Special Report

The Richest County in Every State

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One of the most prosperous countries in the world, the United States has built a reputation as the land of opportunity. While this may be an oversimplification, many affluent areas across the country serve as a testament to Americans’ continued ability to build wealth and financial stability. 

In every state, there are counties or county equivalents where the median annual household income is well above the $62,843 national median. In over half of all states there is at least one county where the median annual household income is greater than $85,000. Using five-year estimates from the 2019 American Community Survey from the Census, 24/7 Wall St. identified the richest county in every state. 

While there are several notable exceptions, many of the wealthiest counties in each state are part of, or in close proximity to, a major metropolitan area. Large metropolitan areas are often hubs of economic activity.

While much of the country is facing an unemployment crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, the job markets in many of the counties on this list have proven to be more resilient than mos. In 42 of the 50 counties on this list, the unemployment rate is lower than the statewide jobless rate. Here is a look at the cities with the worst COVID-19 unemployment crisis right now

It is also no coincidence that many of the counties on this list are home to relatively large college-educated populations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the typical worker with a bachelor’s degree earns $64,896 annually working full time. Meanwhile, workers with no more than a high school diploma earn just $38,792 per year. All but two counties on this list have a higher bachelor’s degree attainment rate than their respective state. Here is a look at the most and least educated states in the country

Click here to see the richest county in every state.
Click here to see our detailed methodology.

Source: Rivers Langley; SaveRivers / Wikimedia Commons

Alabama: Shelby County
> Median household income: $77,799 (state: $50,536)
> Poverty rate: 7.5% (state: 16.7%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 2.5% (state: 4.0%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 42.9% (state: 25.5%)
> Largest place in county: Hoover

The typical household in Shelby County, Alabama, earns $77,799 a year, more than the median income in every other county in the state and about $27,300 more than the income the typical household across the state as a whole earns.

Centrally located in the state, Shelby County is in close proximity to Birmingham, offering residents easy access to a relatively large job market. Just 2.5% of the labor force in Shelby County is unemployed, compared to Alabama’s 4.0% jobless rate.

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Alaska: Juneau City and Borough
> Median household income: $88,390 (state: $77,640)
> Poverty rate: 7.7% (state: 10.7%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 6.5% (state: 8.1%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 38.4% (state: 29.6%)
> Largest place in county: Juneau

Juneau City and Borough, Alaska, is the wealthiest county equivalent in the state. Most area households earn over $88,300 a year, while across all of Alaska, most households earn less than $78,000 annually.

As is often the case in wealthier parts of the country, Juneau residents are more likely to have a college degree than most Americans. An estimated 38.4% of the local 25 and older residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 32.1% of all American adults and 29.6% of Alaskan adults.

Source: Zeb Micelli / Wikimedia Commons

Arizona: Maricopa County
> Median household income: $64,468 (state: $58,945)
> Poverty rate: 13.8% (state: 15.1%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 7.2% (state: 7.6%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 32.7% (state: 29.5%)
> Largest place in county: Phoenix

Maricopa County, which includes the city of Phoenix, is home to 4.3 million people and is the most populous county in Arizona. With a median annual household income of $64,468, it is also the wealthiest county in the state.

Though the typical household in Maricopa County earns about $5,500 more than the typical Arizona household, incomes in the county are more closely in line with the national level, topping the national median by only about $1,600. Maricopa residents are also about as likely as the typical American to live below the poverty line, as the local poverty rate of 13.8% is closely in line with the comparable 13.4% national poverty rate.

Source: Brandonrush / Wikimedia Commons

Arkansas: Benton County
> Median household income: $66,362 (state: $47,597)
> Poverty rate: 9.4% (state: 17.0%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 4.2% (state: 5.7%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 33.4% (state: 23.0%)
> Largest place in county: Rogers

The typical household in Arkansas earns just $47,597 a year, about $15,200 less than the typical American household. Though it is one of the poorest states in the country, there are parts of Arkansas where incomes are higher than they are statewide. In Benton County, the wealthiest in the state, the median household income is $66,362, about $3,500 more than the national median.

Some of the largest corporate employers in Benton County include logistics company J.B. Hunt, investment management firm Arvest Bank Group, and meat production company Tyson Foods. Unemployment in the county stands at 4.2% — considerably lower than the comparable 5.7% state jobless rate and 6.4% national rate.

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California: Santa Clara County
> Median household income: $124,055 (state: $75,235)
> Poverty rate: 7.5% (state: 13.4%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 5.1% (state: 7.9%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 52.4% (state: 33.9%)
> Largest place in county: San Jose

With a median household income of $124,055, Santa Clara County is the wealthiest county in California and one of the wealthiest in the United States. The area covers much of the Silicon Valley region, which is home to the headquarters and operations of many of the world’s largest tech companies — many of which are also among the world’s highest paying employers. These companies include Adobe, Apple, Google, and Intel.

