Special Report

The Richest County in Every State

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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.

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