41. South Dakota: Lincoln County
> County median household income: $81,849
> State median household income: $54,126
> Poverty rate: 3.0%
> Oct. unemployment: 2.1%
> Major metro area: Sioux Falls, SD
The median annual household income in Lincoln County, South Dakota, is $81,849, more than 50% higher than the state’s median. The county’s high incomes are likely driven up by the many generally higher paying financial and health care positions available to those living in the area. Lincoln County sits just south of Sioux Falls, which is home to operations of a number of major corporations such as Citi, Wells Fargo, and Sanford Health.
The poverty rate in Lincoln County is just 3.0%, the fifth lowest of any county nationwide and a fraction of the 13.9% statewide poverty rate.
42. Tennessee: Williamson County
> County median household income: $103,543
> State median household income: $48,708
> Poverty rate: 4.6%
> Oct. unemployment: 2.7%
> Major metro area: Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN
Williamson County, which sits just south of Nashville, is one of the wealthiest in the nation, with a median household income of $103,543 a year. It also has one of the best-educated populations in the country, with a 58.1% bachelor’s degree attainment rate among adults.
Like many high-income counties that boast a strong job market and that are located within close proximity to a major city, Williamson County is growing fast. The county’s population has grown by 15.2% over the past five years, nearly four times the comparable 3.8% state population growth rate.
43. Texas: Fort Bend County
> County median household income: $93,645
> State median household income: $57,051
> Poverty rate: 8.1%
> Oct. unemployment: 3.6%
> Major metro area: Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
Fort Bend County, Texas, is one of the fastest growing areas of the country. In the past five years, the county’s population increased by more than 123,000 people, a 21.1% growth rate. That is more than five times the U.S. population’s growth rate. This area sits southwest of Houston and boasts the highest median annual household income in Texas, at $93,645.
More than 15% of households in the county earn over $200,000 annually. Like many other wealthy areas, Fort Bend County has a well educated population. The area’s bachelor’s degree attainment rate of 45.7% far surpasses the state bachelor’s degree attainment rate of 28.7%.
44. Utah: Summit County
> County median household income: $94,952
> State median household income: $65,325
> Poverty rate: 7.5%
> Oct. unemployment: 3.3%
> Major metro area: N/A
Situated just east of Salt Lake City, Summit County extends into the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest and is home to Park City, an upscale resort community. As in other counties on this list, Summit’s population is well educated. Over half of all adults in Summit County have a bachelor’s degree or higher, the largest share in Utah, and the typical household earns about $95,000 year, also the highest of any county in the state.
45. Vermont: Chittenden County
> County median household income: $66,906
> State median household income: $57,808
> Poverty rate: 11.3%
> Oct. unemployment: 1.6%
> Major metro area: Burlington-South Burlington, VT
Chittenden County, Vermont’s 1.6% lowest unemployment rate is tied as the lowest in the state. As almost all county residents who seek employment are able to find it, the median household income is relatively high. The county’s median household income of nearly $67,000 a year is more than $9,000 higher than the median household income in Vermont.
It is likely not a coincidence that, as the wealthiest county in Vermont, Chittenden’s population is also the best educated. Nearly half of all adults in the county, 49.6%, have at least a bachelor’s degree. This far surpasses Vermont’s state bachelor’s degree attainment rate of 36.8%.