Higher-paying jobs are often only available to workers with higher levels of education. In Santa Clara County, over half of all adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to only about one-third of adults in both California and the U.S. as a whole.

Source: SWKrullImaging / Getty Images

Colorado: Douglas County
> Median household income: $119,730 (state: $72,331)
> Poverty rate: 3.1% (state: 10.3%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 4.6% (state: 6.2%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 58.0% (state: 40.9%)
> Largest place in county: Highlands Ranch

Douglas County, located in central Colorado just south of Denver, is the wealthiest county in the state, and the state’s only county where most households earn over $100,000 a year. The typical Douglas County household earns $119,730 a year, about $47,400 more than the typical Colorado household and $56,900 more than the typical American household.

In addition to high incomes, the area is marked by the relative lack of serious financial hardship. Only 3.1% of the local population live below the federal poverty threshold, compared to 10.3% of the state population.

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Connecticut: Fairfield County
> Median household income: $95,645 (state: $78,444)
> Poverty rate: 8.9% (state: 9.9%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 7.7% (state: 7.7%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 47.9% (state: 39.3%)
> Largest place in county: Bridgeport

Fairfield County, located in southwestern Connecticut along the Long Island Sound, is one of many wealthy counties within commuting distance of New York City. Access to high-paying jobs in the city partially explains why, with a median annual household income of $95,645, Fairfield County is the wealthiest county in Connecticut.

Americans with higher levels of education are generally better qualified for higher-paying jobs. In Fairfield County, 47.9% of adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 39.3% of adults in Connecticut and 32.1% of adults nationwide.

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Delaware: New Castle County
> Median household income: $73,892 (state: $68,287)
> Poverty rate: 11.4% (state: 11.8%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 4.8% (state: 4.7%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 36.2% (state: 32.0%)
> Largest place in county: Wilmington

Delaware is a geographically small state comprising only three counties. Partially as a result, the median household income in the state’s wealthiest county is not much higher than the median income across the state as a whole. In New Castle County, which makes up the northernmost portion of Delaware, the typical household earns $73,892 annually, more than in the state’s two other counties but only about $5,600 more than the median income across all of Delaware.

The poverty rate in New Castle County is also only slightly lower than the state average. An estimated 11.4% of New Castle County residents live below the poverty line, compared to 11.8% of Delaware residents.

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Florida: St. Johns County
> Median household income: $82,252 (state: $55,660)
> Poverty rate: 8.2% (state: 14.0%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 4.0% (state: 6.3%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 44.7% (state: 29.9%)
> Largest place in county: Fruit Cove

St. Johns County, located in northern Florida along the Atlantic Coast, just outside of Jacksonville, is the wealthiest county in the state. The typical area household earns $82,252 annually, well above the statewide median of $55,660 and about $19,400 more than the income the typical American household earns annually.

Incomes tend to rise with educational attainment, and in St. Johns County, nearly 45% of adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to just under 30% of adults in Florida.

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Georgia: Forsyth County
> Median household income: $107,218 (state: $58,700)
> Poverty rate: 5.7% (state: 15.1%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 3.3% (state: 5.4%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 53.1% (state: 31.3%)
> Largest place in county: Cumming

Georgia is not an especially wealthy state. The median annual household income in Georgia is $58,700, about $4,100 less than the national median. Not all parts of the state have similar low incomes, however. In Forsyth County, located just north of Atlanta, the median annual household income is $107,218. Forsyth is the only county in the state where most households earn more than $100,000 a year.

Residents of Forsyth benefit from a strong job market. Only 3.3% members of the local labor force are unemployed, below the comparable 5.4% state unemployment rat and 6.4% national rate.

Source: segawa7 / Getty Images

Hawaii: Honolulu County
> Median household income: $85,857 (state: $81,275)
> Poverty rate: 8.3% (state: 9.4%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 8.8% (state: 10.1%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 35.0% (state: 33.0%)
> Largest place in county: Honolulu

With a median household income of $81,275, Hawaii is one of only four states where most households earn over $80,000 a year. In Honolulu County, the wealthiest county in the state, the median household income is $85,857, about $23,000 more than the national median.

Residents of Honolulu County, and other parts of Hawaii, are less likely to live below the poverty line than most Americans. Just 8.3% of Honolulu County residents and 9.4% of Hawaii residents live below the federal poverty threshold, compared to the 13.4% national poverty rate.

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Source: John Stanton / Wikimedia Commons

Idaho: Teton County
> Median household income: $74,216 (state: $55,785)
> Poverty rate: 4.5% (state: 13.1%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 5.8% (state: 4.8%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 41.0% (state: 27.6%)
> Largest place in county: Victor

Teton County, located in southeastern Idaho along the Wyoming border, is by far the wealthiest county in the state. The typical household in Teton County earns $74,216 a year, about $8,000 more than the median income in Ada County, the second wealthiest county in the state and $18,400 more than the median annual household income of $55,758 across all of Idaho.

