% had at least a bachelor’s degree, more than twice the comparable national figure.

21. Nantucket County, Massachusetts
> County median household income: $85,478
> State median household income: $66,866
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 8.9%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 5.9%

A typical Massachusetts household earned nearly $67,000 annually over the five years through 2013, one of the higher incomes compared to other states. In Nantucket, the state’s wealthiest county, the comparable figure was $85,478 over that period. While Nantucket’s average poverty rate of 10.4% over that period was lower than the comparable national rate, it was not particularly low compared to other states’ wealthiest counties.

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22. Livingston County, Michigan
> County median household income: $72,359
> State median household income: $48,411
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 4.8%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 8.1%

The high incomes in Livingston County likely helped residents purchase their homes. More than 85% of housing units in the area were owned by their occupants over the five years through 2013, one of the highest homeownership rates nationwide. While Livingston residents tended to be wealthier than most Americans, the unemployment rate of 8.1% in 2013 was higher than the national rate. In addition, across the state, residents were not particularly well-off, as a typical family in Michigan earned $48,411 annually over that period, considerably less than the national median income for that time.

23. Scott County, Minnesota
> County median household income: $86,112
> State median household income: $59,836
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 8.0%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 4.7%

Scott County households had an annual median income of $86,112 over the five years through 2013, the highest in the state and one of the higher figures compared to other states’ wealthiest counties. Just 5.5% of county residents lived in poverty on average during the five years, versus the comparable national figure of 15.4%.

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24. Madison County, Mississippi
> County median household income: $59,904
> State median household income: $39,031
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 8.5%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 6.3%

MIssissippi households had an annual median income of less than $40,000 over the five years through 2013, the lowest of any state. Madison, the state’s wealthiest county, was also not especially wealthy compared to the nation, with a median household income of less than $60,000 annually over that period. Still, county residents were less likely than most Americans to live in poverty and the unemployment rate of 6.3% was lower than the national rate of 7.4% in 2013.

25. St. Charles County, Missouri
> County median household income: $71,077
> State median household income: $47,380
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 4.5%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 5.6%

More than 80% of housing units in St. Charles County were owned by their occupants over the five years through 2013. This was one of the highest rates even among other states’ wealthiest counties, where residents were far more likely to own their own homes than most Americans. The high homeownership rate was largely due to high area incomes. St. Charles had a median household income of more than $71,000 annually over that period.

26. Jefferson County, Montana
> County median household income: $60,863
> State median household income: $46,230
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 4.0%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 5.1%

Jefferson County’s annual median household income of $60,863 was not especially high compared to the nation as a whole. Nonetheless, its residents were relatively well off. It was very common to own a home in the area, with nearly 86% of housing units occupied by their owners over the five years through 2013. The comparable national figure, by contrast, was less than 65%. In addition, just 7.8% of county residents lived in poverty over that period, roughly half the comparable national figure of 15.4%.

27. Sarpy County, Nebraska
> County median household income: $69,965
> State median household income: $51,672
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 3.5%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 4.0%

A strong job market may have contributed to high incomes in Sarpy County, Nebraska’s wealthiest area. The county’s unemployment rate was just 4% in 2013, one of the lowest nationwide. As in most of the states’ richest counties, residents were also relatively well educated. More than 36% of adults had at least a bachelor’s degree over the five years through 2013, considerably higher than the comparable national figure of nearly 29%.

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28. Elko County, Nevada
> County median household income: $70,238
> State median household income: $52,800
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 4.0%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 5.9%

With an annual median income of more than $70,000 over the five years through 2013, Elko County households were relatively wealthy by every standard we considered. While higher incomes are often associated with better educational attainment rates, this was not the case in Elko County. Some 83.2% of adults had completed at least high school, and 16.4% of adults had a bachelor’s degree or more over the five years through 2013. Among states’ wealthiest counties, both rates were among only a handful to not exceed the comparable national rates. Elko County residents were also less likely than most Americans to have health insurance.

29. Rockingham County, New Hampshire
> County median household income: $77,348
> State median household income: $64,916
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 7.4%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 5.7%

New Hampshire households tend to be wealthier than most in the nation. Rockingham County households had an annual median income of $77,348 over the five years through 2013, $12,432 higher than the comparable state figure. This was one of the smaller gaps reviewed. As in many wealthy areas, Rockingham also had a relatively low unemployment rate of just 5.7%. In addition, while 15.4% of Americans lived in poverty over that period, just 5.5% of Rockingham residents did, one of the lowest rates in the nation.

30. Hunterdon County, New Jersey
> County median household income: $106,143
> State median household income: $71,629
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 18.5%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 5.9%

A typical household in New Jersey earned more than typical households in every state except for Maryland. Hunterdon County was not only the state’s wealthiest, but also one of the wealthiest in the nation, with a median annual household income of $106,143 during the five years through 2013, more than double the comparable national figure. Many residents likely took advantage of the higher incomes and job opportunities in New York City, which was within commuting distance to much of the area. However, the county still reported a slight population decrease between the middles of 2012 and 2013, one of only a few counties reviewed where the population declined.

