Special Report

The Richest Town in Every State

Source: Jacob Boomsma / iStock via Getty Images

South Dakota: Brandon
> Median household income: $84,075 (state: $56,499)
> Poverty rate: 2.5% (state: 13.6%)
> Median home value: $206,600 (state: $159,100)
> Population: 9,867

Brandon is a small city in eastern South Dakota, just outside of Sioux Falls — a city home to several major companies that offer high-paying employment opportunities. These include financial companies Citi and Wells Fargo as well as the biomedical companies Avera Health and Sanford Health — each of which employs thousands of people.

In Brandon, most households earn over $84,000 a year, about $28,000 more than the typical South Dakota household.

Source: doe-oakridge / Flickr

Tennessee: Oak Hill
> Median household income: $159,167 (state: $50,972)
> Poverty rate: 0.8% (state: 16.1%)
> Median home value: $649,000 (state: $158,600)
> Population: 4,634

Oak Hill is a small city of approximately 4,600 residents located about 7 miles south of downtown Nashville. The typical household in Oak Hill earns $159,167 a year, more than triple the median household income of $50,927 across Tennessee as a whole and the most of any small city or town in the state.

Educational attainment is one of the largest determinants of income. In Oak Hill, some 78.2% of adults have at least a bachelor’s degree — about three times the 26.6% state college attainment rate and by far the most of any small city or town in Tennessee.

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images

Texas: University Park
> Median household income: $214,477 (state: $59,570)
> Poverty rate: 4.3% (state: 15.5%)
> Median home value: $1,230,200 (state: $161,700)
> Population: 24,954

Originally developed as housing for the teachers and staff of Southern Methodist University in the early 1920s, University Park has since developed into one of the wealthiest communities in the country. The small city has grown in tandem with SMU and the larger Dallas metro area, increasing from a population of 4,200 in 1930 to 24,954 today.

The typical household earns $214,477 a year, more than three times both the state median household income of $59,570 and the $60,293 national figure. The typical home in University Park is worth $1.2 million, compared to the median home value of $161,700 statewide.

Source: a4gpa / Flickr

Utah: Highland
> Median household income: $133,768 (state: $68,374)
> Poverty rate: 2.6% (state: 10.3%)
> Median home value: $536,100 (state: $256,700)
> Population: 18,362

Highland, Utah, is located between Salt Lake City, the largest metro area in the state, and Provo, home to Brigham Young University, the state’s largest college. Nearly 60% of Highland residents 25 and older hold at least a bachelor’s degree, as compared to 33.3% of Utah adults. This helps qualify Highland residents for the many high paying jobs available in the area, such as those in higher education, health care, and tech.

Vermont: Essex Junction
> Median household income: $75,439 (state: $60,076)
> Poverty rate: 6.2% (state: 11.2%)
> Median home value: $283,400 (state: $223,700)
> Population: 10,395

The typical household in Vermont earns about $60,000 a year, in line with the national median household income. Relative to much of the country, median incomes do not vary much from place to place in Vermont. In Essex Junction, the wealthiest small city or town in the state, the median household income is just $75,439. While the median income in Essex Junction is about $15,000 more than the statewide median, it falls below the overall median in several other states, including neighboring Massachusetts and nearby Connecticut.

As is typical among the cities and towns on this list, Essex Junction is within commuting distance of a larger urban area. Burlington, the largest city in the state, sits less than 10 miles west of Essex Junction.