Incomes tend to rise with educational attainment, and Teton is also one of the best-educated counties in the state. An estimated 41.0% of area adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 27.6% of adults in Idaho.

Illinois: Kendall County
> Median household income: $96,563 (state: $65,886)
> Poverty rate: 4.5% (state: 12.5%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 5.3% (state: 6.5%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 36.2% (state: 34.7%)
> Largest place in county: Oswego

With a median annual household income of $96,563, Kendall County is the only county in Illinois where most households earn more than $95,000 a year. The poverty rate in Kendall County of 4.5% is just a fraction of the comparable 12.5% state poverty rate and 13.4% national rate.

Located in northeastern Illinois, within commuting distance of Chicago, Kendall County offers residents access to jobs in the largest city in the Midwest. Unemployment in the county stands at 5.3%, over a full percentage point below the statewide 6.5% unemployment rate.

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Indiana: Hamilton County
> Median household income: $98,173 (state: $56,303)
> Poverty rate: 4.6% (state: 13.4%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 3.3% (state: 4.9%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 59.3% (state: 26.5%)
> Largest place in county: Carmel

Hamilton County is located in central Indiana, just north of Indianapolis. By far the wealthiest county in the state, the median household income of $98,173 in Hamilton County is about $15,000 higher than the median income in Boone County, Indiana’s second wealthiest county, and $41,900 higher than the state median.

Many of the wealthiest counties nationwide are in close proximity to major cities, which serve as regional economic hubs. With access to jobs in Indianapolis, the unemployment rate in Hamilton County is just 3.3%, well below the comparable 4.9% state and 6.4% national jobless rates.

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Iowa: Dallas County
> Median household income: $88,479 (state: $60,523)
> Poverty rate: 5.2% (state: 11.5%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 2.2% (state: 3.1%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 50.4% (state: 28.6%)
> Largest place in county: Waukee

Dallas County, Iowa, located just west of Des Moines, has a median annual household income of $88,479, making it far and away the wealthiest county in the state. In Warren County, Iowa’s second wealthiest county, the median household income is $77,048. Across the state, the median income of $60,523 is closely in line with the national median.

Incomes tend to rise with educational attainment, and Dallas County is one of the only counties in the state where over half of all adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Source: Stephen Edmonds / Flickr

Kansas: Johnson County
> Median household income: $89,087 (state: $59,597)
> Poverty rate: 5.4% (state: 12.0%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 4.8% (state: 5.3%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 56.0% (state: 33.4%)
> Largest place in county: Overland Park

In Johnson County, Kansas, the typical household earns $89,087 a year, nearly $30,000 more than the income the typical household in the state earns annually. Johnson County residents are also less than half as likely to live below the poverty line than the typical Kansas resident.

While about one-third of adults in Kansas have a bachelor’s degree, in Johnson County, 56% of the 25 and older residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher. Johnson County is the only county in the state where over half of all adults have a four-year college degree.

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Kentucky: Oldham County
> Median household income: $99,128 (state: $50,589)
> Poverty rate: 5.9% (state: 17.3%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 3.5% (state: 5.1%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 42.4% (state: 24.2%)
> Largest place in county: La Grange

Kentucky is one of the poorest states in the country. The typical household in the state earns just $50,589 a year, about $12,250 less than what the typical American household earns in a year. Not all parts of the state have similarly low incomes, however. In Oldham County, located just northeast of Louisville along the Indiana state border, the typical household earns $99,128 per year. Oldham is also the only county in the state where more than one in every 10 households earn at least $200,000 a year.

Education is one of the strongest predictors of income, and in Oldham County, 42.4% of adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher, well above the 24.2% share of adults across Kentucky.

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Louisiana: Ascension Parish
> Median household income: $80,527 (state: $49,469)
> Poverty rate: 10.6% (state: 19.2%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 6.2% (state: 8.1%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 26.4% (state: 24.1%)
> Largest place in parish: Gonzales

Louisiana is one of the poorest states in the country, with a median annual household income of $49,469, the fourth lowest of all states. However, there are wealthy regions even in the poorest parts of the country. Ascension Parish, which forms part of the suburbs of the state capital of Baton Rouge, is the wealthiest parish in the state, with a median annual household income of over $80,000.

Compared to the wealthiest county in every state, the parish ranks lower in some measures associated with higher incomes. For example, just 26.4% of adults in the parish have a bachelor’s degree, compared to a national share of 32.3%. Higher educational attainment is typically correlated with better job opportunities and higher incomes.