31. Los Alamos County, New Mexico
> County median household income: $106,686
> State median household income: $44,927
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 13.7%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 4.0%

Los Alamos County had an exceptionally high median annual household income of $106,686 over the five years through 2013. Yet, income was among the most poorly distributed in New Mexico as a typical household in Los Alamos earned nearly $80,000 more than a typical household in Sierra County, the state’s poorest. Los Alamos residents also benefited from relatively low poverty and unemployment rates of 4.4% and 4.0%, respectively.

32. Nassau County, New York
> County median household income: $97,690
> State median household income: $58,003
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 15.9%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 5.9%

As is the case with numerous other wealthy counties, high incomes in Nassau can be partly attributed to its proximity to a major metropolis. New York City, where county residents can find higher incomes and job opportunities, is within commuting distance for many in the area. A typical household earned nearly $98,000 annually in Nassau County over the five years through 2013, $63,302 more than the comparable figure in the Bronx, the state’s poorest county — this was one of the highest such income gaps nationwide.

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33. Wake County, North Carolina
> County median household income: $66,006
> State median household income: $46,334
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 6.8%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 6.2%

During the five years through 2013, Wake County had a median annual household income of $66,006, the highest in the state although not especially high compared to the nation. The higher incomes were due in large part to the area’s well-educated workforce. Nearly half of Wake County’s adult residents had at least a bachelor’s degree between 2009 and the end of 2013, one of the highest rates nationwide.

34. Williams County, North Dakota
> County median household income: $76,210
> State median household income: $53,741
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 7.0%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 0.9%

In recent years, residents of Williams County benefited substantially from North Dakota’s rapid economic growth. Less than 1% of the county’s workforce were unemployed in 2013, among the very lowest rates anywhere in the country. While in most affluent counties with a low unemployment rate the workforce was also well educated, this was not the case in Williams County. Less than one in five adults had at least a bachelor’s degree over the five years through 2013 — one of the lowest rates reviewed. Yet, households were still quite wealthy. Williams had a median annual household income of more than $76,000.

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35. Delaware County, Ohio
> County median household income: $89,757
> State median household income: $48,308
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 11.0%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 5.2%

Delaware County had one of the highest median household incomes, especially when compared to the rest of Ohio. The county had a median income of nearly $90,000 over the five years through 2013, nearly $42,000 higher than the comparable state figure of just $48,308. Residents were well educated over that period, which likely helped households earn more. More than 50% of adults in the area had at least a bachelor’s degree during the five years through 2013, one of the highest proportions nationwide.

36. Canadian County, Oklahoma
> County median household income: $63,629
> State median household income: $45,339
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 3.3%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 4.6%

Canadian County households had a median annual income of $63,629 over the five years through 2013, the highest in the state, but not especially high compared with the rest of the nation. Just 3.3% of households earned at least $200,000 over that period, the second lowest rate among the states’ wealthiest counties. The county also had one of the nation’s lowest poverty rates at 7% on average over the five years through 2013. The comparable national figure was more than double that.

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37. Clackamas County, Oregon
> County median household income: $64,352
> State median household income: $50,229
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 5.4%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 6.8%

A typical household in Clackamas County earned $64,352 annually over the five years through 2013. Residents were not particularly wealthy compared to the wealthiest counties of other states, although they had the highest incomes statewide. As with other wealthy areas, Clackamas is located near a large city. County residents likely commuted to nearby Portland, where the higher concentrations of businesses likely offered more job opportunities.

38. Chester County, Pennsylvania
> County median household income: $86,050
> State median household income: $52,548
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 13.0%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 5.8%

Pennsylvania had a median annual household income of $52,548 over the five years through 2013, less than the comparable national figure. The household median income in Chester County, however, was not just the highest in Pennsylvania but also among the highest in the nation. The median annual income of more than $86,050 was well more than double the typical income in the state’s poorest county. Many residents likely earned higher incomes due to the county’s proximity to nearby Philadelphia, where more employment opportunities were available to people within commuting distance.

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39. Washington County, Rhode Island
> County median household income: $72,138
> State median household income: $56,361
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 7.4%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 8.1%

With a 2013 unemployment rate of more than 8%, Washington County was one of only three wealthy areas reviewed where the job market was worse than the overall national job market. Residents, however, were still quite wealthy as well as among the most likely to have health insurance. Less than 7% did not have health coverage over the five years through 2013, less than half the comparable national figure.

40. Beaufort County, South Carolina
> County median household income: $57,316
> State median household income: $44,779
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 6.3%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 6.8%

With a median annual income of $57,316 over the five years through 2013, Beaufort households were some of the poorest among the states’ wealthiest counties. The area’s poverty and unemployment rates were still slightly better than the comparable national figures. However, residents had relatively poor health coverage. More than 17% did not have health insurance over the five years through 2013, higher than the national figure.

