The median annual household income in America is just over $60,000. While many of the highest paying jobs tend to be concentrated near large population centers, there are also smaller towns that are very prosperous. In most states, the wealthiest town has a median household income that is two or three times higher than the median across the state as a whole.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed the median annual household income in over 2,600 cities, towns, villages, and census designated places to identify the richest town in every state. We only considered areas with populations between 1,000 and 25,000. To ensure accuracy, we only considered places where the margin of error for population and median household income was less than 10%.
One characteristic these towns have in common is a high level of education among their populations. All 50 have among the highest share of adults with a bachelor’s degree in their states, and all but four exceed the U.S. bachelor’s degree attainment rate of 31.5%. A college degree can provide the holder with a much wider range of job opportunities, and the jobs themselves tend to be higher income. These are America’s most and least educated states.
It is worth noting that the data used for this story represents a time before the coronavirus pandemic. While the economies of rural areas are believed to be less exposed to these effects, the virus has adversely affected all parts of the U.S. These are the state economies most likely to be crippled by the coronavirus.