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Maine: Cumberland County
> Median household income: $73,072 (state: $57,918)
> Poverty rate: 9.0% (state: 11.8%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 4.3% (state: 4.7%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 47.6% (state: 31.8%)
> Largest place in county: Portland

Cumberland County, located in southern Maine along the Atlantic Coast, is the wealthiest county in the state. Its county seat is Portland. With a median household income of $73,072, Cumberland is the only county in the state where most households earn over $70,000 a year.

College-educated workers typically have higher incomes than those with lower education levels — and not only is Cumberland the wealthiest county in Maine, it is also the best educated. Of the local 25 and older residents, 47.6% have a bachelor’s degree or higher compared to 31.8% of adults in the state.

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Maryland: Howard County
> Median household income: $121,160 (state: $84,805)
> Poverty rate: 5.0% (state: 9.2%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 4.9% (state: 6.6%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 62.6% (state: 40.2%)
> Largest place in county: Columbia

With a median annual household income of $84,805, Maryland is the wealthiest state in the county — and Howard County, located within commuting distance of both Baltimore and Washington D.C., is the wealthiest county in the state. The typical Howard County household earns $121,160 a year, nearly double the income the typical American household earns annually.

In Howard County, an estimated 62.6% of adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher, the largest share of any county in the state and one of the largest shares of any county or county equivalent nationwide.

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Massachusetts: Nantucket County
> Median household income: $107,717 (state: $81,215)
> Poverty rate: 8.7% (state: 10.3%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 6.6% (state: 6.2%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 52.8% (state: 43.7%)
> Largest place in county: Nantucket

Nantucket County, Massachusetts, coterminous with the island of Nantucket, located about 30 miles south of Cape Cod, is the wealthiest county in one of the wealthiest states. The typical Massachusetts household earns $81,215 a year, about $18,400 more than what the typical American household earns, and in Nantucket, the median household income of $107,717 is about $44,900 more than the national median.

Though it is the wealthiest county in one of the wealthiest states, Nantucket’s population is not all wealthy, and 8.7% of the local population live below the poverty line. Still, the local poverty rate is well below the 10.3% state poverty rate and 13.4% national rate.

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Michigan: Livingston County
> Median household income: $84,221 (state: $57,144)
> Poverty rate: 5.2% (state: 14.4%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 5.9% (state: 6.3%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 35.4% (state: 29.1%)
> Largest place in county: Howell

The median annual household income in Michigan of $57,144 is about $5,700 less than the national median. In some parts of the state, however, incomes are far higher than the average state or nationwide. Livingston County, located just west of Detroit, has a median household income of $84,221, about $21,400 more than the national median.

Poverty is also far less common in Livingston County than it is much of the rest of the state — and country. Just 5.2% of the local population live below the poverty line, compared to 13.4% of Americans and 14.4% of Michigan residents.

Source: AlexiusHoratius / Wikimedia Commons

Minnesota: Scott County
> Median household income: $102,152 (state: $71,306)
> Poverty rate: 5.5% (state: 9.7%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 3.4% (state: 3.9%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 39.9% (state: 36.1%)
> Largest place in county: Shakopee

Scott County, located just south of Minneapolis, is the wealthiest county in Minnesota. The typical household in the county earns $102,152 a year, about $30,900 more than the median household income across the state of $71,306 and $39,300 more than the national median.

Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn, unemployment is relatively low in Scott County. Just 3.4% members of the local labor force are unemployed, compared to 3.9% of the labor force across Minnesota and the comparable national unemployment rate of 6.4%.

Source: Bill Herndon / Flickr

Mississippi: Madison County
> Median household income: $71,824 (state: $45,081)
> Poverty rate: 9.6% (state: 20.3%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 4.4% (state: 6.0%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 48.4% (state: 22.0%)
> Largest place in county: Madison

With a median annual household income of just $45,081, Mississippi is the poorest state in the country. Not all parts of Mississippi have similarly low incomes, however. In Madison County, located just north of the state capital of Jackson, the median household income is $71,824, about $9,000 more than the national median.

Incomes tend to rise with educational attainment, and in Madison County, 48.4% of adults have a bachelor’s degree, the largest share of any county in the state and more than double the 22.0% share of adults in Mississippi with a four-year college degree.

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Missouri: St. Charles County
> Median household income: $84,978 (state: $55,461)
> Poverty rate: 5.2% (state: 13.7%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 3.1% (state: 3.9%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 38.9% (state: 29.2%)
> Largest place in county: St. Charles

St. Charles County, located just northwest, and well within commuting distance of St. Louis, is the wealthiest county in Missouri. The median annual household income in the cunty is $84,978, about $29,500 more than the income the typical Missouri household earns.