41. Lincoln County, South Dakota
> County median household income: $74,751
> State median household income: $49,495
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 5.6%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 2.9%

In addition to high incomes, Lincoln County residents also benefited from a strong job market and good health coverage. Less than 3% of the area’s workforce was unemployed in 2013, and 5% of residents did not have health insurance during the five years through 2013. Both were among the lowest rates nationwide. Also, just 4.5% of residents lived in poverty over that period, less than a third of the comparable national rate.

42. Williamson County, Tennessee
> County median household income: $89,779
> State median household income: $44,298
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 14.0%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 5.6%

Tennessee is among the nation’s poorest states. Due to exceptionally uneven income distribution, however, residents of Williamson County were both the richest state residents as well as some of the wealthiest in the nation. A typical household in the county earned nearly $90,000 annually over the five years through 2013, $62,965 more than the comparable income in Grundy County, the state’s poorest area. County residents were extremely well educated — nearly 53% had at least a bachelor’s degree on average over that period, considerably higher than the national rate and among the nation’s highest.

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43. Rockwall County, Texas
> County median household income: $86,119
> State median household income: $51,900
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 7.7%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 5.8%

As in other states’ wealthiest counties, high incomes in Rockwall County made it easier for residents to own their homes. Nearly 84% of area housing units were owned by their occupants between 2009 and 2013, considerably higher than the comparable national figure and even higher than most other wealthy counties reviewed. Rockwall incomes also reveal a relatively large income gap among Texas residents. The county had a median annual household income of more than $86,000, versus less than $25,000 in Starr, the state’s poorest county.

44. Summit County, Utah
> County median household income: $83,336
> State median household income: $58,821
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 14.4%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 3.9%

Nearly 48% of adults in Summit County had at least a bachelor’s degree during the five years through 2013, one of the highest rates nationwide. The high educational attainment rate likely helped area residents earn the highest incomes in the state. A typical Summit County household earned $83,336 annually between 2009 and 2013, one of the highest figures in the nation.

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45. Chittenden County, Vermont
> County median household income: $63,989
> State median household income: $54,267
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 5.5%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 3.5%

Chittenden County residents were able to access the larger and higher-paying job market in Burlington, Vermont’s largest city, which is located in the area. Partly as a result, Chittenden’s unemployment rate was just 3.5% in 2013, one of the lowest in the country. A typical household in Chittenden earned nearly $64,000 annually during the five years through 2013, the highest in the state, and just over $22,000 higher than the comparable figure in Orleans, Vermont’s poorest area. This was one of the smaller such income gaps reviewed.

46. Loudoun County, Virginia
> County median household income: $122,238
> State median household income: $63,907
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 19.8%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 4.2%

With a median annual income of more than $122,000 over the five years through 2013, households located in Loudoun County were the wealthiest in both Virginia and the entire nation. On average, nearly one in five households reported an annual income of at least $200,000 over that period, also the highest proportion reviewed. Access to higher-paying jobs at the nation’s capital located nearby likely helped many residents earn high incomes. Income in Virginia, however, was perhaps the most unevenly distributed, as a typical household in Loudoun earned nearly $95,000 more than a typical household in Martinsville City, the state’s poorest area. This was the largest such gap considered.

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47. King County, Washington
> County median household income: $71,811
> State median household income: $59,478
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 9.1%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 5.2%

Relatively high incomes usually provide people with the means to purchase homes and make other large investments. Yet, less than 60% of King County housing units were owned by their occupants. Only a handful of states’ wealthiest counties had homeownership rates lower than the comparable national rate of 64.9%. Many county residents are likely employed or living in Seattle, which makes up a large portion of the county. Higher paying jobs were also likely available in the city.

48. Jefferson County, West Virginia
> County median household income: $65,304
> State median household income: $41,043
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 4.5%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 4.6%

Households in West Virginia had an annual median income of just over $41,000 over the five years through 2013, nearly the lowest of all states. Jefferson County residents were among the wealthiest in the state, with households earning $65,304 annually over that period. Residents were not especially well educated compared with those in other states’ richest counties. Less than 28% of adults in the area had at least a bachelor’s degree between 2009 and 2013, lower than the national figure and one of the lowest reviewed.

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49. Waukesha County, Wisconsin
> County median household income: $75,850
> State median household income: $52,413
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 7.6%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 5.9%

Relatively high incomes in Waukesha County contributed to residents having one of the nation’s best health insurance coverage rates, as well as a relatively low poverty rate. Less than 5% of adults in the area did not have health insurance, and 5.4% of residents lived in poverty over the five years through 2013, both among the lowest rates nationwide.

50. Campbell County, Wyoming
> County median household income: $79,488
> State median household income: $57,406
> Pct. households in county making $200,000 or more: 4.4%
> 2013 county unemployment rate: 3.9%

Households in Campbell County had an annual median income of nearly $80,000 over the five years through 2013, the highest in the state as well as among the higher figures nationwide. However, residents were not especially well educated. Less than 19% of adults had at least a bachelor’s degree over that period, one of only a few figures reviewed that did not exceed the comparable national figure of 28.8%. The high incomes in Campbell may be due to the sizable growth rates in recent years of the state’s oil industry, which has also likely resulted in an unemployment rate of less than 4%.

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