Across St. Charles County, nearly 9% of households earn over $200,000 a year and only 5.2% of the population live below the poverty line, compared to 4.8% of households and 13.7% of the population in the state, respectively.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Montana: Jefferson County
> Median household income: $69,646 (state: $54,970)
> Poverty rate: 7.8% (state: 13.1%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 3.7% (state: 4.3%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 35.0% (state: 32.0%)
> Largest place in county: Montana City

The typical household in Jefferson County earns $69,646 a year, more than in any other county in Montana and well above the statewide median income of $54,970. The county’s northern border is located just south of downtown Helena, the state capital.

Access to the capital city affords Jefferson County residents access to a high concentration of job opportunities in a state that is otherwise largely rural. Unemployment in Jefferson County stands at just 3.7%, below the 4.3% state unemployment rate and 6.4% national rate.

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Nebraska: Sarpy County
> Median household income: $82,032 (state: $61,439)
> Poverty rate: 5.9% (state: 11.1%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 2.4% (state: 2.7%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 39.8% (state: 31.9%)
> Largest place in county: Bellevue

The median household income in Nebraska of $61,439 is closely in line with the national median. Some parts of the state are far wealthier than the U.S. as a whole, however. In Sarpy County, located in eastern Nebraska just south of Omaha, most households earn over $82,000 a year.

Incomes tend to rise with educational attainment, and not only is Sarpy the wealthiest county in Nebraska, it is also the best educated. An estimated 39.8% of adults in the area have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 31.9% of adults across all of Nebraska.

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Nevada: Elko County
> Median household income: $81,232 (state: $60,365)
> Poverty rate: 11.7% (state: 13.1%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 3.8% (state: 9.9%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 16.6% (state: 24.7%)
> Largest place in county: Elko

With a median household income of $81,232, Elko County is the wealthiest county in Nevada. Across the entire state, the typical household earns $60,365 a year, about $21,000 less than what the typical household in Elko County earns.

High-paying jobs typically require a college degree, and as a result, high-income areas also tend to have a well-educated population. In Elko County, where one of the largest — and highest paying — industries is resource extraction, just 16.6% of adults have a bachelor’s degree, compared to 24.7% of adults in Nevada.

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New Hampshire: Rockingham County
> Median household income: $93,756 (state: $76,768)
> Poverty rate: 4.6% (state: 7.6%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 3.6% (state: 3.5%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 41.4% (state: 37.0%)
> Largest place in county: Derry

Rockingham County is located in southeastern New Hampshire and is the only county in the state that abuts the Atlantic coastline. With a median annual household income of $93,756, it is also the wealthiest county in the state. For context, the typical New Hampshire household earns about $76,768 a year.

New Hampshire’s poverty rate of 7.6% is the lowest of any state in the country. In Rockingham County, an even smaller 4.6% of the population live below the poverty line.

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New Jersey: Morris County
> Median household income: $115,527 (state: $82,545)
> Poverty rate: 4.8% (state: 10.0%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 8.1% (state: 9.9%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 54.1% (state: 39.7%)
> Largest place in county: Morristown

Morris County, New Jersey, is the wealthiest county in one of the wealthiest states. With a median annual household income of $82,545, New Jersey is one of only four states where most households earn over $80,000 a year. In Morris County, located in northern New Jersey, the median household income is $115,527.

Many of the wealthiest counties in the United States are within commuting distance of major cities — and Morris County, located just west of Manhattan, is one of them. Morris County also has a well-educated population. An estimated 54.1% of area adults have a bachelor’s degree, compared to 39.7% of New Jersey adults and 32.1% of American adults.

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New Mexico: Los Alamos County
> Median household income: $121,324 (state: $49,754)
> Poverty rate: 4.4% (state: 19.1%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 3.2% (state: 7.3%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 67.4% (state: 27.3%)
> Largest place in county: Los Alamos

Los Alamos County, is far and away the wealthiest county in New Mexico. The typical Los Alamos household earns $121,324 a year, nearly double the median income of $65,328 in Eddy County, the second wealthiest in the state, and well above the $49,754 median income across all of New Mexico.

The Los Alamos National Laboratory is an economic pillar in the county. The lab is a federally funded research and development center for nuclear weapons, among other fields, with an annual budget of nearly $3 billion and over 13,000 employees and contractors.

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New York: Nassau County
> Median household income: $116,100 (state: $68,486)
> Poverty rate: 5.6% (state: 14.1%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 5.5% (state: 8.1%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 46.0% (state: 36.6%)
> Largest place in county: Hempstead

Nassau County is located on New York’s Long Island along the eastern border of Queens. The wealthiest county in the state, Nassau has a median annual household income of $116,100. For context, across all of New York state, the typical household earns $68,486.

Nassau County’s close proximity to New York City offers residents access to jobs in the largest urban area in the country. Only 5.5% members of the labor force in Nassau County are unemployed, compared to the state unemployment rate of 8.1%.

Source: Jerrye & Roy Klotz, MD / Wikimedia Commons

North Carolina: Wake County
> Median household income: $80,591 (state: $54,602)
> Poverty rate: 9.1% (state: 14.7%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 5.2% (state: 6.1%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 52.8% (state: 31.3%)
> Largest place in county: Raleigh

The typical household in North Carolina earns $54,602 a year, about $8,200 less than the income the typical American household earns. Parts of the state are far wealthier, however. In Wake County the typical household earns $80,591 a year. The county’s seat is the state capital of Raleigh.

Wake County is in an area of North Carolina known as the Research Triangle. Named for three local research universities — North Carolina State University, Duke University, and the University of North Carolina — the Research Triangle is also home to the operations of over 7,000 companies, including IBM, Syngenta, BASF, and Cisco.

Source: chamey / iStock via Getty Images

North Dakota: Williams County
> Median household income: $87,161 (state: $64,894)
> Poverty rate: 6.1% (state: 10.7%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 10.7% (state: 4.1%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 23.6% (state: 30.0%)
> Largest place in county: Williston

With a median annual household income of $87,161, Williams County is the wealthiest county in North Dakota. Across the entire state, the typical household earns $64,894, about $22,300 less than what the typical household in Williams County earns.

High-paying jobs typically require a college degree, and as a result, high-income areas also tend to be well educated. In Williams County, where one of the largest — and highest paying, industries is resource extraction — just 23.6% of adults have a bachelor’s degree, compared to 30.0% of adults in North Dakota.

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Source: Nyttend / Wikimedia Commons

Ohio: Delaware County
> Median household income: $106,908 (state: $56,602)
> Poverty rate: 4.8% (state: 14.0%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 3.6% (state: 5.2%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 54.3% (state: 28.3%)
> Largest place in county: Delaware

With a median annual household income of $56,602, about $6,200 less than the national median, Ohio is not a particularly wealthy state. Still, some parts of Ohio are far wealthier than average. In Delaware County, located just north of the state capital of Columbus, the typical household earns $106,908 a year. Delaware County is the only county in the state where most households earn at least $100,000 annually.

Incomes tend to rise with educational attainment, and not only is Delaware County the wealthiest in Ohio, it is also the best educated. Some 54.3% of adults in the county have a bachelor’s degree or higher, nearly double the comparable 28.3% statewide share.

Source: katsrcool / Wikimedia Commons

Oklahoma: Canadian County
> Median household income: $72,056 (state: $52,919)
> Poverty rate: 8.2% (state: 15.7%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 5.1% (state: 5.8%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 27.4% (state: 25.5%)
> Largest place in county: Oklahoma City

Oklahoma is one of the poorest states in the country. The typical household in the state earns $52,919 a year, nearly $10,000 less than what the typical U.S. household earns. In the wealthiest county in the state, Canadian County, which includes parts of Oklahoma City, the median household income of $72,056 is about $9,200 more than the national median.

In addition to having the highest incomes in the state, Canadian County has a low poverty rate. Just 8.2% of the population live on poverty level income, nearly half the comparable 15.7% poverty rate across Oklahoma.

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Oregon: Washington County
> Median household income: $82,215 (state: $62,818)
> Poverty rate: 8.9% (state: 13.2%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 4.8% (state: 5.5%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 44.4% (state: 33.7%)
> Largest place in county: Hillsboro

Washington County, located just outside of Portland, is the wealthiest county in Oregon. The typical area household earns $82,215 a year, about $19,400 more than the state’s median household income of $62,818, which itself is closely aligned with the national median.

As is often the case in high-income areas, Washington County has a well-educated population. An estimated 44.4% of the county’s 25 and older population have a bachelor’s degree or higher, well above the comparable 33.7% share in Oregon and 32.1% share nationally.

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Pennsylvania: Chester County
> Median household income: $100,214 (state: $61,744)
> Poverty rate: 6.4% (state: 12.4%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 4.1% (state: 6.1%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 53.0% (state: 31.4%)
> Largest place in county: West Chester

Chester County is Pennsylvania’s wealthiest county, with a median annual household income of over $100,000, compared to a state median of $61,744. It is one of less than 40 counties or county equivalents in the U.S. where the typical household has an annual income exceeding $100,000 — and the only one in Pennsylvania. In Chester County, 18.4% of households earn $200,000 or more, compared to 6.6% of Pennsylvania households.

The county, like many of the most affluent in the country, is part of the commuter zone of a major metropolitan area, in this case Philadelphia. Like many of the wealthiest places in the country, educational attainment in Chester County is much higher than typical with 53.0% of adults holding a bachelor’s degree compared to 31.4% of Pennsylvanians 25 or older.

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Rhode Island: Washington County
> Median household income: $85,531 (state: $67,167)
> Poverty rate: 8.6% (state: 12.4%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 5.8% (state: 7.0%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 46.1% (state: 34.2%)
> Largest place in county: Westerly

Of Rhode Island’s five counties, Washington County, which forms the southwestern part of the state, is the wealthiest, with a median annual household income of $85,531. The annual income of a typical Rhode Island household is $67,167.

In Rhode Island, 12.4% of residents live below the poverty line. Among Washington County’s 126,060 residents, just 8.6% live in poverty. Just 3.9% of county households have incomes of less than $10,000, compared to 6.3% of Rhode Island households.

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South Carolina: Beaufort County
> Median household income: $68,377 (state: $53,199)
> Poverty rate: 10.2% (state: 15.2%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 3.3% (state: 4.1%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 41.2% (state: 28.1%)
> Largest place in county: Hilton Head Island

The median annual household income in South Carolina of $53,199 is among the lowest of any state and about $9,600 lower than the national median. In Beaufort County, however, located in the southern part of the state along the Atlantic Coast, the median household income is $68,377. Beaufort County includes the resort community of Hilton Head Island.

Despite the ongoing pandemic and resulting economic fallout, the job market in South Carolina’s wealthiest county remains strong. Unemployment stands at just 3.3% in the area, below both the state and national unemployment rates of 4.1% and 6.4%, respectively.

Source: AlexiusHoratius / Wikimedia Commons

South Dakota: Lincoln County
> Median household income: $82,473 (state: $58,275)
> Poverty rate: 4.1% (state: 13.1%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 2.6% (state: 3.3%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 37.6% (state: 28.8%)
> Largest place in county: Sioux Falls

Lincoln County is by far the wealthiest in South Dakota, with a median annual household income of $82,473, which is more than $12,000 higher than the next wealthiest county. Lincoln is part of the metropolitan area of Sioux Falls, the state’s most populous city. Just 4.1% of the county’s 56,826 residents live below the poverty line, tied for the 12th lowest poverty rate among all U.S. counties. In comparison, the national poverty rate is 13.4%, and South Dakota’s is 13.1%.

Higher incomes tend to correlate with better economic conditions in general, including a healthy job market and low unemployment. As of November, just 2.6% of Lincoln County’s labor force was unemployed, far lower than the U.S. unemployment rate of 6.4% and even lower than the state’s low jobless rate of 3.3%.

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Tennessee: Williamson County
> Median household income: $112,962 (state: $53,320)
> Poverty rate: 4.4% (state: 15.2%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 3.3% (state: 5.0%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 59.8% (state: 27.3%)
> Largest place in county: Franklin

Though Tennessee is one of the poorest states in the country, it is home to one of the wealthiest U.S. counties. The typical Tennessee household earns just $53,320 a year, about $9,500 less than the national median income. However, in Williamson County, located just south of Nashville, the typical household earns nearly $113,000 annually. Williamson is by far Tennessee’s wealthiest county as the second wealthiest county, Wilson County, has a median annual household income of $75,991.

Incomes tend to rise with educational attainment, and Williamson is the only county in Tennessee where over half of the 25 and older residents have a bachelor’s degree.

Source: Larry D. Moore / Wikimedia Commons

Texas: Rockwall County
> Median household income: $100,920 (state: $61,874)
> Poverty rate: 4.7% (state: 14.7%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 6.0% (state: 8.0%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 40.7% (state: 29.9%)
> Largest place in county: Rowlett

Rockwall County, located just east of Dallas, is the only county in Texas where most households earn over $100,000 a year. Meanwhile, the median household income across Texas of $61,874 is closely in line with the national median.

The county’s wealth is further evidenced by other measures of income. For example, only 4.7% of the Rockwall County population live below the poverty line, and 14.3% of households earn at least $200,000 annually. Across Texas, the poverty rate stands at 14.7%, and only 6.1% of households have annual incomes of at least $200,000.

Source: J. Stephen Conn / Flickr

Utah: Summit County
> Median household income: $102,958 (state: $71,621)
> Poverty rate: 5.6% (state: 9.8%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 5.6% (state: 3.9%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 55.0% (state: 34.0%)
> Largest place in county: Park City

Utah’s Summit County is one of the 38 counties or county equivalents in the United States with a median household income greater than $100,000. The typical household in the county has an annual income of $102,958, more than $10,000 higher than the next most affluent county. Summit is within the Salt Lake City metropolitan area and is home to wealthy suburbs, including the ski resort town of Park City.

In Summit County, 23.5% of households have an annual income of $200,000 or more, one of the highest shares of any U.S. county. In comparison, just 6.4% of Utah households have incomes of at least $200,000.

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Vermont: Chittenden County
> Median household income: $73,647 (state: $61,973)
> Poverty rate: 12.1% (state: 10.9%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 2.5% (state: 2.8%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 51.3% (state: 38.0%)
> Largest place in county: Burlington

A largely rural state, Vermont’s richest county is the only one home to a city with a population of over 40,000. The city of Burlington is the county seat of Chittenden County, which has a median annual household income of $73,647, about $11,700 more than the state median of $61,973.

Incomes tend to rise with educational attainment, and Chittenden is the only county in Vermont where over half of the 25 and older population have a bachelor’s degree.

Source: Jacqueline Nix / Getty Images

Virginia: Loudoun County
> Median household income: $142,299 (state: $74,222)
> Poverty rate: 3.4% (state: 10.6%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 3.9% (state: 4.6%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 61.3% (state: 38.8%)
> Largest place in county: Leesburg

Loudoun County, Virginia, is the wealthiest county in both the state and the entire country. The typical county household earns $142,299 a year, nearly double the statewide median of $74,222, which itself is about $11,400 higher than the national median.

The county, located just outside of Washington D.C., is home to a number of government contractors, many of which are major, high-paying employers such as Amazon, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon. Computer and mathematical occupations are highly concentrated in the county, and those jobs are also among the highest paying in the area.

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Washington: King County
> Median household income: $94,974 (state: $73,775)
> Poverty rate: 8.9% (state: 10.8%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 4.3% (state: 5.9%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 52.5% (state: 36.0%)
> Largest place in county: Seattle

With a median annual household income of $94,974, King County is the wealthiest county in Washington state. For context, the typical Washington household earns $73,775 a year. Additionally, 17.3% of King County households earn $200,000 or more per year, compared to 9.5% of households in Washington.

The county, which includes Seattle and stretches east, is home to many large, well-paying employers, including Amazon, Boeing, and Microsoft. Unemployment in King County stands at just 4.3% — well below both the comparable state and national jobless rates of 5.9% and 6.4%, respectively.

Source: Jim Surkamp / Flickr

West Virginia: Jefferson County
> Median household income: $80,430 (state: $46,711)
> Poverty rate: 9.7% (state: 17.6%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 4.0% (state: 5.7%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 31.8% (state: 20.6%)
> Largest place in county: Corporation of Ranson

With a median annual household income of $46,711, West Virginia is the second poorest state in the country after only Mississippi. Still, even in the poorest states there are affluent areas. With a median annual household income of $80,430, Jefferson County is by far the wealthiest in the state. Median income in the state’s next wealthiest county, Berkeley County, is $62,515.

Some of the wealthiest counties in the United States are within commuting distance of Washington, D.C. — as is Jefferson County. The county is at the end of the state’s eastern panhandle, with county seat Charles Town about a 70 mile drive to downtown D.C.

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Wisconsin: Waukesha County
> Median household income: $87,277 (state: $61,747)
> Poverty rate: 4.8% (state: 11.3%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 4.0% (state: 4.5%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 44.5% (state: 30.1%)
> Largest place in county: Waukesha

Wisconsin’s Waukesha County is the wealthiest in the state, with a median annual household income of $87,277, compared to the state median of $61,747. Among the county’s households, just 2.5% earn less than $10,000 per year and 11.5% earn $200,000 or more. In comparison, 11.3% of Wisconsin households earn less than $10,000 and 4.6% earn $200,000 or more.

Like many affluent counties, Waukesha, which is part of the Milwaukee metropolitan area, has a highly-educated population. In Wisconsin, 30.1% of adults 25 or older have a bachelor’s degree or higher. In Waukesha county, 44.5% of adults do.

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Wyoming: Teton County
> Median household income: $84,678 (state: $64,049)
> Poverty rate: 6.1% (state: 11.0%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment: 5.8% (state: 4.9%)
> Adults with a bachelor’s degree: 57.0% (state: 27.4%)
> Largest place in county: Jackson

Teton County, the wealthiest county in Wyoming, is located along the state’s western border, adjacent to Teton County, Idaho, which also happens to be the wealthiest county in its state. In Teton County, Wyoming, the typical household earns $84,678 a year, about $20,600 more than the income the typical household in the state earns.

Incomes tend to rise with educational attainment, and not only is Teton County the wealthiest county in the state, it is also the best educated. An estimated 57.0% of adults in the area have a bachelor’s degree, more than double the 27.4% share of adults across the state.

Methodology

To identify the richest county in each state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed median annual household incomes for each U.S. county using five-year estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey. We only considered counties with income estimates with a maximum 10% margin of error. 

We also reviewed in each county the percentage of adults who hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, the poverty rate, and the share of households earning $200,000 or more from the ACS. Unemployment rates for November 2020 are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and are not seasonally adjusted.

County equivalents, such as parishes in Louisiana and boroughs in Alaska, were included in our analysis.

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